Listen to our latest episode:

Encountering Resistance and Doing it Anyway

with Wanda James, Founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary

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Before I get into my feels, I want to celebrate, again, Wanda James, candidate for Colorado University Board of Regents, founder and CEO of Simply Pure dispensary, political activist, and now Working Within podcast guest. Please pause and send your well wishes to a woman who has done what was once unfathomable: being the first Black woman to own a cannabis dispensary, growth facility, and edible company in the United States. That’s new age. That’s empowering. And it requires courage.

“My life, your life, any of our lives - they’re not dress rehearsals. I’m in this body, in this life, right now this is not a dress rehearsal and you have one life to live. What are you doing to live that life you want to live?”

We talk lightly about this on the show, but cannabis is still used as a weapon against the Black community today. It’s used to blame the Black community for their oppression, it’s used to collect bodies for cages and unpaid [slave] labor, and it’s used as the scapegoat substance while alcohol and tobacco escape regulation and facilitate addiction. All I know is I’ve never ended up in the hospital or throwing up my entire stomach from smoking some weed

Last episode’s title, Encountering Resistance and Doing it Anyway, feels extremely resonant right now. With this episode, I’m admitting to cannabis use, I’m hosting my first political activist, and I’m stepping further into my purpose as an entrepreneur. None of that has been particularly easy. In fact, the challenges have screamed in my face these past few weeks, so Wanda’s message is right on time, and I hope for you too.

The episode title is actually the last thing we put together for an episode. Weeks after the interview is recorded, edited, and reviewed, the last item on my to-do is to come up with the title for the episode. My hope always is that it conveys the episode’s theme and because it’s the last thing we do, it usually directly corresponds with my life lesson of the moment. Here’s the bottom line:

Taking risks and being the first can be exhausting, trying, and anxiety-provoking, but if I had refused taking risks, I never would’ve had the chance to connect with Wanda and share her message with all of you.

The people you cherish can judge, belittle, and shame you and you can still turn around, do your magic, and thrive. Even Wanda faced backlash, criticism, and judgment when she opened her first dispensary. Look at her now.

And look at the future you, when you finally let yourself take that leap you’re thinking about. I’m leaving you with some reflection questions. If you want to share back what you think, we’ll be here to respond. <3

Thank you for reading.

With love,


Questions for you

Whose judgment is stopping you from doing that thing you want?

Where in your community are you the first or only? Where could you be the first or only, but you’re avoiding it?

In what way are you living your life like a dress rehearsal rather than the final act?

What would you do if you knew it would work out?

We’re pregnant! With [another] new idea

We’re helping underrepresented creators and entrepreneurs breakthrough fear to launch their progressive, disruptive big ideas by providing business planning, creative advising, and of course our dope empowerment podcast.

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