Cosmic Profile: Tina Ulman
As Old Pal grows, we’re constantly reminded that while many states have embraced legalization, the roadmap to wider acceptance is long, arduous and needs a lot of helping hands. In case you missed our last edition of amplifying Old Pal voices in the conversation, Brand Manager Tiffany Watkins talked about some steps we all can take on a local level to influence cannabis policy.
The state of Nevada embraced recreational cannabis use in 2017 and is a big territory for us. At the time of writing this, Old Pal is a top selling flower state-wide and we hold four out the five top selling product SKUs year to date.
We attribute that success to our partner, Flower One, a robust sales force and our Nevada Brand Manager, Tina Ulman who not only oversees the strategy necessary for growth in that market but she’s also an instrumental figure of the evolving legislation in the Silver State and beyond. Her efforts draw attention to decriminalization, descheduling and social justice, topics at the heart of evolving perceptions, laws and penalties on a federal level.
We asked Tina to share more about her value-driven mission, the successes she’s seeing and what we can do to mirror her initiatives so we can all march together towards acceptance and eventual nationwide legalization.
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THE PROCESS OF BECOMING A CANNABIS ACTIVIST
I became a cannabis activist the day I learned how many unjust laws still existed in Nevada and the United States. I also am very passionate about cannabis and drug reform because I have family members and my high school boyfriend serve a combined total of over 33 years in prison for drug offenses.
For years friends all around me were addicted to pills or even worse, heroin and the outcome could have been different. So there was no question...I was going to use my voice and take action on what needed to be changed. Once I entered the industry in August of 2018 I got a call from Madisen Saglibene, Executive Director of Las Vegas NORML. She invited me to a meeting and I was inspired to tell all my peers and every consumer I met about the unjust laws that our political leaders did not change after Nevadans voted cannabis legal in 2016.
ON THE EVOLVING NEVADA CANNABIS BUSINESS
My experience has been joyfully fulfilling but there’s not a day that goes by that I don't see something and say, “Wow, unreal!” This is the first time in many people’s lives that we get to do business with so many other like minded people so it has allowed relationships and connections to happen that you often don't find in other industries. I saw that right away and wanted to do my part in creating a supportive and well connected cannabis industry & community here. Nevada is one of eleven legal states! We have a head start before the rest of the country, which means the best companies, the strongest talent pool and the most just & fair cannabis legislation should come from us. Period.
HER PROUDEST MOMENT
Nothing has felt better than traveling to Washington DC to represent the cannabis consumers of Nevada. I was able to speak directly with our senators and congressional leaders on why they need to sign five specific bills that sit with them right now. There is absolutely no reason anyone should be sitting in prison for non-violent drug offenses especially cannabis and to be able to say that to them and much more was my most proud moment. Selling a shit ton of Old Pal comes in a close second.
MORE ABOUT THE NORML PATIENT VOUCHER PROGRAM
The program was designed to assist veterans, patients, seniors and those suffering from a severe hardship by providing $1 cannabis products to them. We leveraged products that were close to expiring and partnered with numerous different companies here in Nevada to deliver about 4000 products in the last year and a half.
ON THE STEPS COMMUNITIES CAN TAKE TOWARDS PROGRESS
The best way to get engaged is to find people and organizations who are doing what you want to do and join in with them. I don't mean just sign up and say you’re a member, but really help execute initiatives and campaigns. We have so many resources at our fingertips if we use them what we can impact will be revolutionary. Visit Norml.org to find a chapter near you or NORMLnevada.org to see what our chapter has been up to! Most importantly build strong relationships and create the cannabis space you want to see in your community.