60 | Cheryl Shuman, Beverly Hills Cannabis Club

“No matter how far right or left or communist or non-communist or whoever you are, whatever your background is, when you face losing someone, whether it be cancer or some other illness, it touches you and your family. And then you see what cannabis and hemp and other products in this sector can do, it can save someone you love, and it changes you.”

— Cheryl Shuman

There used to be occupational hazards to being a cannabis advocate — just ask Cheryl Shuman. With a knack for PR, she’s , 60 | Cheryl Shuman, Beverly Hills Cannabis Clubbeen extolling the virtues of cannabis for decades, since long before it was safe to speak out on it. A cancer survivor, she is still passionate about spreading the word about the healing power of THC, as she has always done. Listen and learn about how Cheryl:

  • Helped the pivotal Prop. 215 get passed in California
  • Took part in clinical trials in Israel with Raphael Mechoulam
  • Helped bring Dr. Sanjay Gupta to a positive perspective on cannabis
  • Learned about hemp from Jack Herer himself
  • Is optimistic about the future of cannabis-aided healing

Follow Cheryl on Twitter.

Visit CherylShuman.com

Transcript of Podcast with Cheryl Shuman

Kannaboom © Copyright 2020

Kannaboom (00:00): Hey, it's Tom. This week, our guest is Cheryl Shuman and she has some stories to tell about how she started the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club about how she traveled to Israel to receive cannabis treatments for cancer from Dr. Rafael Mechoulum, about why she's now living on a 7,000 acre farm in the hills, and about some of her plans for future cannabis related business ventures. After several decades in the business, since way before it was safe to be out of the cannabis closet. Cheryl knows many of the OGs and she's optimistic about the future of hemp and cannabis and how it can help all of us achieve better wellness — and wellness is the focus of this podcast, and my website Kannaboom with a k.com and my weekly newsletter 5 Boom Friday, all about how cannabinoids and CBD can help you achieve better wellness and how and where to find CBD that's trusted and reliable. You can subscribe at Apple podcast, Stitcher, Spotify, Google podcasts, or your other favorite podcast player. And if you enjoy the show, please leave a review and help us expand our reach. Cannabis is booming and Kannaboom is on it. Welcome to the Kannaboom podcast where we interview experts on the changing story of humans, health and hemp. From San Diego, here's your host, Tom Stacey. It's Tom. Welcome back to the Kannaboom podcast. Today we have Cheryl Shuman, founder of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club. Hey Cheryl, how are you?

Cheryl Shuman (01:14): I am great. How are you?

Kannaboom (01:16): Hanging in there? I met you on LinkedIn when we both realized that we turned 60 this year, so happy birthday to us.

Cheryl Shuman (01:24): Likewise, likewise, LinkedIn is my absolute favorite social media resource.

Kannaboom (01:30): It's great. There's lots of interesting stuff there and it's not quite as mean as Twitter, right?

Cheryl Shuman (01:36): Yeah. And then, and then we've got Facebook, right? So it's like, you know, I I'm at this point, you know, turning 60, you know, don't you feel that urgency to get things done, you know, and, and, and working that much harder to hit your goals and surpass them where, you know, so there's that sense of time being so incredibly valuable.

Kannaboom (01:56): That's so true. I mean, there's so much that there is still to do, and you can feel the clock ticking. So it's, it's definitely true. You're back East.

Cheryl Shuman (02:04): Yes. I am actually on the Tri State border of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio. We have approximately 7,000 acres in cultivation through the tri-state region, and this is where I was born and raised. And so I just thought, you know, and again, at age 60, you, you reach this point where you want to leave a legacy behind and you want your, your work and your life to stand for something and make a difference in the world. And, you know, when, when all of this was going on and you know, I, I, I got to see my parents and everything for the first time at age 47, I came back to my hometown and I just realized that quite frankly, I could make a much bigger difference for my small town, than being international. And I, I like working internationally, but you know, when you have someone that lives in a county or a state, that's not legal yet, and they're terminal, you know, I lost them, you know, and that's when I had that 'aha' moment. It's like, I need to go back to my hometown. I need to help them, you know, raise new entities and create jobs. And people are starving here. It's almost like a third-world country. And the big breaker for me was when I did the Hemp Today Fest it was a big keynote speaking thing I did in Nepal. And I was looking at, you know, the culture there. And I thought, why can't we do some kind of a tourism thing in my hometown? So that's where I am now. I'm actually in my hometown. I left Beverly Hills right at the height of the looting and the fires and everything. And it's scary for me. I have a lung disorder, so I'm very, very sensitive to smoke and to diseases. And if something's going around, because I have a, I have a respiratory system that's not quite well it's, it can be very dangerous for me. So I came home. It's absolutely beautiful. There's two rivers that run into each other here, the Scioto and, and the Ohio river. And it's just absolutely beautiful. And the people are sweet and lovely and, and, you know, they need help here. We're, we're completely overwhelmed by the opioid epidemic. And one of the things that we're learning in the cannabis and hemp industries is, you know, through studies of like Dr. Raphael Mechoulum of Israel, and so forth, we're finding that instead of cannabis being that gateway drug cannabis, and its derivatives and CBD CBG, and all the other wonderful components of this plant is actually an exit drug off of opioid addiction. And we can save a tremendous amount of lives. And I, I think that along with our political climate right now is something that we really, really need to focus on by saving lives. And there's also some studies going on right now with biotech firms that I'm working with that thinks that they may have an answer for the COVID situation. So yeah, it's, it's both scary and very exciting when you feel like you may have an answer for these problems that we're having. And, and one of the things I've really enjoyed about this period, which might be weird to say, but I've really enjoyed being able to get close to people and really focus on people as human beings versus a celebrity I might be working with and so forth.

Kannaboom (05:22): There's lots there to talk about, but I'm intrigued by a well, so much that you mentioned just resonates, but so 7,000 acres, that sounds like a good place to be right now, you're on the farm and 7,000 acres of cannabis?

Cheryl Shuman (05:40): No, it's 7,000 acres of land. And, you know, in my hometown, one of the families that I worked with here, they have big lumberyards and so forth. So what we decided to do, because, you know, there's a true beauty to the Appalachian region, which is where a lot of this is we're in, on the Ohio side, we're on the gateway to the Appalachians. And so are the foothills. So I wanted to maintain as much of the natural part of the area, you know, I, I hate strip mining and all that stuff. So out of the 7,000, we're probably going to cultivate and clear almost 300 acres to start with and keep the rest more as like a nature resort of some kind that's, that's what my ultimate goal would be. But I think it's very, very important here, especially to get some of the family farmers back to work. I grew, grew up on a farm here and very proud of that fact and learned about sustainable living and alternative cures to possible illnesses and so forth. So I love it here, and I hope that I can make a difference here as well as an addition to that. I work the work that I do globally.

Kannaboom (06:46): Tell us about the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club.

Cheryl Shuman (06:50): Sure. You know, I, I started becoming really, really interested in, in cannabis when I was working as an optician,licensed optician, and it was used quite a bit for macular degeneration and glaucoma and that sort of thing you know, lessening the interocular pressure of the eye. And so I saw a tremendous amount of difference and a healing through some of our optical patients. So I knew a bit about the medicinal aspect of it, but it was the AIDS epidemic in the early nineties with Dennis Peron. And a lot of the great activists of this sector started looking at the AIDS and HIV epidemic. So I started working in political strategy and media strategy to get people to get out the vote. And that's when I became very familiar with, you know, what was then black market growers or gray market growers. And, you know, the AIDS epidemic itself was a very terrorizing and frightening thing to see people lose their loved ones. But, I just decided when I started working with patients directly to make sure that I had all of my paperwork in order. And so as we moved forward, we got Prop 215 passed with the help of, you know, hundreds of people, obviously, if not thousands got that passed. And then, moved on to SB 420 with,uSenator John Vasconcellos. And that's when we got the first legislature to actually have dispensaries and legal grow operations. So the one thing that I wanted to make sure that I always did, being the mother of two lovely, beautiful girls, I wanted to make sure that I did everything within compliance and try to stay safe as possible to stay out of jail. I just thought it was important, you know, as a mom, I didn't want my kids to feel ashamed of me. I was proud with the work that I was doing as an advocate and as an activist. And, I wanted to learn more and then it hit really hard for me when I got cancer myself and, ended up, going to Israel and working on some clinical trials and, and different kinds of cannabis and tinctures and oils and so forth saved my life. So when you have such a personal experience for your own human self, and you see how this works for everyone else, and the other possibilities, if we could get it federally legalized and be able to do clinical trials here, I mean, and, and I think that's why I also, again, feel this urgency of every day, you know, breaking out and just, okay, what can we get done today? Cause you know, our time is so valuable and especially with what's happening with, you know, the COVID 19 virus, there's just a lot going on now. And I really think that this should somehow kind of fast forward us as a community and as an industry, not only for cannabis would also of course, for him and, and other alternatives to really heal the world.

Kannaboom (09:44): Well said, and wellness is a focus of the show. I kind of talk about it every week with whoever my guest is, but you bring up a great point there. You know, one of my earlier guests was Keith Stroup who founded the National...

Cheryl Shuman (09:57): Oh my God. He brought me in to be the executive director of the Beverly Hills NORML, he's amazing.

Kannaboom (10:04): Yeah. But he made a great point that in the seventies they were kind of talking about, 'this is our right. It's our, it's our individual right, to do what we want,' but it wasn't really until what you'd spoke of about AIDS and the fact that it helped people with all those symptoms and really help them live longer. That's a whole different proposition and that's really what turned the tides, I think towards, yeah. So being part of that is we owe you a debt of gratitude for that.

Cheryl Shuman (10:32): Oh, well it took many, but see that's the thing. And I've always said this when I've spoken publicly, because you know, when you're one of the first people out there, there were many, many people that worked in this advocacy thing. I don't want to take anyone's credit away, but there were very, very few people, especially women that could be on TV and talk about it knowledgeably and with a personal experience of how it worked for them, but also my big push and some people love me for it. Some people hate me for it. And what I was always trying to tell our community is that for us to get mainstream acceptance as a medicine, as a wellness agent, et cetera, you have to make sure that people can, you know, open industries or have some kind of revenue from it because otherwise people don't find any interest in it. So if we can, as people who are, you know these Joan of Arc type, you know representatives of the cannabis sector, if we can show what this can do and the industry and businesses that can create to replace family farmers who lost everything for one, you know, let's, let's get these small town businesses up and running again. And, you know, really look at the fact, I mean, I was, I was having this sounds funny. I was having a conversation, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a true story. And we were backstage on the Katie Couric show. And I was there with my daughter and we were talking about it. And this is before he said, 'I'm going to back cannabis, 100 percent and CBD works. I've seen it work.' So I feel very proud of that, but he and I had this discussion and he said something to the effect, you know, cause some people got mad at me cause I go on TV and they used to get so mad at me. 'Why Do you always wear that same yellow jacket?' Well, it's actually lemongrass and it's my favorite color. And I feel like it's good luck. And it's been known through psychological studies that that particular color maintains the person watching you on TV much longer. So people that didn't understand, they're like, 'Why is she getting all this TV coverage? Why is she doing well?' Cause I worked in television since I was 14 years old, you know? And it's not that I'm the greatest person in the world, but I do understand the sector and I have that personal experience and I have a mission. This is a very serious mission for me. And I realized the first time I saw someone die in my arms back in, you know, right before 1996, before Prop 215 passed, it changes you. And whether I'm speaking on television or at a, at a press event or something, people need to understand that no matter how far right or left or communist or non-communist or whoever you are, whatever your background is, when the loss of losing someone, whether it be cancer or some other illness, when it touches you and your family. And then you see what cannabis and hemp and other products in this sector can do, and it can save someone you love, it changes you, it changes you. And that's when people start to come together in that conversation. It's like, I can't tell you how many people call me and say, do you think this could help me? Even my mom who passed away, who was in an illegal state, which broke my heart. She's like, Hey, my nickname is Jake. She always called me Jake. And she'd say, 'Jake, do you think some of that medicine you take could help save my life too?' And it broke my heart because she was already at the end. I mean, she had hours to live and she was just so afraid, afraid of getting into trouble in her home state and going to jail that she wouldn't try it. And that's why we've got to change these laws and keep pushing.

Kannaboom (14:25): I absolutely agree. And I've said on my blog and on other episodes that my belief is every family in America is touched one way or another by the prohibition of cannabis. And that it's a life-saving medicine. There's so many people wrongly incarcerated. The stigma still lingers. We're trying to get past it, but there's still a lot of work to do. So I wanted to ask you about your experience with cancer. Did you take like a Rick Simpson oil or was it that worked for you?

Cheryl Shuman (14:52): Sure. At the time, I didn't know the Rick Simpson story. So when, when I was diagnosed, it was, it was really a weird thing. My natural parents separated when I think I was about three years old and then I didn't see them until I was 47 and I got a call from my mom and she said, 'You're never gonna believe what happened.' I'm like what happened? She said, 'I ran into your, your real dad and we just got remarried.' I said, 'I'll be right there.' And I had a Porsche convertible at the time. I put a bikini on, I drove cross country and I got there and my mom opened the door and said 'Jake, you don't look so good.' And I'm like, 'Mom, I just drove 3,000 miles to see you for the first time in 47 years.' You know? And, and as I walked in, I mean, I'm sure. And I'm sure it was tired because I was so excited. I just drove pretty much straight through. And anyways, so, so my mom looked at me and I gave her a big hug and she said, 'Jake, I'm telling you, she says, you got that same look in your eyes at your uncle. Ned had,' she says, 'when's the last time you went to the doctor?' And of course I'm one of those people. It's like, 'Mom, I don't need to go to the doctor. I'm fine.' So she talks me into going to the doctor, at least go to the OB GYN we go in, I love getting up in those stirrups, nothing else quite so exciting. And he's looking at me and he pulls out the ultrasound thing and he's kind of, and you know, to me, those things are just different shades of gray. I don't know what I'm really looking at. And he looks at me and he says 'Are you here with anyone?' I said, 'Yes, my, my mother is in, in the lobby.' So he says, 'Let me go get her and I'll come right back.' And I thought, you know, I'm in my late forties, early fifties. I, I, you know, I can't be pregnant. So it's like, what's going on here? I'm an adult. My mom comes in and she's sobbing. And I said, I don't know why I said it. I said, 'Let me guess, something's wrong.' And I laughed. I was trying to make fun of it because I didn't know what was going on. And anyway, long story short the doctor told me, 'We're going to take you over to SOMC. We're going to do an emergency laparoscopy. And we think you may have ovarian cancer.' And that's when I was diagnosed and they did emergency surgery there. And when I woke up from the anesthesia, they said, 'We've done everything that we can here, but we're going to send you up to the James Cancer Clinic and we'll kind of take it from there.' And you know, it's weird. I filmed a documentary about meeting my parents again. Cause when they got remarried and I told my mom this thing, you know, and I was hoping, I guess that it would just be like a miscalculation and it was, I don't know anything else, but that, I guess I just wasn't expecting it, you know? And I didn't have any symptoms. And anyway, so I told her, I gave her the video camera and I said, 'When I come out of the surgery,' I said, 'no matter what happens, just hit the record button.' And so when I started coming out of the anesthesia, I saw her and I looked over and I said, 'Mom, what's happening?' And she said, 'It's everywhere. It's everywhere.' And so I, I just, I, I, it just didn't seem real to me. So I was like, okay, let's do what we gotta do. And whatever's going to be, is going to be. And when I went to the hospital, I started, they said, you know, 'We think you've got a couple of months, probably until your birthday.' And so I called my daughter, got the laptop sent and everything. And as I was going through my laptop, I wanted to go ahead and do, you know, arrange, you know, because my possibilities of living were very slim. I thought, why would I go ahead and take care of everything so that my kids don't have to be bothered with them. My youngest daughter didn't even know yet. I didn't even know how to tell her. She had just lost her grandmother from cancer. And she had just started her first year in college. And I didn't want her to, I didn't want to work. I didn't know how to tell her. And so anyway, when I went up to James Cancer Clinic, I had forgotten that on match.com, I'd signed up for the six-month guarantee to find love. And when I went to high school, I was in there. And so, so he contacts me. I'm like, Oh my God. So we knew each other. We went to high school together and he says, 'I'd love to come and see you.' And I'm thinking, Oh God. And I said, 'Well, I actually, I was just signing into Match to take the profile down. Cause I've got some things that have come up in my life that I don't think I'm going to be dating much anymore.' And this is why I'd love to come by and see you. And I just didn't know how to tell him. So I said, 'Well, let's touch base tomorrow.' You know, and whatever site I pushed him off for like four days. And he says, 'What's going on?' He says, 'Are you gay or something?' Or like something, I said, 'No, I'm not gay.' And I said, 'Do you know, I'm in the hospital?' And he goes, 'You're in the hospital?' I'm like, 'Yeah, I'm in the hospital.' And he says, 'Why?' And I said, 'Well, they say I've got cancer.' And so he comes to this decision, 'Well, I'm going to come by, I'm going to bring you some brownies or whatever, and just spend some time with you.' And he walked in and he was like, 'Oh my God, you really are dying. Aren't you?' And it was the craziest thing, but what he did, he sat down with me, and he told me about his sister who was growing this CBD strain called Cannatonic. And another one what was the other one? I can't remember the other one. I mean, one was called Cannatonic, oh, and the other one was called Harlequin. And they were both high CBD strains. A lot of the growers were throwing away because it didn't get you high. But what they were seeing is it was helping with some cancer patients. So I started a regimen. I checked out AMA from the hospital against medical advice and I tried it and it started to work. And my friend helped me juicing, all kinds of different formulations and it started getting better and better. And then Dr. Mechoulam reached out to me through the [inaudible] group. And I ended up going to Israel and with all of the different combined things that we were doing, it saved my life. A lot of them, just one occasion. Cause I've, I've had bouts of skin cancer that came up and they were small, you know, so we got them before they were serious. But you know, I monitor my health like crazy now. And I think, I think we can make a big difference all of us by gathering together and no matter what the political climate is now, I think this is a time more than any other in our lifetimes that we need to work together and find answers and solutions to what we can do together and make this world a better place.

Kannaboom (21:35): Well, absolutely. And when you live through something like that, where they give you a couple of months to live and it has metastasized and you are going against medical orders. I know in Israel, Dr. Mechoulam and everyone over there, they didn't bother fighting a war on drugs. They had other wars to fight, but they didn't get distracted and they followed the science. So doctors are always careful to say, 'It's not a cure. It doesn't prevent it.' But if it takes care of the symptoms and you've obviously lived much longer and I assume you probably cancer-free or it's in remission or something,

Cheryl Shuman (22:11): I'm good so far. I have to go in, I had an issue with my liver. I thank God. It wasn't a cancer. What it was, it was called hepatic [inaudible] cysts. And they covered the entire left lobe of the liver. And they had to remove all that. The good news is that the procedure did well and the liver has already started to regenerate. If it were cancerous, that would have been a much different story, but it's something that I always have to kind of watch out for. And the other issue, I don't know if I told you about, but I got hit by a car, crossing the street with my two little dogs and fractured several vertebrae in my back and my tailbone and my neck. And so I had to have emergency spinal cord surgery. Actually it was a year ago this month. And I was, I was literally bedridden for almost six solid months. Three months of those were in intensive care in the ICU unit. And it was a combination of things. It was not only the spinal cord injuries. The biggest problem was I'm allergic to opioids. I couldn't have opioids, even if I wanted to, which I don't, but they had ignored on my chart that said I was allergic to all opioids and the anesthesiologist put me on fentanyl in my anesthesia and it put me into full respiratory failure. So it's taken me almost a full year to recover and neither one of those were cancers. But, it really changed my life. I mean, learning how to get around in a wheelchair. I've got an electric one now, so, but the good thing is I can walk, I'm even able to wear my high heels. Sometimes I can't walk long periods cause I'm still kind of getting used to walking at all. But but yeah, I mean, it's, it's even though it wasn't cancer, the thing that I found again from cannabis and hemp derivatives were for the pain I used some really great topicals that really helped tremendously for the back pain, the neck pain, the whole thing, healing from that. And the doctors, I don't think they thought I'd ever walk again, but I've always, you know, it's not my first car accident, unfortunately. And I just feel like, you know, your, your, your mindset, if you can set your mindset to keep believing and being hopeful and being positive and looking for the good in these things, I think that you can manifest better health and better wellness because I do think so much of it is, is in the mind and meditation and staying calm and focused and driven.

Kannaboom (25:00): Well, you are a trooper. That is an incredible story. I mean, my wife broke her neck last December and had spinal fusion and she was in ICU for three nights. So I can't imagine three months of that, but fortunately you got it out of the way before the COVID hoards.

Cheryl Shuman (25:19): Oh gosh, I can't even imagine. You know, it's so funny. Right, right before it was actually my first trip since, since I'd had the surgery and hadn't been able to travel, but I just remember when a lot of this stuff was going on. I was in Nepal at the moment and that was right when they had announced the COVID had, they weren't sure if it was China or Europe, but they were talking about shutting the airports down. And I looked around and I thought, if I don't leave Nepal right now, I will never be allowed to leave the country. And within a few days, that's what happened. They shut down all of the airports everywhere. And I I got stuck for two days in Qatar, but then they ended up being able to get us out, but it was something else. But I just remember, I remember there being in Nepal which was absolutely beautiful. And when everyone was, they came out not being able to travel and so forth. I was thinking, you guys should come to my hometown. It's beautiful too. I mean, we've got waterfalls and all this of stuff, you still travel within the continental United States. If we want to travel, let's explore the States, you know? Yeah,

Kannaboom (26:32): Yeah. You got 7,000 acres around you. That's not a bad place to be.

Cheryl Shuman (26:36): You want to know something, my ultimate goal, you know, I was, my elementary school was called Friendship Elementary and then right behind that was the Shawnee lodge in the forest and I'm part Shawnee. So what I would love to do is have a tourist or resort type entity here in the area that I grew up, that's completely cannabis friendly.

Kannaboom (27:00): Canna-Tourism, it's coming. Yeah.

Cheryl Shuman (27:03): As well. It should be very exciting to get further involved.

Kannaboom (27:09): You're painting a picture. You're like the poster child of cannabis as a therapeutic, it's helped you through as a painkiller and with cancer, you know, and you talked about how it helped with AIDS and everything. When is the stigma really gonna roll all the way back? Do we need more people to experience the healing power of this or with your experience in media and policy and stuff? How do we tell this story in a way where there's greater acceptance, less stigma?

Cheryl Shuman (27:37): Sure. Well, are you familiar with Jack Herer?

Kannaboom (27:41): Yes, of course. The Emperor Wears No Clothes.

Cheryl Shuman (27:44): Yes, yes, yes. So, so here's the thing. I am not an expert expert. Like he was at all. However, I did have the opportunity to meet him and I actually got some footage of him explaining to me how to pack his, his dual pipe for smoking. And one of the things that was funny is you know, he always had that book with him and I had bought two of them, but I, I, you know, with him sitting there, I didn't realize that he was going to be there. It was a going away party for Eddy Lepp. And so Jack says, 'Come over here and sit down.' And he starts to open up the book for me and he signed it to me and I said, 'Oh, I have two of those at home.' And he said, 'Well, did you ever read them?' And I said, 'No, I actually haven't.' He goes, 'Read this one.' He says, 'I want to teach you how to pack a pipe right now.' And then for the next, almost five hours, I sat there with him and he told me about the hundreds of different uses for hemp. You know, whether it be for fiber or fabric, you know I mean, just so many things, food. And when I saw what all could be done, I just couldn't believe that people around the world didn't know this stuff. It's like, how could we not have known? Why could they not tell us and see, that's the thing. I really think if people would open their minds and really learn more about these plants with cannabis and hemp, I think that the whole market would just break open. I think it would allow you know, the U S especially cause we have a great young growing system, but here's the other thing to really realize right now is cannabis, and hemp, is a global industry. People who think that it's just here, it's just there. No it's global. And I'm sure you and I go to a lot of the same events and stuff. And I've been a keynote speaker at universities and hospitals around the world. And I can tell you that this is a global, global business industry and people are realizing no matter what countries you're from. You know, I've got a project that I'm working on in Japan and Vietnam and Abu Dhabi and Qatar in Germany, in France, literally internationally. And then all of South America. And the bottom line is our people need jobs. They need jobs that they can be proud of. They need medicines and, and, and products that they can believe in. And we need to help rebuild our towns. We build our towns in America, specifically, a lot of these rust belts and farm belts where these farmers are making like a penny of bushel on and then they can't get paid. Even after that, it's ridiculous. We have an opportunity to not only save lives, but to save families and allow people to be able to hold their head up in pride again and have something that they can look at and say, we are growing the best cannabis or hemp in the world. And all of the different things that they're doing to save the world.

Kannaboom (30:46): Well said again, you know, I had a guest last week talking about cannabis cultivation and putting data and technology to work, to increase efficiency. And another previous guest Morris Beegle talked about everything hemp can do. He makes high-end hemp guitars, but there's hempcrete building material. It's paper. It's good for nutrition. The whole hemp side alone is enormous. And then there's the cannabis side. And I guess the stigma comes with the fact that there's a little bit of euphoria attached and that goes against our Puritan roots. But the fact is you don't have to get high if you don't want to, like those high-CBD strains you were talking about, you can get all the health benefits and get a slight decrease of anxiety. If, if that's all you want, it's not like you have to be stoned all the time. You know, harm reduction itself is huge. You mentioned opioids and this is an exit drug from that, which we desperately need.

Cheryl Shuman (31:43): Well, you know, something, I was, I was working with some families and, you know, as a mom, it really hit home with me. This one mother had contacted me through the internet and she had a 13-year old daughter and she had to have her wisdom teeth removed. So they took them out earlier than I guess they had expected to. But anyway the doctor had given this little girl opioids and she ended up addicted and on heroin and died. And it's a shame because, you know, one of the things that the mother said to me, she said, 'I just never expected that to happen to my child. You know?' And so education, I think is really a very key point. And whether people Republican or Democrats or independents or an international person, you know, one of the things I think we really have to do to start being honest with our families and the people that we love and educate everyone. And so everyone's on the same page and, and to look at better health aspects and learning how to take care of ourselves. You know, I remember again during that Katie Couric, Dr. Sanjay Gupta session, where he was so cute. Cause I had said, I had said, you know, if, 'If this product were discovered in the Amazon jungle, people would see it as a superfood or a miracle, a miracle cure." And he says, "I really like that. Could I use that?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, but you have to credit me.' But that, that was like the day that he decided to come forward and he started doing those weed projects. So that's when I started consulting on a lot of television work. I think television is an incredible tool. And also with outlets like Netflix and so forth and so on there's a tremendous opportunity for people to get really great content out there. And from a lot of the people that I've met in the industry, their personal stories are just incredible. They're inspirational. They, they give you hope.

Kannaboom (33:35): Right? Well in Dr. Gupta's you're right. I think the first special he did, he talked about Charlotte Figi in Colorado, and Dravet's Syndrome, which I think that was a tipping point for a lot of people. They went, 'Oh, this is legit medicine for epilepsy.' And then from there, it's OK, it's a legit medicine for PTSD. Maybe it's good for cancer. It just cracked open the door. So thank you for putting that seed in his mind.

Cheryl Shuman (34:03): Now he's a great guy and Katie's great too. I started working with Katie all the way back on the Today Show, I've been doing this for a long time, but that's really the key. And like I said, there were, you know, I have my haters of course, like why is she always the one on TV? It's look, I'm good at what I do, but I'm not the best in the world. The thing is, people just know me and they know that I'm a mom. They know that I have this personal experience. And, and I think they know that I have a pure heart. So a lot of these people who hate me, it's like they've never met me. They've never talked to me. They don't know me, but because someone they know hates me, who's also never met me or smoking.

Kannaboom (34:43): That's how it goes. Yeah. You were out ahead of it too, by a couple of decades. I mean, in the nineties, it was still sort of a lonely fight to be taking up.

Cheryl Shuman (34:52): Yeah. It's much easier. Now I had a funny experience with an event and, and it was funny as a little get together. It was a signing thing for me to meet some people. And a girl came up to me, it's like, 'Hi, I'm Barbie, how are you? I'm an expert in cannabis, who are you? What do you do?' And I said, 'Oh honey, I'm here for the gift bags.' And then she came up, 'I'm so sorry. I didn't realize this was your party.' I'm like, 'Don't worry about it. No problem.' If I just said, you know, for someone who can walk into an event, that's for influencers and so forth and not realize that your host is when you're talking to, who's been in the business for a little while, but I just thought it was really funny that all these new kids, I hate say to kids, these new kids are coming in and they don't realize that they were actually people here before, but it's okay.

Kannaboom (35:46): Yeah. That's how it goes. So given that long span of time and the progress you saw in where we are at this point, what excites you most about where we are with cannabis? Do you have any, any projects that you're working on that really excite you and overall the whole cultural landscape, what really excites you?

Cheryl Shuman (36:08): Well, the biggest thing for me is I, you know, I was a single mom and two marriages, two divorces, great guys. I just was too young and didn't know what I wanted in life. But I think that the thing that's really important for me. And I think for everyone to think about is as we're moving forward in this it's to really put everything that we can, as far as our energy and so forth into what we're all doing to make it, you know, make the world a better place. I remember the first time I met the Cohen family from Tikun Olam in Israel with Dr. Mechoulam and I don't speak Hebrew, not much anyway. And they said, 'Well, what do you think?' And I said, 'Well, what does Tikun Olam mean?' And they said, 'It means to heal the world.' And it sounds like such a simple thing that I had worked with Michael Jackson, years and years before. And he had, you know, the song to heal the world and everything. And it was just, I was thinking of some of the songs, you know, that, that really talked about this. And I thought, you know, this, this is, this is a movement, a plant, whatever you want to refer to it as that can not only heal the world's illnesses, it can truly heal our, our worldwide economies. And these are facts and there's already deals happening. Now, as we sit here, I was on the phone pretty much for the past 24 hours. And people are doing deals and, and, and having meetings with prime ministers and ministers of health and so forth. And that's, that's really where I am right now is not only, not only to work hand in hand with some of the top researchers and scientists and endocannabinoid experts and so forth and so on. But also to take a look at, you know, when people want to choose that as an alternative therapy to cancer treatment, or if people want to use it as an alternative therapy to COVID virus treatment or whatever that is. But also to, to have, in addition to the medical applications, into the wellness application, for example, if you enjoy cannabis just as something that helps you relax at the end of the day, that's a smarter alternative to, to alcohol or to tobacco. I think we should be able to do that, right. And if we want to use a vape pen out at a pool at a resort, I think we should be able to do that. If we want to have a vape pen or some kind of a terpene pairings or cannabis tastings at the dinner table, I think we should be able to do that. Those are the things because cannabis is a huge part of my life. I usually use cannabis in my smoothies when I'm, I'm, I'm doing my juicing every morning. So, and all of that, and I'm, I'm pretty much a plant diet type person. I don't really eat meat and haven't for a long, long, long, long time, especially it's, it's something. When I had my puppies, I couldn't eat meat anywhere. It's like, how could I look at those beautiful little faces, never eat anything that was an animal again. But I really see this eventually is turning into medical resorts down in Puerto Rico. We were working on that project and had gone into escrow on two hotels before the hurricanes went through. So there's, there's a tremendous amount of opportunities. And I think if we can, all at this point in time, especially start focusing on things that are positive in nature. I think that's what, what we can all do to heal the world.

Kannaboom (39:52): I think that's a great takeaway for all the listeners. Everyone is a little anxious right now about the pandemic and you know, this dark winter ahead, but the things that are going to save us might be local farming, medicine that's holistic and organic, you know, jobs that are good for the earth and hemp and cannabis deliver all that stuff. So it might really help us on the way out of this mess we're in.

Cheryl Shuman (40:15): I agree. I agree completely. Thank you. Well, I can't wait to hear this. I can't wait to meet you guys in person.

Kannaboom (40:23): Yeah. I'm in San Diego. One of these conferences when, when the world gets back up and running, we'll have to meet and love to meet you in person. I think all the stories you told, I think there's a book in there somewhere.

Cheryl Shuman (40:37): I'm actually working on a book. I, you know, I had Oh gosh, I got my book deal originally almost five years ago. And I signed with William Morris Endeavor. And that was I just, I kept telling him they're like, it sounds great. It sounds great. But at the end, my parents both died. Right. You know? And I said, I just could never finish it. I kept telling her, it's like, I gotta have this happy ending. And I believe that this is my happy ending to come back and be, and being able to do in my small part, not to save the world. Cause I'm not that big, but hopefully I can do something in my small hometown. That'll make a big difference with the people I grew up with. You know? So they'll, they'll have that dream ever me. And if I have any way to help anything else on a global scale, which I have from time to time, it'd be an honor to do that. Because again, I want my life to be able to stand something and I want my children to be proud of me.

Kannaboom (41:30): You know, I'm from a small town in Northern Michigan and something about turning 60. I'd lost both of my parents in the last 15 months. So, you know, in this country, you can stretch your adolescence out for decades, but finally you feel like you're an adult at 60...

Cheryl Shuman (41:49): This is true. I still feel like a kid. I went out and bought a new pair of bib overalls the other day. It's like going on the farm so much, it's going to be fun. But what I like I've had so many television offers and I've, I've had like six different offers. The problem was they always had this idea of what they wanted me to be. And this summer, like, I'm, I have my own video crew here and I want to tell what's really going on. Cause like these producers, they look at me like, 'Can't you be a little more giggly and bubbly' and all this. It's like, 'I'm going to be myself.' Okay. If you don't like it you're fired. But yeah, I think, I think it's a great time to be alive. And I think we're all going to get through this. I love it.

Kannaboom (42:30): Where should our listeners look for updates so they can see you when you're on TV and all that stuff.

Cheryl Shuman (42:36): Cherylshuman.com is the website. And all of my social media is at Cheryl Shuman, C H E R Y L S H U M A N. And shockingly enough, I actually do respond to my email and so forth.

Kannaboom (42:50): Well, thank you for responding to mine. I'm glad we got together. This has been really great. I know this episode will be well received because there's so much great stuff in it. So thank you so much, Cheryl.

Kannaboom (43:02): You've been listening to the Kannaboom Podcast with host Tom Stacey. If you like the show and want to know more, please check us out at Kannaboom with a Kcom and please leave us a review at Apple podcasts or wherever you listen, see you next week.