This week, Imelda Walavalkar, the CEO of Pure Beauty explores the dichotomy between buying cannabis in the illicit market and her first time purchasing it legally. While a lot has changed since the days of meeting a delivery guy for a sketchy exchange in the passenger seat of a car, Imelda is thankful that transparency around growing practices is among these advancements. Press play to hear more about recent improvements in safety & testing, and how Imelda has incorporated these rigorous practices into Pure Beauty’s business as well.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 women in the U.S. have access to legal cannabis? This series is dedicated to women sharing their stories and empowering you in your own experiences buying cannabis.
Ellen Scanlon (00:00):
This podcast discusses cannabis, and is intended for audiences 21 and over. Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast demystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. One of the biggest misconceptions about shopping for legal weed is thinking that you need to know a lot about cannabis before you go. While you can’t forget your government-issued ID, and it will make it easier if you bring cash, as more states legalize, visiting a dispensary is a lot more like a regular shopping experience. This series is dedicated to providing you with the support system of other women who have been in your shoes. If you scroll through our podcast feed and look for first-time legal weed stories, you’ll hear from some really inspiring women from all across the country about the first time they bought legal cannabis.
Ellen Scanlon (00:57):
While these women offer a lot of helpful tips and really thoughtful observations, they’re not without a few mishaps and laughs along the way too. We hope these stories make you feel supported, less alone and a little lighthearted when you decide to make your first cannabis shopping trip. We want you to feel confident and most importantly, to have fun. We would love to hear your story. Just send a voice memo with your three to five minute story to email@example.com. That’s firstname.lastname@example.org. Imelda Walavalkar is the California-based CEO of the cannabis brand Pure Beauty.
Imelda Walavalkar (01:37):
The first time I bought legal weed, and I’ve been buying weed on the illicit and licensed market for a very long time. So, I think it was around 2013 or 2014-ish, and it was in San Diego, California. It’s interesting, because at that time it was pre-adult use. So, you had to get a medical prescription. So, I went to this office park in this random strip mall, and the doctor was online. I think I told him I had an insomnia and anxiety, which are both true, and he approved me, and I got an ID. But at that time in San Diego, they’d closed all the retail stores, so you could only get delivery, which was, I thought was really weird. I think it’s probably because San Diego’s tends to be very conservative around cannabis policies and stuff.
Imelda Walavalkar (02:27):
So, I think they were looking to more, not protecting the cannabis consumer, but more so like neighborhoods and areas that just didn’t want dispensaries in their areas. But basically, the way it worked, and I did this a lot of times in New York City as well, is you meet this like delivery guy in their car, which looking back, I can’t remember if it even crossed my mind that might be a sketchy thing to do, because you just like get in. Sometimes they even drive around the block and stuff. So, he just had like a bag of stuff, which was very different from the retail and delivery experience that you see today, especially in the more sophisticated markets. Then, so I got my, I think it was just some flower and some edibles. Then I think I smoked out of this vape pen after I made my purchase. Super casual. But what was interesting about that time in the medical market, which also applies to the illicit market today, is the lack of testing, compared to how rigorously we test things now for pesticides and heavy metals and mold and stuff like that.
Imelda Walavalkar (03:28):
It’s crazy, because I’m like very hardcore about what I put in my body. I go to the farmer’s market every week, and pay attention to how things are grown. That’s a philosophy we apply to our own brand, but I wasn’t even thinking at that time about where, how my weed was grown and I don’t think a lot of people were. I think that’s changing a little bit now, but I’ve seen a lot of grows since then. There’s so many that I’m like, I would never smoke any of this stuff, because people put a lot of crazy stuff in efforts to maximize their yields, or the look or the longevity of their flower. But I think at that time, you’re just, you were just like so grateful to be getting it, that you didn’t really question anything. But it’s interesting how the whole consumer experience has evolved, as adult use has been legalized and stuff. Looking back, I’m like, what was I doing or thinking? I’m like, he seems nice.
Ellen Scanlon (04:25):
Thanks for listening to this episode of How To Do The Pot. If you’d like to share your story about the first time you bought legal weed, please send a voice memo to email@example.com, or DM us at dothepot. For lots more information and past episodes visit dothepot.com. That’s also where you can sign up for How To Do The Pot’s newsletter, which comes out every other Friday. If you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It helps more people find the show. Thank you to our producers, Madi Fair, and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and stay tuned for more of How To Do The Pot.