Friday May 13, 2022
By Shirley Ju
Women business owners and fem presence are making an impact in the cannabis industry more and more everyday! We commemorate the vital role women have played through American history and how this is rolling over in taking a stance for equal opportunities within the thriving California’s marijuana scene. One such up-and-coming luminary is The Cannabis Cutie.
The Cannabis Cutie
Welcome The Cannabis Cutie, here to educate the masses about the power of cannabis, creating change and debunking myths we’ve all been programmed to believe. Based in California, real name Tammy Pettigrew is a cannabis advocate, educator, consultant and public speaker focusing on cannabis science, business, history, and spirituality.
Beyond her passion for the flower and its medicinal benefits, it’s her overall energy and aura that does not go unnoticed — and anyone who has the pleasure of crossing paths with her can attest.
Tammy’s goal is to educate the masses on how cannabis can be used to improve their life, all while helping those who aspire to enter the cannabis industry that has since expanded into a global scale. She states,
“I believe that if everyone knew the truth about cannabis — that our bodies were biologically engineered to receive this ancient plant — its stigma would no longer exist.”
And that’s exactly what The Cannabis Cutie stands for, breaking down the stigma and empowering individuals to remove the taboo surrounding cannabis. Going from being an NFL wife for 8 years to now building her own reputable platform and brand that serves so much more than what you see on social media, Tammy is a one-of-a-kind gem that I’ve had the absolute pleasure of befriending. Plus, she recently started her own show with the legendary Snoop Dogg on his GGN Network.
Interview with Tammy Pettigrew a.k.a. The Cannabis Cutie
PotGuide spoke with Tammy at Starbucks in Sherman Oaks to discuss how she got her start, trying weed for the first time in college, being an NFL wife for 8 seasons, how she came up with The Cannabis Cutie, the power in meditation, how Snoop Dogg reached out to her, fem presence in the industry, the power in education, starting her own book club, her Cannabis 101 course, and more!
[Shirley Ju]: Where are you from and how’d you get your start in all this?
[Tammy Pettigrew]: I’m originally from Oceanside, California, but moved to Oklahoma when I was 7, so I mostly grew up in Oklahoma City. How I got my start was in college after my first semester, I got a 0.8 GPA. [laughs]
[SJ]: 0.8?! Did you not care?
[TP]: It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was such a large transition from basically going to what would be considered the hood to an all white small college town. It was like culture shock. I also went to a school that didn’t prepare me for a division one university, so there were a lot of factors at play. Depression, not getting out of bed, so I got 0.8. The kid that lived on my floor though, that smelled like a pound of weed that everybody judged, made the honor roll. [laughs]
[SJ]: What college was this?
[TP]: Oklahoma State. He made the honor roll so that was what finally took my judgment away. “Alright, this can’t be so bad.” Second semester when I came back, that’s when I finally tried it. That’s when it was like “oh my gosh the D.A.R.E. program lied to me.” From that moment on, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it or shut up about it. That was it.
[SJ]: Were you smoking before that moment?
[TP]: No, I was not doing anything. I totally bought into the D.A.R.E. program, what everyone around me said. I didn’t drink or smoke up until college.
[SJ]: That’s crazy! How was your first experience smoking?
[TP]: My first experience smoking, I didn’t get high. But then a couple times after that, I did. It was fun. I had the munchies, I’d be coughing. I know my university tried to give me anxiety medicine. Because after I got that low GPA, I was on a scholarship which basically now I’m in a program.
[SJ]: What were you studying?
[TP]: I changed my major. At the time I was studying athletic training, but I changed to sports management which was more of a business major. My school gave me Xanax, and I couldn’t remember anything when I’d take It. I kept smoking weed and supplemented my income. [laughs] With the Xanax, like a broken college student.
[SJ]: When did you fall in love with the healing part of cannabis?
[TP]: Gosh so in my past life, I was an NFL wife for 8 seasons. You move to a new city for a dream, you know no one. I’m not on the field but whatever is being said in the media about my husband is affecting me. It’s affecting my family. For me, that’s when I really started to incorporate cannabis as wellness. Because I had two kids, so being a mom, being away from family…
[SJ]: 8 years?!
[TP]: 8 years. 8 seasons. Dealing with all of that is when I really understood the health benefits of cannabis. Further, I figured it out, for my ex-husband too, as therapeutic.
[SJ]: I had Ricky Williams on my show Shirley’s Temple, it’s just crazy how shunned cannabis was in the NFL. Were there any issues with that?
[TP]: Oh my gosh yeah. It was very well-known that I was a pothead. If you were assigned a seat next to me at a game, you may leave high. [laughs] It was definitely not something that would be out and about. The whole concept of The Cannabis Cutie when I did come out, shocked so many people.
[TP]: I never consumed as a minor. Back in my neighborhood, everybody’s like “what?!” In college, it wasn’t super loud. And in the NFL, you had to keep shush because of your husband's image.
[SJ]: Talk about the creation of @thecannabiscutie, it’s SO fitting for you.
[TP]: So you did interview Ricky Williams and he did mention I did a reading with him. Full circle, he’s doing this reading and he says “yeah you have all of these planets in your second house. You never think you’re smart enough, you never think you’re pretty enough. You never think you have enough money, you never think you have enough information. Da-da-da.” I’m like oh my gosh, he’s right! Because I do want to do cannabis, but I’m too scared to do it.
[SJ]: Don’t tell me he helped you find The Cannabis Cutie!
[TP]: Yes. He told me that I needed to meditate. I went to meditate and I heard it, like “Cannabis Cutie, Cannabis Cutie.” I heard nothing else. I’d never lead with that because for me, I never wanted to use what I looked like to get me ahead. I’m always very much about “you’re going to hear me before you see me.” It was like no, I can embrace the fact that I’m attractive. Finally, you’re 31. Stop with this humbleness and really own it. So yeah, it was having a conversation with Ricky Williams.
[SJ]: Talk about how meditation helps you with this cannabis relationship.
[TP]: Oh man, meditating is everything. My life became a whirlwind. It was this idea in making videos in my car to now, I’m working with the person to work with in cannabis, in the world. Meditating helped calm the noise. Sometimes you’re really intimidated, sometimes you’re really scared and you have to be able to push past that. That’s getting out of your head. Meditating is not gonna stop the noise, but at least you’re just watching it and not letting it affect you or judging yourself. Or jumping into that thought and making your day worse.
[SJ]: Definitely want to get into how the Snoop situation happened!
[TP]: I was actually doing an Instagram Live for a cannabis media company and I saw that messages from Snoop Dogg were coming in. I assumed it was their account, because I was doing the Live from their account. When I looked at my other phone, it was to me, The Cannabis Cutie. I opened it like oh my God, Snoop commented on my last educational video, then DMed me about working on cannabis initiatives. Which was a phone call a couple days later, which parlayed into a meeting. That meeting was the planning of the beginning of what we were going to do together.
[SJ]: Can you talk about the show and what the goal is?
[TP]: Basically what they’re doing is bringing back GGN, Snoop’s Double G News Network. We’ve shot 6 episodes, then I come in. Each episode I have my own segment. What that’ll do is get his audience familiar with me and we’d spin off like The Jeffersons into a cannabis education show.
[SJ]: What are some of the topics you guys cover?
[TP]: Ooh, everything. We’ll talk about how your body has receptors to receive that cannabis plant, like a lock and a key. We’ll talk about how runner’s high is not endorphins, it’s your body‘s version of THC. We’ll talk about sports and cannabis, which I actually do have a sports and cannabis podcast coming. We’ll talk about social equity. We’ll talk about the history, which is so important. Anything you can think of, we’re going to address it.
[SJ]: What have you learned working with Snoop?
[TP]: Working with Snoop, I’ve learned that you cannot care what other people think. That is why Snoop is able to be who he is. He does not care what anybody thinks, he’s going to be himself unapologetically and you take it or you leave it. That’s that. It’s so inspiring to work with somebody that embodies that fully.
[SJ]: Did you ever think you’d be having your own show with Snoop Dogg?
[TP]: Never ever did I think that. [laughs] I know in college when I started smoking weed, “oh I want to smoke a blunt with Snoop,” but I never thought he’d be my mentor. It’s very fitting I think.
[SJ]: I’m guessing you can keep up?
[TP]: Oh yeah, for sure. Yes. Whenever pictures come out and I look super high, they’re like “oh he out smoked her.” No he didn’t! I have more receptors, I’m a woman. [laughs] We have more receptors. We have a uterus and that’s where the majority of the cannabis receptors live, which is probably why doctors can’t figure that organ out. We’re not addressing the real estate.
[SJ]: How did you educate yourself so much on cannabis?
[TP]: Oh man, books, courses, doctors, conferences — all self-funded. I said “I’m going to go find this information. I got to hear some of the best doctors in the world speak, then full circle I got to speak at their conferences or moderate. I’ve met some of the best cannabologists in the world, who I get to work with. It’s been surreal.
[SJ]: I know you have your own book club too.
[TP]: Oh man, The Cannabis Book Club! During Covid, everybody was at home and we were all picking up bad habits. We weren’t working out as much, eating as good, our sleep was everywhere. Our drug and alcohol intake was up. I wanted to help people create a good habit, so I made a book club with my friends. I’m like “no, we need to do this for cannabis.” So I did it for cannabis and it’s been so much fun. Watching my students become advocates and educators across the country has been so fun to watch.
[SJ]: Is there a book you’d recommend?
[SJ]: As Women's History Month just passed, we'd love to get your input on fem presence in the industry.
[TP]: I don’t feel like there’s enough. This industry has become a boys club. Women aren’t taken seriously, they really have to demand respect. I don’t feel like it should be that way. Women are creative, this is a female plant and we connect to it in such a different way. Our perspective is so valuable. The biggest demographic of shoppers that’s coming up is heavily women, especially Gen Z women. I’m sorry but men cannot figure that out, you need women in proper positions. It’s really disappointing to see women's involvement decrease year after year, but I’m really hoping something sparks a change.
[SJ]: Why do you think that is happening?
[TP]: I think men are used to dominating everything. They only work together, they only find one another and take meetings with one another. They only buy into each other’s ideas. When a woman comes to the table with a brilliant idea, they may not want to hear it or they may not feel like she’s strong enough.
They may not feel like she’s emotional, which is crazy because anger is an emotion. Men are emotional. [laughs] It’s a lot of old ways of thinking, but I hope in the next 5 years that that tide turns back into an increase in leadership amongst women in the industry.
[SJ]: What are the challenges of cannabis education?
[TP]: One, getting over the propaganda that our government has been pumping for the last 80 years. That the church has been pumping out. Also getting people to wrap their heads around the fact that being high is not a negative thing. It’s literally created by nature, it’s not going to damage your brain. Now if you want to talk about brain damage, alcohol, but people don’t have a problem with that.
I guess wrapping people’s mind around there’s nothing evil about getting high. It is actually therapeutic in some cases. It’s really complex so breaking it down in an easy way has been a big part of the problem. That’s why I created my platform, the information that was out there was too complex. It’s science and a lot of Americans, a lot of people don’t have science degrees. It’s really difficult for a scientist to communicate in layman's terms, so that’s what I did. I saw the complexity.
[SJ]: How does the lack of education impact the cannabis industry?
[TP]: Oh man, it helps the propagandists do their jobs. When they see people are in ERs more and more today because of cannabis, oh the brain damage and doctors putting out false information about “this is what your brain looks like on weed over time,” it’s Big Pharma. It funds a lot of this country, there’s a lot of interest.
Beyond Big Pharma, there’s the prison-industrial complex. There’s people who work for the prison industrial complex. There are the suppliers for the people who make the uniforms, the weapons for the officers who are there. There’s so much at stake if cannabis becomes legalized, it’s a big [deal].
[SJ]: There are people still locked up for weed, how does that make you feel?
[TP]: It pisses me off. The same people who locked them up for weed are the same people who are making money in this industry now. It’s not fair, you don’t get to profit off of both in the backend, then tell somebody who went to jail for drugs that they can’t participate in a legal drug industry. No, they should be there first. They took the risk first. I don’t like it, I think it’s dumb. If a state has legalized cannabis, let the people who are in jail out of jail.
Not even that, expunge their records because even if you do let them out, they have to check a box every time they apply for a job. They are discriminated against. Where they get housing, they can’t get loans for a house. They can’t get loans for school, and a lot of people don’t want to hire them. They can go back to jail if they can’t get a job or if they’re homeless. With all of this working against them, it’s a big “we don’t want you to participate in society because you’ve done a drug once in your life.” It’s ridiculous.
[SJ]: How often do you smoke?
[TP]: Daily at least. At least 3 times a day.
[SJ]: Any particular strains?
[TP]: Yes, I like OG. OGs are really good for my ADHD, it helps me focus. It’s a nice balanced calm and also a creative energy.
[SJ]: How much does the flower help you creatively?
[TP]: The flower helps me tremendously when it comes to creativity. Just because sometimes you had a wall up or maybe you had a bad day, there’s some kind of block. When you allow the cannabis plant to open you, then you’re able to see beyond and think outside the box.
[SJ]: Being a mother, how do you explain to your kids what you do?
[TP]: I explained it to them during COVID. We were growing herbs, fruits and other things in the backyard. I grew my own weed that year. They helped with all of the seeds, germinating and planting. I asked them what was so evil about what we did, they were like “nothing.”
I had to explain to them “when you get to school, there’s going to be a police officer that will tell you all kinds of crazy things about this plant, but you watched it grow with water and sun and that was it.” Whatever they say, just know it’s not true. I explained everything the best that I could. I also told them not to correct the police officer. [laughs] Don’t do that.
[SJ]: Where do you see the future of cannabis?
[TP]: I see the future of cannabis as female. Unfortunately, I see us recognizing it as an agricultural product, and maybe the industry disappears as a whole. Because we don’t do this to tomatoes. [laughs] We don’t. Once everybody realizes it’s just a plant, hopefully we grow it and treat it as such. It’s no longer this red-taped industry where we’re pimping out this plant for our financial gain.
[SJ]: Talk about your Cannabis 101 course.
[TP]: Yes! I’m about to re-film it so it’ll be a masterclass. Cannabis 101 basics in history, basics in plant biology, basics in the endocannabinoid system. Terpenes, cannabinoids, enough to get you dangerous. If you want to be in this industry or you want to understand this industry, it’s a course that’s very affordable and it’s also something that is easy to understand. It’s self-paced.
[SJ]: Anything else we could look out for?
[TP]: So many projects on the horizon, I’m just being patient as we wait for them to kick off. It’s going to be beautiful. It’s going to be a very beautiful year.
Thanks for talking with us Cannabis Cutie! We look forward to seeing what you tackle next!
Let us know what you think about The Cannabis Cutie's most recent endeavors in the comments below!
Photo Credit: The Cannabis Cutie