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Better Understand The Role Cannabis Can Play in Your Life

Better Understand The Role Cannabis Can Play in Your Life

Posted: February 13th, 2020



A Fresh Perspective With Sara Payan, Award-Winning Cannabis Educator, Speaker, and Public Policy Advocate

We are back with Garden Society’s Fresh Perspective series. This week we had the opportunity to sit down with Sara Payan, a nationally recognized and award-winning cannabis educator, speaker, public policy advocate, writer and consultant. She is also the Public Education Officer for the Apothecarium in San Francisco.

Her experience as a stage III colon cancer survivor and her civil rights background fueled her passion for creating safe access to cannabis through education and also inspired her to create a compassionate consulting training program for those in the medical cannabis industry and beyond. With over 14,000 hours of hands-on experiential medical cannabis patient research, Sara has consulted with many large healthcare organizations such as Kaiser and UCSF, to help them better understand the role cannabis can play in their patients’ lives.

Sara was named one of the 100+ most important women in cannabis for 2019 by the Green Market Report. Her work has been highlighted in MJ Lifestyle Magazine, San Francisco Chronicle, Dope Magazine, Cannabis Now, High Times, Ladybud, Cannabis Now, and in Damian Marley’s “Medication” series.


Thank you for joining us, Sara! You already know this, but we are huge fans. Thinking of all you have achieved as a female pioneering the cannabis space truly brings us joy. So with that, let’s dive in and hear what brings you joy?

Helping a cancer patient make it through the night without pain or nausea. Having a stimulating conversation with someone and learning something new through their lens of the world. Night walks in the city. Tea with friends. Cooking. Singing. My fiancée Jeff and our cat Jasper.

The joys of life big and small. Thank you that is such a good reminder that life can show beauty in unexpected times. As a business owner, what is it like to be a female leader in today’s climate?

It’s an exhilarating space. My trajectory has been very much directed by what I want to see in the world and my drive has helped me manifest what I want in my career. When mentoring other women I always remind them that the key to success depends largely on two things: believing in yourself and the art of the pivot. There’s a lot of truth in “Do what you love and the money will follow.” That doesn’t mean you’re not going to have to work for it.

We may need to book you for our next team retreat! We couldn’t agree more—Garden Society was created following a similar vision. What lessons did you learn from your mother, a mother-like figure, or notable woman in your life?

My mom is a woman who looks elegant in pearls and can also refinish your basement. She always told me I could be whatever I wanted, and to be true to myself. How to be confident in who I am and what I want. She taught me to never peak too early, to stay curious, and enjoy the hell out of life.

As we are trying to navigate this whole mom thing ourselves, your mom is very much the role model we would love to become—she sounds amazing. It’s clear her work paid off through your many successes! Could you share a valuable lesson or gift from girlfriends or a girlfriend (it’s ok to shout her name out here!)?

I’ve been blessed with an amazing group of supportive girlfriends. My best friend Jesse is a fierce creative force of nature with an enormous heart. She reminds me that kindness and compassion are strengths.

We all need a Jesse in our life! At the end of the day, what matters most to you?

Not to sound trite, but when I make a wish…it’s for my friends and family to be healthy and happy. There aren’t too many things that matter more.


Thank you so much for joining us today Sara. Your cannabis knowledge and advocacy is a gift to the many people looking to explore cannabis whether it be for medicinal or recreational use—thank you for walking side-by-side with us as we work to voice the countless benefits cannabis can bring to one’s daily life. For those of you in our audience who’d like to follow along you can follow @saramitrapayan on social instagram or visit her website.

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