Happy Mother’s Day, House of fire Club!
It’s no secret that pot culture is changing—in the past few years, we’ve watched with excitement as cannabis rocketed its way into the spotlight. It’s a far cry from what things looked like when we started 10 years ago, when most of what we loved was hidden in basements or pushed out of sight.
Fast forward to 2021, where stoners everywhere are pushing boundaries and speaking openly about the plant they love. Everyone’s smokin’—including your mom.
This Mother’s Day, we’re turning the spotlight to moms who have blended cannabis into their daily lives, whether through business, pleasure, or everything in between. Why do moms love weed? What do they think about how pot culture is changing? There’s no better way to understand than to ask them ourselves!
We’re interviewing three Smokin’ Moms with their own unique relationships to cannabis: the founder of Van Der Pop and cannabis entrepreneur April Pride, bestselling authors Nikita Stanley and Aleks Jassem, and new mom and influencer Lizzie, AKA “Tokuspokus.”
Let’s raise our joints, House of fire club: here’s to the trailblazing, barrier-breaking moms who are changing the face of pot culture.
The Rebel Mama
In 2014, Nikita and Aleks combined their talents and mutual distaste for the typical mommy rhetoric and created The Rebel Mama, “a mom blog for the rest of us.” Adored by cool moms the world over, the smart and edgy online publication creates a safe and judgement-free space that’s known for its celebration of both individuality and authenticity.
Hey there, Nikita and Aleks, and happy Mother’s Day! Your books, “The Rebel Mama’s Handbook for (Cool) Moms” and “Get Your $hit Together” empower women everywhere to take control and push boundaries. What would you say are the main messages of your books?
The main message is: You can do this! Our books are meant to empower women and mothers to advocate for themselves, hold onto their identities after kids, unapologetically parent on their own terms, and take control of their lives by way of financial literacy. We want to give moms all the tools they need to build a solid future for themselves and their children.
We see you inspiring women with your work, but what inspired you to start The Rebel Mama?
When we hit the motherhood scene back in 2014, there was nothing that spoke our language. Mommy groups were judgmental, parenting content was outdated (think stale gender role narratives and martyrdom galore), and books didn’t seem to be evolving with the times. There was no space for modern, smart, savvy urban moms (with no time for bullsh*t), so we created one! And in doing so, managed to build a modern village for all the moms who felt the same way we did: unpressed with the status quo and ready to change it.
There’s a lot of stigma out there around cannabis use, especially when it relates to families and motherhood. What would you say to other moms who are interested in using cannabis, and have you ever experienced any push-back against what you do?
Push back? No. At this point, people know that we make our own decisions by taking into account what works best for our personal and professional lives as well as our families. Cannabis is a part of that and we are not ashamed to acknowledge it. Also: moms like to get high too! And we don’t think there’s anything wrong with that (in moderation, of course – like anything else). What we’d say to other moms interested in using cannabis is go for it. Start low and go slow and if it’s other people’s opinions that are stopping you, consider that a “them problem” rather than a “you problem” and do whatever you want. Leave the guilt at the door. Always leave the guilt at the door.
What’s been your favourite part about your journey with The Rebel Mama?
Our favorite part has been growing and getting to know our community intimately. There really is no substitute for a village helping you raise your children – even if the village is virtual only (like it has been for the past year). The truth is no one knows what the hell they’re doing in this parenting gig, but what we know for sure is that we need community care to make it through in one piece. We’re so thankful we’ve been able to give that gift to ourselves and moms across North America and beyond.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
If you’re a mom and you’re apprehensive about trying pot because of that one unlucky stoner experience back in 1997, we are here to tell you that things have most definitely changed since then. Not only are you able to find and shop quality products based on your specific needs, you have so many ways of consuming them now. We would say, get yourself informed on what the cannabis landscape looks like now and what your options. A great place to start are some articles that we’ve recently published on therebelmama.com, c/o our official Cannabis Expert April Pride (founder of Van Der Pop and host of Do The Pot Podcast). Education is the foundation of empowerment so get out there and learn!
Follow Nikita & Aleks at @therebelmama on Instagram!
April Pride is an entrepreneur and founder of Van Der Pop, North America’s leading female-focused cannabis brand. An innovator and creative in the cannabis space, April led Van Der Pop’s move to Canada and to Canopy Growth, as well as co-founded Of Like Minds, a platform which advocates for women in cannabis.
Happy Mother’s Day, April! As both a mother and an entrepreneur in the cannabis world, how has cannabis changed your experience with parenting? When did your relationship with cannabis start?
In high school, I had an “ah ha” and “oh snap” moment rolled into one as the flood of childhood memories associated with “that smell” came to me at once. I didn’t inhale myself until first year of college but didn’t get high. The first time I inhaled and got high was after that first year when I was working a summer job in Seattle. The guys (always a guy at that point!) sourced BC Bud. I was super stoned and happy and slept like a rock. Fast forward 20 years later when cannabis became legal for adult use in WA state in 2014. I had stopped drinking but was open to alcohol alternatives to relax and socialize. It was during this year that I experienced cannabis in the absence of alcohol more regularly and was truly amazed by the super-power of patience it invoked so I could slow down to enjoy my ever growing children.
You spent time in architecture, fashion, and design before jumping into cannabis. What inspired you to focus on the cannabis world?
In 2016, little of the day’s cannabis-related merchandise reflected a woman’s style or spoke to her specific needs and how cannabis addresses these needs in a uniquely positive way. I am a designer by training and launched Van der Pop with the intention of creating accessories to store, smoke and share cannabis for the design minded. I also loved the idea of making the rules and breaking the rules at the same time.
However, my pioneering & rebellious spirit was quickly supplanted by a compulsion to advocate on behalf of women because what I very quickly found was the plant works with women’s bodies in very specific ways. However, unlike most topics, women cannot rely on trusted girlfriends to confirm, deny or detail specifics related to cannabis. To compound the confusion caused by limited reliable information, the needs of women have been overlooked by decision makers in pharma and healthcare. My work in cannabis is directed toward women and the content I create is intended to be explicitly relevant to the bodies and lives of women. I am also a businesswoman – and women are the fastest growing segment of the cannabis market and responsible for 85% of consumer spending!
What was it really like founding Van Der Pop? What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome?
Van der Pop was not focused on women at launch in Jan 2016, but we were within 3 months because I learned enough to know that women needed way more information to make decisions related to cannabis. They needed to know how weed could have a place in their lives, but due to stigma and shame, nobody could know about this part of women’s lives. Keep in mind, the Women’s March was in January 2017, so the cultural context was very different. The next year, 2018, everyone was putting CBD in their coffee. So although early fundraising as a woman with a weed brand was challenging, the fact is that Van der Pop became a top three brand at the world’s largest cannabis company within three years of its first investment.
What’s next for you? Any cool new projects or upcoming announcements we can get a hint on?
I’ve just ended my run as host of the podcast I co-created to establish Of Like Minds, an agency of cannabis, creativity, and conscience. We develop collaborative projects with women-founded cannabis brands and non-cannabis brands. The results are products and experiences sure to be benchmarks of modern cannabis culture. Launching in July is our first project The High Guide, a podcast and online resource that includes A-Z advice from experts in a variety of subjects who are also cannabis consumers. Definitely sign up for our newsletter at olminds.com to join on my next adventure.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
My mission, along with the mission of so many in this industry, is for consumers to understand the responsibility they have to help women founded businesses—and businesses founded by
people of color—increase their market share as bigger companies with bigger budgets and different values take a foothold in our industry. Know your farmer & your founder—it really matters so much! Take hold of the industry that’s being built.
Follow April at @aprilpride on Instagram!
Lizzie, AKA “Tokuspokus”
Canadian influencer, seasoned stoner, and new mom, Lizzie advocates for mothers everywhere using cannabis to help with the pressures of having a new baby. From her beautiful pictures to her relatable, positive messages, Lizzie shows us how modern and stylish cannabis can look.
Here’s to a hazy Mother’s Day, Lizzie! As a new mom, how has cannabis changed this exciting time in your life?
Thank you so much! I’m a seasoned “stoner,” but a new mom, and we had our baby during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cannabis has been a big part of my recovery from child-birth and dealing with the baby blues during a time where community support is short for moms. They say it takes a village to raise a child, but for me, it is a dispensary!
We’ve gotta say, you roll some of the prettiest joints around. What’s your favorite way to enjoy cannabis?
I’m actually a terrible roller, and only the best of the best get shown on Instagram! I enjoy my glass, so you’ll catch me with a bong when I’m at home.
With attitudes around cannabis changing across the country, more and more people are dipping their toes into the world of weed. What advice do you have for new moms about cannabis?
I always say to consume when the kids are down for the night and with a partner! Doesn’t have to be your spouse. It’s just better to have someone to laugh, munch out and watch a movie with until you’re comfortable enough to do the ritual yourself. It took me a few months to get back into the groove, too!
Weed is a big part of your life now, but everyone starts somewhere. What was your first experience with cannabis like? And what’s next in your journey?
I started smoking recreationally after I left high school. It was with a bunch of close friends and they gave me my first hit of the bong. It was love at first toke! My journey now is to normalize cannabis use for mothers just like wine has been. Breaking the stigma!
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
Moms who smoke weed are not bad moms!
Follow Lizzie at @tokuspokus on Instagram!