Jane's Domain: Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself

I became Jane West to prove that I could change my life in a monumental way. I realized that I was the person holding me back from seeking out the bigger and better. 

Jane is my nom de plume of pot, adopted because I needed to take a leap out of my former professional career. That I did, head first.

Three years ago I was a corporate event producer, living and raising a family in Denver. In 2013 I created a 420-friendly startup, Edible Events, while keeping my day job. The two parts of my working life remained separate until Feb. 26, 2014, when I appeared in a CNBC documentary on legal marijuana. My boss saw the show — and me — and the next day asked me to make a choice. I could keep my day job, or I could become “Jane West” of Edible Events. 

I chose Jane. 

That’s not to say this change came without difficulty. I’ve experienced more than my share of doubt, fear, and indecision. At times I’ve struggled with the feeling that I was in way over my head. But as I worked through the struggles, I found that Jane West was stronger, smarter and more powerful than the person I had been. Finding the real Jane allowed me to leave behind the parts of my life that were just adequate in favor of the inspirational and the extraordinary.

As a result, at the age of 40, my past two years have been full of these firsts: 

  • I met Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren and hosted fundraisers for ColoradoCongressman Jared Polis and Congresswoman Dina Titus.  
  • I lobbied in Washington, D.C. (and a year later brought 78 women from 16 states with me).
  • I was the defendant in a criminal courtroom. Five times. 
  • I got fired from a job for the first time in my life.
  • My parents permanently moved to the state of Colorado.
  • My husband changed jobs.
  • I wrote the foreword to a published book.
  • I used Twitter, HootSuite, MailChimp, Squarespace, WordPress, Vine, Vimeo, WuFoo, Streak, Zappier, Instagram, Snapchat, Trello, Slack, and Buffer for the first time.
  • I now know that marijuana is safer than alcohol
  • My kids and I watched a story about myself on the NBC Nightly News.
  • I wrote my first hashtag, and now #byoc is a thing.
  • I stopped watching TV.
  • I started sleeping fewer than six hours a night.
  • I produced a concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre funded by the cannabis industry showcasing the musicians of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra
  • I raised more than $200,000 for not-for-profit organizations.
  • I missed irreplaceable moments, days and weeks of my kids’ lives.
  • I stayed in four of New York’s swankiest hotels and spoke at an event on Madison Avenue with New York state Sen. Diane Savino.
  • I flew to Boston for a private party at a castle.
  • I ate lunch on the rooftop of the Soho House while people dipped in the pool on a hot August afternoon.
  • I stopped my five-times-a-week yoga routine.
  • I appeared on every major news network, with over 2,000 exclusive articles and mentions. 
  • I almost drove off the road when I heard on NPR, “The Colorado Symphony Orchestra combines cannabis and classical music on a high note in Colorado. I’m Neal Conan and this isTalk of the Nation.”
  • I celebrated my sons’ fourth and sixth birthdays.
  • I had an entire chapter of Weed the People, published by Time, written about my events. It was titled “Classically Cannabis”.
  • I was the “talent” at a four-hour editorial photo shoot.
  • I celebrated my 38th and 39th birthdays.
  • I had the best sex in my entire marriage.
  • I utilized lysergic acid diethylamide.
  • I celebrated my tenth wedding anniversary.
  • I smoked a blunt with Snoop Dogg and a few joints with Willie and Annie Nelson.  
  • I have put on more makeup than I have in the past five years combined.
  • I was way too nice to people who didn’t deserve it.
  • I didn’t thank my parents enough. 
  • I started wearing heels on weekdays.
  • I lost a passport, multiple drivers licenses, two pairs of prescription glasses, and two Wi-Fi boxes.
  • I was in something called a “sizzle reel,” and it wasn’t pretty.
  • I paid over $500 in parking tickets.
  • I consumed more cannabis on a weekly basis than ever before in my life.
  • I wore fake eyelashes. Six times. 
  • I founded an international professional networking organization for the future leaders of the cannabis industry, Women Grow.

The entire time I was completely me.