A pregnant woman at a dispensary? Kelley Bruce has been there.
Ms. Bruce’s pregnancies were not what some would call “easy.” Every pregnancy is unique, but Kelley was suffering. During her first pregnancy, she was diagnosed with Carbamoyl phosphate synthetase I deficiency (CPS). Her second pregnancy brought with it severe morning sickness. Ms. Bruce visited various dispensaries hoping to find relief. Which she did, but not without also finding out about the biases people have against a pregnant woman open to medicating with cannabis.
Driven by the discrimination she felt for seeking cannabis as a source of relief from her symptoms, Kelley realized that a safe space was needed; something had to be done. Ms. Bruce’s husband had been cultivating cannabis for years, providing the perfect entry point into the market and the first step toward the change Kelley aimed to facilitate.
“Something needed to be done. More than a brand, more than just providing beautiful products, we needed to create a way to use the money generated from the sale of the cannabis to support communities: mothers specifically, families really.”
Motivated by her desire to support communities and foster open dialogue, Kelley founded Cannamommy.org. Topics on the site range from how to talk to your friends and family about cannabis to how to navigate its presence in the home with children. “We personally refer to cannabis in our home as ‘medicine,’ so that’s really just it; we don’t make [it] a big deal. If we’re using flower, we smoke outside and not near them, but not in a hiding manner.”
As both medical and recreational cannabis are becoming legal in many states, the issues at hand are not only domestic; cannabis is becoming big business, and women should not be left out.
“My main concern is the loss of rights. Women already fight so hard for the right to consume and speak and use…we really need to help and empower women to get licenses, start businesses, and claim their political [space] as CEO’s.”
Kelley speaks from a perspective gained from the culmination of her experiences, as someone struggling to access treatment, an entrepreneur, and an advocate. Ms. Bruce regards legalization with concern and a resistance to being forced into the margins of society.