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Life and Work with Janice Newell Bissex

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janice Newell Bissex.

Janice, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have had the opportunity to do a lot of interesting things in my career, including counseling cardiac patients, selling nutrition software, consulting to the U.S. Senate Restaurants and Boston Harbor Hotel and starting a 15-year business (Meal Makeover Moms) with a nutrition colleague to teach busy families how to eat a healthful diet. I’ve been a recipe developer, cookbook author, and consultant to the food industry.

My latest journey began in 2016 when my dad turned to medical marijuana after traditional treatment for his severe pain was ineffective and caused terrible side effects. The transition from debilitating pain en route to the medical marijuana dispensary to “Wow… I’m not in pain!” minutes after his first dose was astounding to me.

It was at that moment that I decided to change my career focus and pursue training and education on the science behind the health benefits of cannabis. One year later, I became certified as a holistic cannabis practitioner through the Holistic Cannabis Academy.

I started my business, Jannabis Wellness, to help clients who suffer from pain, anxiety, insomnia, autoimmune disorders, IBD/IBS, side effects from chemotherapy, seizure disorders, autism, Parkinson’s, MS, and many other ailments find relief using medical cannabis and CBD. My new passion is to reduce the stigma surrounding cannabis by educating others on its safe and legal use.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As with most people, I’ve had plenty of challenges and struggles throughout my career, including having to work for and with people that had differing/difficult styles and delving into new technology and practice areas that were so new that I had to figure things out and learn as I went! I’ve been fortunate to be able to work for myself for almost 30 years which gave me the flexibility to be at home with my children.

My advice to young women is to follow your passion and be open to new opportunities that come your way, even if they are not at all what you expected. My young self would never have imagined that I would have an office in the U.S. Capitol counseling Senators and training foodservice personnel, work for a decade at a luxury hotel in Boston, or write five books! Had I not been open to these new possibilities as they were presented, or thought that perhaps I was not qualified, I would have missed out on some great adventures.

Please tell us about Jannabis Wellness.
When I could not find a CBD/hemp oil that I was 100% confident in I decided to source my own phytocannabinoid-rich hemp products (organically-grown whole plant cannabis without the psychoactive THC). I sell soft gels, topical salve, and tinctures to my clients, and they have reported decreased pain, anxiety, insomnia, Parkinson’s symptoms, hot flashes, swelling of arthritic hands, and muscle aches.

I know a 22-year-old man with Crohn’s who says medical cannabis saved his life and allowed him to go to college and sleep through the night for the first time in years. I continue to be fascinated by the science behind the medicinal use of cannabis and find that my training as a nutritionist makes my background ideal to help people take control of their health with lifestyle changes and cannabis/CBD.

This past winter, in an effort to better serve my clients suffering from terminal illnesses, I completed an End of Life Doula certificate program at the University of Vermont. I’m proud of the support and services that I provide to my clients and spend countless hours communicating with them via email, phone, and in person to make sure that they feel supported in their journey towards wellness.

There’s a wealth of academic research that suggests that lack of mentors and networking opportunities for women has materially affected the number of women in leadership roles. Smart organizations and industry leaders are working to change this, but in the meantime, do you have any advice for finding a mentor and building a network?
Networking is one of the most important things an entrepreneur can do to build a successful business. Being involved and willing to help others and share your knowledge is key – and that goodwill will always come back to you. I’ve had student interns work with me over the past decade and it has been very rewarding. They teach me as much as I teach them!

I have been a mentor for a number of young dietitians. Finding a mentor is about connecting with someone whom you admire and asking for advice. It often ends up being a mutually beneficial relationship … it’s helpful if expectations are clear and everyone is respectful of the other’s time.

Volunteering time and talents is another perfect way to make connections – whether for a professional association or the community. It’s good for the volunteer and helps make the world a better place.

Pricing:

  • I sell phytocannabinoid-rich, organically grown hemp/CBD products that range in price from $52.00 tp $128.00.

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