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Meet Noelle Livas of Meowy Jane in Maine

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noelle Livas.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Noelle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I got started growing medical marijuana about 6 years ago with my now husband, Joe. It was a really new concept in our state at the time, not a lot of people were doing it and cultivation of cannabis was still seen as rather taboo. I was actually working as a nanny and in school finishing up my degree in psychology when Joe, who was an accountant at the time, proposed the idea of cultivating medical cannabis. He was unhappy working a desk job, and I didn’t have any real plans to pursue my degree. We both wanted something different, something that allowed us to work together and for ourselves. But I’m not going to lie, I was very nervous about it at first, haha, you could even say, I DIDN’T WANT to start growing. I’m very much a risk averse person, and even though it was legal to grow medically in our state with a license, I couldn’t get comfortable with the idea. Over time, I eased my way in little by little, growing more comfortable and more in love with my days spent in the garden. But it was HARD. We had to learn everything from scratch, as there were (and still are) so few reliable resources for information in our field. Through lots of trial and error and research of our own, it started to feel natural, and therapeutic. Once we had our first harvest, it really sealed the deal. We started providing our medicine to our patients, and started seeing all the benefits of the plant. From cancer, to glaucoma, to PTSD, our hard work served an amazing purpose. It REALLY changed people’s lives.

Has it been a smooth road?
The whole thing has been a struggle. It has been the opposite of a smooth road, and I can’t emphasise that enough. Initially, there was a struggle in the trade itself, learning how to grow high quality product in an industry where there has been little to no research or information published. Then there is the constant and extremely stressful issue of legality. The laws are always changing these days, it seems like every month there is a new regulation, rule, or interpretation arising that we need to make sure we are compliant with. This can make operating day to day discouraging and full of uncertainty. Maine actually voted in Adult Use Cannabis over a year ago, but our governor vetoed the bill, so there is yet to be rules put in place to allow residents to purchase, or for cultivators to sell in this market. Not only is this confusing for cultivators, but it has also become an issue for Mainers who want to purchase cannabis. They don’t understand why they can’t legally purchase product anywhere when technically recreational cannabis is legal; in order words, you can legally possess marijuana, but you can’t legally buy it anywhere without a medical card. I get SO many phone calls daily from locals who want to buy our product and I have to turn 90% of them down because they don’t have their medical marijuana recommendation. The number of medical patients is plummeting as a result of this conundrum; why spend $200 and go through the hassle of getting a medical card when recreational marijuana is “legal”? The state also regulates how we run our business, so Joe and I are only allowed to hire two employees between both of us. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though. There seems to be a very strong trend in the country towards legalization and acceptance, I just hope it continues, and quickly.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Meowy Jane story. Tell us more about the business.
Well, we grow Medical Marijuana and provide to medical marijuana patients in the state of Maine. We currently specialize in flower and extracts. One of the things that sets us apart, I believe, is our current method of growing. We use LED’s in our garden, which is not as common in the industry. The LED’s have been a bit of a learning curve, but in the end, I believe they have given us higher quality results in that our bud is more potent, dense and stronger smelling.

As a company, Joe and I believe in being as honest as possible. There can be a lot of negativity in the industry, and we believe we can combat some of that by being kind, transparent and consistent.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
Thinking about where our industry is headed over the next 5-10 years is exciting. I think the wave of legalization is unstoppable. Sure, there will be some road blocks along the way, people who don’t support the change or still see cannabis as dangerous. But already, while I was answering these questions, the Maine House and Senate overturned Governor LePage’s veto of the Recreational bill, which means in the next coming months, rules will finally be put into place. They will begin licensing and the market for recreational cannabis will finally start forming in an (hopefully) organized and legitimate fashion!

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