She is the co-founder of her own cannabis company, Aunt Zelda’s, but just a few short years ago, Mara Gordon was happily retired after a successful career in the dot-com world.
For her, there was no financial motive to enter the cannabis industry, as so many others have done, drawn in by the allure of dollar signs.
Instead, her decision to enter and ultimately serve as a pioneer in the cannabis industry had a much more personal motivation.
“My husband and I are both chronic pain patients,” Mara tells Green Flower.
She suffered a back injury and bacterial meningitis, which left her with severe damage to her spine.
“I was on a fentanyl patch,” she explains, referring to the notoriously addictive opioid. “And at least 26 pharmaceuticals.”
The final straw, however, came when it was clear that her husband badly needed surgery on his back, and doctors warned that without it, he would find himself in a wheelchair.
A sober alcoholic, he refused to take opioids for fear of relapsing, and at this point, Mara and her husband began researching alternative medicine.
“We did some research and found that cannabis was being used for pain control. He did a test to see if cannabis would trigger the phenomenon of craving and it didn’t!”
Although she is now a highly-respected figure in the cannabis world, she laughs at her naiveté at the time. “It cracks me up to think about it now, but I didn’t know anyone in California who grew cannabis. Well, people I knew were growing, but I didn’t know they were growing.”