This week we hang out with Mandy, the creator and founder of Jane Dope, a website about weed, the women who love it, and what it all means for our society. This website will teach you the beautiful things to know about what cannabis can do for our health, our economy, and our planet.
Tell us about yourself, what’s your story? How did you come up with the idea for Jane Dope?
I’m Mandy, a copywriter and blogger from the Detroit area. I’ve been working freelance for 10 years, but it wasn’t until about 2 years ago that I started working for the cannabis industry. I had spent years reading about cannabis and following the industry on a personal level – my husband got his medical marijuana card for arthritis, and I was pleased to discover that it helped me with my headaches and gastrointestinal problems. One day while browsing writing gigs on Upwork I decided to type “cannabis” in the search bar to see if any jobs came up. There were way more than I expected, so I applied to a few and landed a copywriting job the next day. It was a big “why did it take me so long to do this?” moment because I realized could actually make use of all my new weed knowledge while doing what I love and helping companies that I believed were doing something amazing for society.
The idea for Jane Dope was… kind of a light bulb moment as well. While looking for writing jobs it seemed like everyday a new dudebro stoner blog was popping up by a serial entrepreneur offering virtually no pay to write clickbait viral content. It was frustrating and discouraging, to say the least. When I looked at some of their websites I thought “I could do this better because I actually care about this industry’s future, I know how to blog, and I know what I’m talking about.” I knew that I wanted to write about cannabis in a way that catered to women, but didn’t necessarily want it to be about me, which is why I named it Jane Dope. My goal is to publish daily content that provides realistic, accurate information about cannabis and how it impacts our health and society while elevating the voices of other women through interviews and guest posts.
How often to you blog and where do you get your inspiration?
I blog on a very sporadic and intuitive basis. This drives the motivated business woman side of me absolutely crazy because I’d love to publish something everyday, but I think my writing is better when I allow myself to exercise these freedoms with my own projects. Sometimes I’ll be very motivated to write about something and have a blog post 90% done in 30 minutes, but I won’t touch it again until I come up with the perfect ending in the shower 3 months later. I spent years fighting this but I’m learning to trust the process and go with it to see what happens.
I am inspired by so many things, but right now I’d say my biggest inspiration is the positive intrigue when people discover that I write for the cannabis industry. I used to be hesitant to say I write about weed, especially because I live in the Midwest where people are not always known for being “open-minded.” But in the last few weeks I’ve had conversations where people I wouldn’t expect to ever think of cannabis in a positive light were asking all sorts of questions and seemed like they really wanted to know more. Maybe it’s because our state will be voting for recreational in a few months and they figure it’s inevitable anyway, or maybe it’s because I look more like a baby woodland creature than whatever pot smoker stereotype image they have in their head, which makes what I say more digestible to them. Whatever it is, it hit me that if I want to work in this space and contribute meaningful content, I have a responsibility to share my knowledge and use my privilege in a constructive manner that speaks to more than just people who already think like me.
You Etsy shop is darling! What are you most popular products?
Thank you! The “wanna smoke? alpaca bowl” mug is a big hit, and so are the “not pot” makeup bags. I’m working on making some fun smell-proof bags.
You also offer a variety of services around copywriting and editing. What types of brands do you look for to use your services?
I get excited to write for almost anyone in the industry, but especially women who are starting small businesses and need help nailing down a brand voice and message.
What were some of the things that you learned unexpectedly since starting Jane Dope? Have there been any challenges that you’ve had to overcome?
I’m learning to sniff out the difference between someone starting a company with the intention of contributing something positive to an industry they believe in versus a brand that’s started by someone trying to exploit the CBD trend and lack of regulations/labeling requirements. If anything, working in cannabis has made me more skeptical of new products until I see lab results.
As far as challenges I’ve been pretty lucky, but that probably has to do with the fact that I work on the internet, I’m not trying to sell anything that could be considered paraphernalia or a controlled substance, and I’m using all the same skills I’ve been using for the last 10+ years. The main difference is that I cannot advertise Jane Dope as loosely as I could a non-cannabis site, which is annoying, but at least I don’t have to worry about an ad budget!
How did you get introduced to cannabis, and is it a part of your everyday life?
I had never tried cannabis until my early 20s. For a long time I had no interest, but once I tried it with a friend I really enjoyed the deeper connections I felt like I was having with people and the world around me. My husband and I both consume almost daily now, and so do most of our friends. In a way I think cannabis has helped me find “my people”. Growing up in a small rural midwestern town, I was surrounded by peers whose idea of a good time was running over mailboxes and getting piss drunk off Natty Light. Can’t relate. Pot introduced me to more people who have a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world, who enjoy deep conversations and understand (or at least appreciate) my weird sense of humor.
Where are you located? What’s the weed scene like there?
I’m in Detroit, Michigan. Right now we have medical marihuana (they like to spell it with an H here) so there isn’t much of a scene yet, per se, but recreational cannabis will be on the midterm ballot this November. Fortunately I live in one of the most liberal cities in the state where everyone and their mother has a stash and a couple plants, so it already feels very normalized in my metro Detroit community. The rest of Michigan (or as we like to call it, Michissippi), is another story. The further north you go, the more you feel like you’re in the south, so I really don’t know what the scene will be like outside of the metro Detroit area once we have recreational weed since it’s so… red.
If it doesn’t pass my husband and I always talk about moving out west, but that’s easier said than done when the cost of living is so low here. Plus, this newly red state needs more activists so I feel some sort of obligation to stick around and be the change (and vote).
Do you have a favorite cannabis related story or memory?
Oh man, I have many that are probably funny to absolutely no one except whoever was there at the time! Seriously though, some of the best memories I have involve long hikes with friends, finding a spot to string up our hammocks, and passing around a pipe. Nature + Cannabis + Hammock = Heaven.
How can you be reached?