May 6, 2022

Flowers for Mother's Day: 9 Dutchie moms on what it's like working in cannabis

Lindsay Crafford
May 6, 2022

Despite significant advances in the movement to legalize cannabis, it remains misunderstood among a handful of demographics. One group that has traditionally shown reluctance towards the increasing accessibility to cannabis in society?


Parents—especially those who may not be fully knowledgeable on the history of the War on Drugs—often find themselves feeling understandably anxious about cannabis not only as it relates to their children, but their own health as well: What if my kid is offered cannabis before I have the chance to discuss it with them? What if I get too high and can’t respond to an emergency? What if…?

Fortunately, the tide is turning. Many moms have cozied up to the idea that cannabis is not, in fact, "the devil’s lettuce"; nor is it a gateway to the other five Schedule I substances. But most importantly, they’re learning that consuming cannabis (or making a living off it) doesn’t make them bad parents.

In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re celebrating those who are dismantling these misconceptions while helping to advance Dutchie's goal of creating safe and easy access to cannabis. So, we caught up with nine moms on the Dutchie Squad to spotlight their personal experiences in the industry. 

Below, they discuss the joys of parenthood, what they love about working at Dutchie, and explore how their careers are inspiring their children to forge their own unique paths in life.

As a working parent, what’s your favorite thing about Dutchie?

"The flexibility. I homeschool, and it's nice to know that I can login late on days that class runs late. That flexibility allows me to be there for my child when she needs me, without question. There is also a great resource group for parents. I don't get much opportunity to connect with other parents in my area, but we have a large pool of parents at Dutchie." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"The flexibility to handle parenting stuff." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"Working from home." — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"What Dutchie is doing by supporting the Last Prisoner Project to reunite families. Children don't deserve to miss their opportunity to learn from a parent." — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"The ability to be remote. I get to 'see' my kids even though I'm working." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise Customer Success Manager

"It’s a tie between the sense of community here at Dutchie that transcends the entire cannabis space; and our philosophies towards work-life integration and mental health." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"My baby girl breastfeeds only (she doesn’t take a bottle, oof!) Dutchie supports me taking time out of the day to breastfeed her, and I’m so grateful for this!" — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"My favorite thing is that my manager gets it. She understands that my kid might get sick, has baseball practice or might randomly pop up on Zoom with a Captain America suit on. She encourages me to take the time I need when it comes to my little one. You can't find that at many other places." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

"Dutchie really 'walks the walk' when it comes to creating work/life balance, which is so important as a single mom. Between our recharge days and regular yoga/meditation sessions, I'm able to take the time needed to detach from work and focus on myself and my family." — Lindsey Richardson, Sr. Manager, Payments

What do you love about being a parent? What excites you about your kids’ futures?

"Everything. Being a parent has challenged me in so many ways to be better.  I know for a fact I would not have grown this much in the last 4 years without being a mom.  I have more purpose than I realized was possible, and I constantly have a little buddy to hang out with. My little one is becoming more and more herself every day, and I am most excited to see who she turns out to be when she finds herself." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"I love seeing the people my kids are growing up to be!" — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"I love seeing life through their eyes, learning what they love, what inspires them, and what they dream of. I do my best to help them maximize those experiences. My youngest will probably become a commissioned artist. My oldest wants to make a living through writing or designing video games. "— Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"What I love about being a parent is the ability to teach my kids about life and also the fact that they have a piece of my heart. What excites me about each one of their future is to be able to do whatever they desire with confidence knowing that they can do whatever they love!" — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"Watching the world through their eyes, their endless questions which remind me of how much more I have to learn. Their ability to make everything better with a hug." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"Everything. No day is the same and there are endless ups, downs and surprises, so we’re constantly learning and growing with each other. Mostly excited to see my kids continue developing and create their own paths as they explore their world." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"I’m a new mom, so everything is pretty eventful, exciting, and new right now. My most favorite part has been watching her grow and evolve. So much changes with them in these early days and when I see her learn something new, she seems like a new baby. Like when she could all of a sudden hold her head up, she was a new baby to me." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"The thing I love the most is having a built in best friend. I could be biased, but the kid is pretty amazing. The thing that excites me the most about TJ's future is he's going to crush every goal he sets up for himself while loving and encouraging people along the way. The kid has a pretty big heart." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

"I read an article once about parenting being similar to gardening. You plant the seed and then have to regularly nurture it, give it space to expand, and have patience while it grows. I love seeing my daughter become her own unique person, while also seeing occasional glimpses of myself in her. Every year on her birthday I think, this is my favorite age yet, but somehow each year it's true." — Lindsey Richardson, Sr. Manager, Payments

How would you describe your job to a 5-year old?

"I help people learn how to use their computers so they can do their job without getting in trouble." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"I take all the money people pay to my company and put it where the company needs it." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"I help organize my team. I serve the team as both a coach and mentor." — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"I help my team help stores be able to sell fun and medicine to people." — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"Mommy is always on the phone making people happy. That's how my kids explain my job to others." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"I find people and give them jobs they love at the same company as me." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"I help grown-ups get their plant medicine." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"I'm on a team that helps supports all the teams in the company... kind of like being on The Avengers." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

"I've actually had to describe my job to my now six year old. I kept it to a simple, Mommy helps people pay for things at the store and makes sure that bad guys don't try to steal any money for now. Once she's a bit older, I plan to get into more detail about the cannabis aspect." — Lindsey Richardson, Sr. Manager, Payments

How do you describe your job (and/or Dutchie) to your kids?

"My daughter equates 'Dutchie' to 'party' since she has been involved in a lot of the fun gatherings and celebrations. We call them 'Dutchie parties' and she is all about it. She hasn't ever asked what I do, but if I could assume what she thinks, it is probably along the lines of, mommy talks to people all day and stares at her computer." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"I tell them that we help dispensaries run their stores so people can get the medicine they need easier." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"I lead a team that builds software to support the best in class cannabis catalog. Our primary customers are an internal team that build and maintain a catalog of cannabis products." — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"My company helps stores sell good fun stuff from a flower!" — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"I tell them I work for a company that helps people buy things that make them feel better." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"They’re too young to grasp it now. My son, Nash, thinks I play computer games all day." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"It’s a place where grownups can order their plant medicine online and get it delivered to their home." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"Mommy works for a company that's changing the way the world looks at certain things that help adults relax, focus or chill." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

If you consume cannabis, tell us what you like about it!

"My favorite strains are the ones that uplift me, or help me sleep.  I don't have any specifics, other than sour diesel.  It's a classic, and I love it.  I usually use concentrates, specifically RSO to help with insomnia, and pain from an old injury." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"I have complex PTSD, and cannabis helps me manage the anxiety symptoms." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"I originally used cannabis in my teens to manage stress and disconnect. As an adult, and when I’m not breastfeeding, I mainly use it for medicinal purposes for a back strain that flares up. It’s the only thing that helps besides muscle relaxers, which I try to avoid. My favorite is Theory Wellness’s 1:1 tech/CBD gummies." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"Being a mom has been hands down the best and hardest thing I’ve ever done. With it comes a lot of high highs and low lows, and sleepless nights! I’ve used cannabis to help me relax and let go. Sometimes, I just need something to take the edge off... and cannabis does that for me. And if I get my hands on MAC 1 by Evan’s Creek, I’m the happiest mama." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"I like that after a long day, it helps me wind down and just chill. It was a major help when I was studying for my PHR; my focus was on point. My go-to are edibles, they're super easy." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

How do you approach the topic of cannabis with your kids? Or, if you haven’t yet, how will you in the future?

"We call it 'medicine' in our house. She knows that I use it when something doesn't feel well, the same way that she takes medicine when she is hurt or sick. She understands that, just like her vitamins and medicines, she cannot touch them (only mommy can), and that it has a lot of benefits (which we will discuss the specifics of when she is older)." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"Most of my kids are old enough to have honest conversations with about cannabis and the way it's been demonized to further racist agendas." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"My partner uses medical cannabis for her fibromyalgia to help manage pain. I talk to them about why we buy my partner cannabis and how she uses it." — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"I have not approached them about the topic, but when I do, I would make sure to explain to them the different reasons why people use cannabis. I have my daughter who is ADHD and [cannabis] would be something that could help her when she is of age to consume. I'd also let them know there's nothing wrong about being curious about something new when they come of age." — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"I'm hoping by the time my kids ask, or are of age, it will be a time when cannabis is legal. This way, I can just read a book to them as I do with most sensitive topics." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"Not yet, but plan to in the future. My partner and I plan to be open about it; as in, it’s not for everyone, and there are safe ways to use/consume."— Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"I want them to know it’s a plant medicine that can help enhance peoples' lives." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"We haven't crossed that bridge yet, but when we do get there, I'm going to be transparent and 100% honest about it. I want him to hear it from me first, because what he might hear at school will end up being far from factual. I'll want him to understand the positives of cannabis and that it's not as bad as the world makes it out to be." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

As a parent working in the industry, what's something you wish more people understood about cannabis?

"The actual science behind what cannabis does and can do for people." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"My youngest struggles with depression and being on the spectrum. I wish there was more research and medical knowledge. There are strains made for children with little to no THC. An amount of medical states allow parents to purchase cannabis for their children for various reasons." — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"You are not a bad mom/dad because you consume cannabis. We have to have some outlet; being a parent 24/7 is the hardest job one will have... you have to keep a tiny human alive and teach them lessons. There's nothing wrong with consuming cannabis as a parent." — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"It's not taboo! You are not some gross drug addict. Basically any of the whispers associated with it. Pretty much everyone has consumed, or knows others who do... and would support it if it was legal." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"You can customize the impact based on your needs or wants. AKA, it affects everyone differently and there are so many different ways to smoke or consume cannabis." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"It's medicine!" — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"I wish they understood the positives that cannabis can help with. I've seen first hand how it helps with seizures due to Epilepsy." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

"I wish more people understood the many health benefits of cannabis, as well as the economic benefits of federal legalization." — Lindsey Richardson, Sr. Manager, Payments

Dutchie supports working moms by...

"Giving us freedom over our schedules, promoting work/life balance, and paying wages that allow us to support our families better than we could at other companies." — Riana Brandon, Implementation Strategist

"Allowing us the leeway we need to take care of our kids." — Liz Isome, Accounts Receivable Analyst

"Giving us flexibility in our day to take care of our kids (school drop off, doctor appointments, art therapy, etc.)" — Forest Handford, Engineering Manager

"Being flexible having an actual work/life balance. I'm thankful to work at a company like Dutchie!" — Allie Young, LLx Support Manager

"Allowing a flexible schedule. Being a mom is both the most rewarding and exhausting role, yet I wouldn't change it for a thing. Being a working mom with other working moms is the support we all need." — Melanie Nefzger, Enterprise CSM

"Having supporting policies and offering generous benefits like our parental leave policy." — Lizz Taggart, Lead Business Recruiter

"Giving them 14 weeks of parental leave and being very accommodating of working parents." — Duni Disston, Account Executive

"Understanding that things happen and we have to be there for our kids. Like, they might randomly hear a kid yelling they're starving in the background and they'll encourage you to [take a break]. I'm thankful to be working for company that understands what it means to be a working parent." — Tia McCline, Sr. People Generalist

"Encouraging time off as needed, and promoting mental health and self-care as top priorities." — Lindsey Richardson, Sr. Manager, Payments

About the author
Lindsay Crafford
Sr. Content Marketing Manager, Dutchie