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Melissa Etheridge

Hall of Fame: Melissa Etheridge
PHOTO Elizabeth Miranda

In The Magazine

Melissa Etheridge

The breast cancer survivor and Grammy-award-winning singer/songwriter attributes cannabis to opening her conscientiousness when writing music.

Melissa Etheridge is clear about her mission to help reduce the social stigma associated with cannabis. The Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter is no stranger to activism, having been a loud and proud LGBTQ+ community activist since coming out publicly in 1993. 

Etheridge has been smoking weed recreationally since she was 21 but didn’t discover the drug had medicinal properties until 2004 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent a lumpectomy, five rounds of chemo and radiation over the following year. Close friend David Crosby suggested she try cannabis as a medicinal aid to the adverse physiological effects of her chemotherapy. It helped alleviate her symptoms, and her perspective on the drug was forever changed. Etheridge has been breast cancer-free for close to two decades and credits her current good health, in part, to cannabis.

Etheridge is a vocal advocate of cannabis and is very open with her kids about using it. In 2017, Etheridge was featured in two documentaries: Weed & The American Family and Mary Janes: The Women Of Weed. Both feature Etheridge talking about her openness to talking about cannabis and smoking it with her two eldest children.

Etheridge entered the cannabis industry in 2014 when she collaborated with Lisa Molynieux, proprietor of Greenway Compassionate Relief Inc. in Santa Cruz, CA, to create Canna Wine, which they legally had to refer to as a cannabis-infused tincture. The tincture was only available in California to those who held a medical prescription.

In 2019, Etheridge co-founded Etheridge Botanicals with her wife Linda Wallem and two friends in Santa Cruz. The business received Santa Cruz County’s first non-retail cannabis license, allowing it to produce and sell its products out of a 6,000-square-foot facility in Soquel. 

Rooted firmly in the legacy compassionate cannabis movement of California, Etheridge Farms offers a robust lineup of products, including vape pens, tinctures, ointments and boutique flower—all made from sun-grown cannabis. Like the superstar herself, Etheridge Farms wants to change the perception of cannabis for first-time cannabis users, particularly middle-aged women.

Etheridge attributes cannabis to opening her conscientiousness when writing music and wants to invigorate social change to make people more comfortable consuming cannabis products.

This story was originally published in the print edition of Cannabis Now.

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