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INspired INsider Podcast

INspiredINsider Show with Dr. Jeremy Weisz features interviews with successful entrepreneurs, Ecommerce founders, & visionary leaders.

Leaders reveal deeply personal stories and explore the tough journey, big challenges, and mistakes that they overcame to achieve success.

You will find inspiring stories from: Founders of Atari, Baby Einstein, P90X, Einstein Bagels, Skymall, and many more.

Thank you for listening from your host of Dr. Jeremy Weisz. Go to for Full Video episodes. 

Sep 19, 2019

Wanda James is the founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary. Along with her husband Scott Durrah, they became the first African Americans, legally licensed in America, to own a dispensary, a cultivation facility and an edible company. As a leading advocate in the cannabis industry, Wanda’s political and entrepreneurial work on cannabis reform has led to her being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times magazine in 2018, one of the 2016 Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry, and has been featured in numerous shows including The BBC, Democracy Now,The Atlantic,, MSNBC, Smile Jamaica, ViceLand, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CBS Sunday Morning Holiday Special, “Eat, Drink and be Merry” and CNBC’s Marijuana USA.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn: 

  • [2:45] Jeremy welcomes his guest, Wanda James. 
  • [4:40] Wanda talks about cannabis and the history of slave labor in the US. 
  • [15:00] What was Wanda’s childhood like? 
  • [18:45] Why did Wanda join the armed service? 
  • [22:00] The decision to open up a cannabis dispensary. 
  • [26:30] Security measures that Wanda and her team take. 
  • [29:30] Writing the rules for edibles. What are the most popular products? 
  • [34:15] The most surprising uses for cannabis. 
  • [38:00] The joys and challenges of working with your spouse. 
  • [42:50] Common misconceptions for THC and CBD. 
  • [48:30] Future plans for Simply Pure and closing thoughts from Wanda. 

In this episode…

What does the social justice movement have to do with cannabis? Do THC and CBD really have all the benefits that many advocates list? How does someone even get started in the cannabis industry? On this episode of Inspired Insider, you’ll hear from business leader and entrepreneur Wanda James. In her conversation with Jeremy, Wanda opens up about her childhood, what she learned from her brother’s experience in prison, why she decided to get involved in the cannabis industry, challenges she has faced along the way, and much more. You’ll want to pay close attention to this fascinating episode featuring Wanda’s story! 

Can you imagine what it would be like to learn that your long lost sibling was just released from prison? What type of thoughts would be going through your head at that moment? Would you be worried about outbursts of violence? As it turns out, thousands of Americans have been locked up for years for merely possessing a certain amount of cannabis at the time of their arrest. When Wanda James learned this was part of her brother’s story - she was filled with rage. Instead of letting her anger drive her to a negative place - she decided to harness that anger and turn it toward social justice. Today, Wanda is a champion and advocate for criminal justice reform and full legalization of cannabis across the nation. 

When you look back on your childhood, what stands out? Do you remember all the things you had and special treats you received or do you remember the way you felt and the people who you grew up around? While you might think that children grow up with an acute sense of their family’s financial situation - the truth is - many never notice until adulthood. Wanda James remembers calling up her father while she was attending college to complain that she never realized that they were poor. Wanda’s father quickly corrected her and explained that they were often “Broke”, but they weren’t poor - poor is a mindset. Did you have a similar experience to Wanda’s childhood? How did you respond when you realized the financial situation of your family growing up? 

Why would someone change gears and go from a successful career in the business world and restaurant industry and decide to work in an industry that the federal government still considers “Illegal.” To many, Wanda and her husband, Scott’s affinity for cannabis can as a surprise, and they were quickly warned that this foray into cannabis would destroy their career. Thankfully, the naysayers were wrong - Wanda and Scott’s businesses increased and expanded due to cannabis legalization in Colorado. Leveraging their experience as uses and advocates of cannabis, Scott and Wanda enjoy a loyal following as they continue the effort to see cannabis legalized nationwide. Make sure to check out the link to Simply Pure located in the resources section at the end of this post!

Resources Mentioned on this episode

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