Earlier this year, we announced the 2021 Momentum Class, welcoming underrepresented cannabis business founders chosen from an impressive national pool of 250 applicants to our business accelerator. One of this year’s winners is Nina Parks, the founder of Gift of Doja. Learn all about her journey, her music recommendations, and her advice for women in our latest interview:
Let’s start with the basics. Who are you, where are you from, and what’s your connection to the cannabis industry?
My name is Nina Parks, born and raised in Ramaytush Ohlone territory aka San Francisco, California. I was born to a Filipino Immigrant mother from Concepcion, Tarlac in the Philippines, and an Ashkenazi Jewish father from Queens, New York. I’m an artist that uses multiple mediums such as photography, video, martial arts and plant medicine to express, explore and uplift stories of the human condition. I am currently best known for my activism in innovating cannabis social equity programs and resources, helping to cofound the following organizations: Supernova Women, Original Equity Group SPC, The Equity Trade Network and the Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition.
My most recent and favorite art project to date is the development of a cannabis brand called Gift of Doja, through this medium I am able to express what I love about the cannabis plant, the terroir it’s grown in and the cultivators that grow it through the lens of a small business owner that also happens to be a woman and a cannabis equity applicant.
What does cannabis mean to you?
To me cannabis means relief and a shift in perspective, it also means a resource to aide in liberation. Its cultivation process is similar to the journey of divine feminine energy.
How did you originally get involved in the cannabis space?
I originally dipped into the cannabis space as a consumer that used to chief an 1/8th a day while learning how to photoshop and final cut pro and making origami crane earrings, smoking big blunts while giving people tarot card reading in the smoking section of night clubs in SF. Then when my brother got caught up for a cannabis charge in NY, I was like ‘fuck this’, and promised my brother that i’d take his vision and run with it so when he got out he wouldn’t miss out on the industry. I fought for the preservation of delivery because Prop 64 didn’t include the business model. So, I organized with delivery owners all over California to fight for a bifurcation of the definition of retail.
He got out and took over his business again called Mirage Medicinal which rolled out as a delivery service and then I began my own journey to carve out my own vision for the space hosting Full and New Moon Cannabis infused yoga events.
What’s unique about your product? Anything first, strongest, only, most?
I source based on terpene story and with LITivities in mind and my packaging has interactive space to be used for intentions setting and manifesting your own magic.
What do you want women specifically to know about you and/or your product?
I want women to know that they can manifest their dreams.
Who or what inspired you to start your brand?
My imagination and the amazing cannabis plant.
What challenges have you faced in the cannabis industry?
Overregulation, overregulation (yes 2x), bad legislation created by people with draconian sensibilities, high barriers to entry despite equity programs, sexism, classism, my lack of tolerance for traditional capitalistic structures, the destruction of the co-ops and collectives.
If you could smoke one with any historical figure alive or dead who would it be?
Edgar Villanueva author of “Decolonizing Wealth”
What top 3 songs would you suggest someone listen to while using your products?
Best Shot- Rocky Rivera (w/video directed by Been Milky)
Best Friend- Saweetie & Doja Cat
What movie/show do you recommend people watch while using your products?