Deloise L. Vaden of Better Baked, LLC
The future of cannabis is female! December is DOPE Magazine’s Women’s Issue, and we wanted to continue to highlight women across the industry on all our platforms. We sent a questionnaire to outstanding women in cannabis—some familiar to us, some new—and will be showcasing their answers in individual blogs this month. Check out our December Mag for more profiles of the badass women you need to know!
Today’s story highlights Deloise L. Vaden, Co-owner and COO of Better Baked, LLC.
Q: Who are some of your greatest role models?
A: Harriet Tubman, American Abolitionist; my mother and grandmother; Oprah, American Media Proprietor; Fredrick Douglas, American Social Reformer and Abolitionist; Ralph Lauren, American Fashion Designer; and Paul Prudhomme, American Celebrity Chef.
Q: What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
A: Staying above the curve, dealing with the continually increasing industry fees, the task of having good products that are priced appropriately so dispensaries and customers will purchase them. For example, we introduced Hot and BBQ sauces in March of this year. We were delighted to have introduced the sauces into the market before anybody did—no other MIP (Manufactured Infused Products, aka edibles manufacturer) has the product in the state of Colorado at this time. We are continually looking for ways to increase our bottom line. The hustle never stops!!!
Q: What’s something someone would never guess about you?
A: That I truly HATE texting.
Q: What’s your go-to self-care routine?
A: Having a massage, Tai Chi and curling up on a sofa by a fireplace reading a good book.
Q: Favorite “guilty pleasure”?
A: Butter Pecan Ice Cream and Dark Chocolate.
Q: Where do you see your career/business headed in five years? Twenty?
A: It’s unclear at this point, with the changes that have been made by the MED (Marijuana Enforcement Division) to allow MIP’S to manufacture products for other companies to bring to market. It is believed that edibles will become one the hottest products consumed in the next five years. So crossing states lines will become a focus for Better Baked Edibles. Licensing in other states will be a direction that will be at the top of our list starting in 2018, as well as consulting to help others contemplating opening a MIP. Twenty years from now, who knows?
Q: How do you feel about the industry-wide assertion that cannabis is a female-friendly space?
A: It is slowly starting to happen as more women enter the industry as executives and owners. Furthermore, it’s clear women are starting to find their place as we join together to offer advice and help to each other. Stand back and watch us roar!
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I had couple of careers I thought I would choose from. The first was a fashion designer—I made a good portion of my clothes when I was growing up, I really loved to sew. Another profession was a chef; not only did I love to sew, but cooking was also a passion of mine and I continue to do both today. In 2001, while in Paris, I began making handbags. D’Va Baggs and Unique Accessories was started. I received recognition in Sew News Magazine—they featured my new-style handbags. I closed D’Va Baggs to go into the cannabis business in 2009.
Q: If you could talk to yourself five years ago, what advice would you give?
A: With what I know now, I would advise myself to continue making handbags! However, there was no way to gauge the marijuana industry because it was new and untapped, and in so many ways it made it an exciting new venture. For that reason, I would probably make the same decisions again today.
Q: What advice do you have for other women looking to get into the cannabis space?
A: Check to see if there is some place where you can use your skills. Become familiar with how marijuana businesses work. There are many areas where women can work to get a better understanding of the industry.
Q: Recommend a book, album, and movie you think everyone should read/listen to/watch while stoned!
A: Book: John Grisham, The Associate. Album: Tina Turner, Simply the Best. Movie: Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity series.
Q: Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
A: It comes from a quote from Harriet Tubman: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.”
Q: What’s your favorite cannabis product? (And you can’t list one of your own, if you’re a grower/producer!)
A: With all the different cannabis products out there today, I prefer to simply use flower.
Q: What’s the one thing you would bring if you were stranded on a desert island?
A: Enough flower for exploring the desert island, and to help pass the time.
Q: What do you hope for the future of the cannabis industry?
A: I personally would like to see cannabis removed as a Schedule I drug. With regards to MIP business, I would like to see a standalone Manufactured Infused Products company be allowed to sell directly to the public!
Q: Fill in the blank: I could never live without ________
A: Great food!
Q: What do you think needs to happen before we achieve federal legalization of cannabis?
A: More success stories for the uses of cannabis, as well as more research that the medical industry supports. More reviews written by doctors, and more patients providing proof of their results through the use of cannabis.