Nothing is that legitimate unless there's a book about it for dummies. My dad learned how to coach Little League basketball and install Windows 97 thanks to the triangle-headed nerd who's been on the cover of nearly 2,500 different self-help guides, aiding millions of readers. Now, the Dummies franchise has decided that cannabis is too big to avoid, bringing in former Native Roots executive Kim Casey to author a book about the plant.
The onetime communications director for Colorado's largest dispensary chain has experience in the cannabis industry and with its constantly changing laws that few can rival, and she puts that experience to good use in her newly published Cannabis for Dummies. We caught up with Casey to learn more about the book, including which dummies will find it most helpful.
Westword: Is this part of the real Dummies franchise?
Kim Casey: Yes, this is the real Dummies series from Wiley [Publishing], which has a long history of educational content around the world. The book is written in the traditional Dummies format and language, with lists and step-by-step directions to help readers gain knowledge, expertise and comfort with the subject. It certainly says a lot about how cannabis has arrived in the mainstream for a publisher and series with this type of reputation to enter the world of cannabis. This should also be reassuring to readers who may be interested in learning about cannabis but are still wary about the subject.
How do you get approved as an expert to write one of these? Is there some sort of test, or...?
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As the former communications manager for Native Roots dispensary, one of the larger cannabis businesses in North America, I accumulated the in-depth insight and day-to-day knowledge of the business along with the help of many other experts in the industry to share this information on cannabis. Writing a comprehensive book was a test all on its own.
What experiences around cannabis did you draw from while writing this book?
As part of the corporate team leading the operations of a vertically integrated cannabis business, I was immersed in all aspects, including public affairs and politics, retail and supply-chain operations, cannabis growth and products development, finance and banking, and industry challenges as well as national and international expansion efforts. Since my role required finding answers for many press contacts about the business and the cannabis industry as a whole, I was able to write about many of those aspects and provide answers for readers who were curious about those same areas.
Several of the subject matter experts in cannabis who are thanked in the book helped ensure that the information was accurate and complete so that readers can feel confident they are learning vetted information without undue bias. While we are generally supportive of cannabis consumption, we don't shy away from controversial subjects or make unfounded claims.
Is this book for dummies trying to learn about using cannabis, growing cannabis, or something else?
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There is something for everyone in Cannabis for Dummies. The book is written in Dummies fashion, so that information on a specific area such as consumption methods or how to grow your own is easily accessible without needing to read it cover to cover. It's written to support a full range of cannabis explorers, from complete novices who may be hearing about cannabis in the news and social media but are nervous about giving it a try, all the way to those interested in growing.
Experts may find they learn new information in an area of cannabis they were unfamiliar with, such as the challenges of the industry or the business needs behind opening a dispensary. In addition, the book explains the foundations of the plant and its uses, as well as how to purchase products safely and legally, guiding a brand-new consumer through the steps to feel knowledgeable and comfortable in a cannabis world that might seem intimidating to the outsider.
Why do you think the world needs this book at this point in time?
Cannabis use and acceptance is growing, but many myths and a wealth of misinformation run rampant. By sharing accurate information through such a well-respected series, perhaps we can begin to dispel some of those inaccuracies and take away a bit of the fear of exploration for new consumers and businesses. In my own life, I've experienced questions about cannabis from people who are curious about the subject but afraid to search out the facts for fear of discovery. My hope is that members of the cannabis community can also use this book to introduce the subject to others who have an unfounded bias — a great gift for the canna-curious in your life.