A local educator and marijuana advocate is hosting the San Diego premiere of Mary Janes: The Women of Weed, an award-winning documentary about the women making waves in today’s cannabis industry.

Pattie Harris, a retired teacher and autism consultant, has lived in San Diego since 2000. She’s also been dealing with diabetes for decades.

“I’ve been diabetic my whole life,” says Pattie, “and I’ve struggled with my health because of that. In 2011, I was on so many pain medications, I decided to try cannabis to see if it could help. It took a lot of trial and error, and I made a lot of mistakes because I didn’t have anybody to help me. I realized I couldn’t smoke it, because I coughed a lot, and I didn’t like vaping. Then I came upon edibles. They worked for me, but because most edibles at dispensaries are sugary, I can’t have them. So I learned to make my own infused butter and oils, and I’ve cooked with those ever since.”

Pattie retired in 2016, but even after 36 years of teaching, she realized her role as an educator wasn’t quite complete.

Patty Cakes

“I discovered there’s a need for people to be educated about cannabis to break down the stereotypes the general public has had for the past century,” she says. “People are scared for a lot of different reasons, and there’s as many reasons for them to be afraid as there are strains. So I started going to different meetings in San Diego to find some way I could get involved with the cannabis industry. And since I’d learned so much and made so many mistakes, a year ago I started my company, Pattie Cakes, LLC, to teach people and do educational events.”

The first of these events is a screening of Mary Janes: The Women of Weed on Thursday, May 24th at the Bankers Hill Club near downtown San Diego. In this independent, award-winning documentary, director Windy Borman interviews a broad range of women leading the industry today, and she explores the movement to end marijuana prohibition and the stereotypes surrounding it.

“The theme is about empowering women to take control of their lives,” says Pattie, “and I feel like cannabis has done that for me. Not that I didn’t have control before, but now I have better control over my health, and I’ve been able to make a career for myself outside of the classroom.”

“The theme is about empowering women to take control of their lives,”  says Pattie, “and I feel like cannabis has done that for me.

The gala event will be emceed by KFMB radio host Joe Vecchio and will feature an after-hours party where guests can interface with several local cannabis professionals including many prominent women in the industry.

‘We’ll have a panel of 12 to 15 women from San Diego who work in the cannabis industry,” says Pattie. “They’ll be presented to the audience and interviewed briefly, so people have a chance to understand what they do. And after the movie’s over, we’ll have a separate room where the women will go be able to talk to people who’ve attended the movie and answer any questions. We’re trying to break down stereotypes and help people understand that cannabis is not scary, and the typical stoner isn’t who you think it is.”

This exciting event marks a soft launch for Pattie Cakes. In July, Pattie will officially debut her business by hosting a cannabis and autism symposium, bringing together professionals from both fields for panel discussions and a presentation to help people understand the benefit of using cannabis to treat autism.

Don’t Wait to purchase your tickets!

The event is expected to sell out so purchase your tickets to Pattie Cakes’ screening of Mary Janes on Thursday, May 24 at the Bankers Hill Club in uptown San Diego.  And if you’re interested in learning more about any aspect of cannabis, Pattie has developed several 60-minute lessons built around topics such as Cannabis 101, Cannabis & Autism, and Cannabis & PTSD. For details, email [email protected] or call 619-786-3156.