Being able to assist patients was overwhelmingly beautiful to me
After years of experience at dispensaries, engaging with patients suffering from HIV/AIDS and cancer, Jessica Peters had seen the healing qualities of cannabis first hand. Still, it wasn’t until she experienced her own recovery from Endometriosis that she decided to found her own company: Moxie Meds. Now she’s making menstrual cannabis medicines for women, by women.
‘When I moved to the Bay Area in 2010, I starting working at what was known as the Market Street Cooperative, formerly ACT UP!, an organization that was radical about their approach to medical cannabis as a component for addressing HIV/AIDS. The patient base at Market Street Cooperative existed of mostly “dire needs” medical patients. There was a huge number of people who were HIV positive or had AIDS and a huge number of patients that were homeless or on a very low-income. I think it was one of the best facilities for medical cannabis that existed at the time. The experience of being able to assist patients was overwhelmingly beautiful to me. It was a direct act of service that I had never experienced before and I still haven't experienced anything else like it.’
Sadly, ACT UP! was forced to shut down due to its proximity to a daycare, a devastating experience to Jessica. ‘The school was an international daycare that only operated in the early morning. They literally opened and closed for the day before we even opened for business. When we had to shut our doors, it crushed my soul in a way.’
It wasn’t until almost a year later that Jessica reentered the cannabis market. ‘I read an article about the first pediatric patients at Harborside Health Center and I just felt I needed to participate in it. I began working there and during that time I rapidly absorbed the increase in information that was available to me and I had the unique experience of engaging with pediatric patients and their parents.’
Apart from pediatric patients, Jessica also worked with adult cancer patients. ‘John Trudell was a patient of mine. He was a Native justice activist and artist in the U.S. and a childhood hero of mine. I saw him speak when I was probably fourteen years old and fell in love with him as an activist, as a human being. When I was the CBD Specialist at Harborside I began engaging with him as a patient. He was given a very short amount of time in terms of his prognosis, but according to him cannabis absolutely extended both the length and quality of his life. To be with him through those last few years has had a level of meaning for me that can barely be described with words.’
All these experiences with cannabis as medicine humbled Jessica, still, it wasn’t until she personal experienced her own recovery due to CBD treatment, that she decided to form her own company. ‘When CBD flowers first started arriving in our dispensary at ACT UP! patients with HIV/AIDS and Tourette's syndrome began to request them. At that time, we didn’t yet understand why CBD worked for them but I started seriously looking into it. When I began to notice a difference in my Endometriosis, a reproductive disease that had taken 10 years to be properly diagnosed and an unbelievable volume of procedures without the disease actually being treated, that’s when I decided to start my own. My endometriosis became a-symptomatic. This disease that had caused me so much pain for so long, was literally gone. That’s when I knew I had to make something for other women suffering from menstrual problems. At the time there were none and I felt it had to be done, so I did it. My products are for women, by women - and good for everyone. Over approximately 40% of our patients are male. What is heartwarming about it is that men are both responding very consciously and supportively. They understand that the medications can work for any human body and that it’s a positive that we are female oriented and supportive of women as patients and in the cannabis industry.’
Want to know more? Check out: Moxie Meds