Podium Diva, Kandy, On Cannabis, Cancer, and Family
Anyone who’s been into our Guide Meridian store has likely met our greeter, Kandy — lovingly known by the 2020 Solutions team as the “Podium Diva.” She’s the quintessential loving grandma, whose comforting, friendly vibe has helped make 2020 Solutions the welcoming place it’s become.
What most people don’t know is that Kandy is a stage-3 lung cancer survivor. Once nearly at the brink of death, she endured the agony of chemotherapy, pushed through, and painfully, slowly, healed her body. Now, six years later, she’s cancer-free, cannabis-friendly, and working in a satisfying, engaging position as a greeter for 2020 Solutions.
How did you find yourself working in the cannabis industry?
“I was retired (because of the cancer) and living with my daughter. I wanted a job, but didn’t know what to do. I’m friends with Troy [the owner of 2020 Solutions], and he offered me a job. I said ‘I don’t know how to sell that stuff!’ but he said all I had to do was greet people and make them feel welcome. I could work any days I wanted and make my own schedule. That’s how it started.”
If you don’t mind, can you tell us about your cancer experience?
“I’m a 6-year cancer survivor. I had stage-3 lung cancer. They were treating me for bronchitis and I asked for a chest x-ray. That’s when they discovered the cancer. I did four rounds of chemotherapy.”
Did you use cannabis to help cope with the chemo?
“No. I wasn’t aware of it then. I wish I had been, though. I’ve heard so many stories — and met people — who use cannabis for the pain and nausea, and to help with appetite. I didn’t get into using cannabis until later, after I started working here.”
So, what do you use cannabis for and what types of cannabis do you prefer?
“I gravitate toward edibles. I was on anti-anxiety meds, but now I only vape and do edibles. I learned about some different consumption methods through word of mouth and just started experimenting with different products until I found what works for me.”
And how about the high — do you like to get stoned? Do you dab?
“[Laughing] No, I don’t do any of that. I don’t like to get high-high. I want to feel like maybe I’ve had a couple of cocktails.”
What would you say to people who are on the fence about cannabis or still have a negative connotation about it?
“My family doesn’t get it. My sister is 72 and has pancreatic cancer, and I would love for her to try cannabis, but she just won’t understand. My family calls it the gateway drug. But I call it the gateway out. Out of pain and misery and being hooked on pharmaceuticals. I tell people how cannabis has helped me, and that nobody’s ever died from using it.”
Kandy is loved by her regulars and the 2020 Solutions family. If you see her at the Guide, she’ll take your ID, greet you with a smile, and set you up with one of our expert budtenders.
Now you know a bit about her and a little more about 2020 Solutions — making you part of the family!
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Bellingham Area Locations: 2018 Iron Street Bellingham, WA 98225 Open: Mon-Sat 8am-11:45pm, Sun 9am-10pm 5655 Guide Meridian Bellingham, WA 98226 Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10pm, Sun 9am-10pm 4770 Pacific Highway Bellingham, WA 98226 Open: Mon-Sat 8am-10:00pm, Sun 9am-9pm Phone: (360) 734-2020 Ephrata:
1615 SW Basin Ephrata, WA 98823 Open: Mon-Sat 8am-9pm, Sun 9am-8pm Phone: (877) 934-2020