“Cannabis allowed me to make friends.” Madessa Warren – Northwest Leaf Budtender of the Month
4033 NE Sunset Boulevard Renton, WA
You’re a superstar. How did that happen?
I was just born that way [laughs]. Actually, it took a lot of humbling over time and learning to grow in confidence in how I display myself to the world. After going through a lot of struggles, I felt like I found my face.
What were some of those struggles?
Bipolar disorder and severely bad depression, on top of numerous health problems. I have a stomach disease that causes blood poisoning from the gut which is very painful, as well as a couple incurable diseases that try to keep me down – but I don’t let that represent my life and how I treat people.
How did Cannabis come into your life?
After being diagnosed, I was put on about 20 prescriptions that were slowly killing me. And then one day I couldn’t take it any longer, so I threw away the pills. I was only 17, pretty young. So, I tried Cannabis – sorry Mom and Dad – and I noticed that it improved my health and my life. I became a PERSON that could show people I had emotion and personality, instead of just moping around with a sad look on my face. Cannabis allowed me to make friends.
You used the word confidence. Where do you draw it from?
Well, I used to have a lot as a kid. I was a ballerina – I’ve sung for the president at my school in Fort Polk, Louisiana.
Obama? No, Bush, sadly. But I’m good at academics. And I take a lot of pride in my ability to break barriers. A lot of people tell me that they love my look and I’m not afraid to present myself in a different way, because deep down I love it, too. I also draw confidence from my culture. I really love the African culture. There are still a lot of people in America who are scared to be black and I think it’s sad, because people are going to see you for who you are anyway, so why hide that? People are gonna say what they wanna say, but that’s OK. Keep feeding me, I’m hungry.
What kind of art are you into?
I’m really into makeup art. And also musical and physical art where people use their bodies to transform the story they are trying to tell. I’m really into this gay artist who paints the relevance between African culture and contemporary reality. He depicts people by softening them up so we can see a meaningful side to them. He painted Obama, actually. His name is Kehinde Wiley.
What music are you into? I’m really into Doja Cat. I love her music because she’s a real black woman who is with the times and sings about whatever she wants to sing about. She’s her own person and doesn’t give a damn about what people say about her.
If you could recommend any Cannabis product to her, what would it be?
Definitely a moon rock because she’s totally a space babe [laughs again]. A nice solid moon rock with caviar inside, kief coated, dusted with some THC crystals. Beautiful enough for her to wear it as a ring!
Emerald Haze is in Renton, the city where Jimi Hendrix grew up. How does it feel to be working in a Cannabis shop here?
I’m humbled that I’m even in his vicinity.
interview by MKE RICKER @rickerdj | photo by DANIEL BERMAN @BERMANPHOTOS