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Feminine Divine – Ebony Jones



Keeping the Faith; a Woman’s Story of Generational Resilience and Healing through Curated Experiences and Sweet Potato Pie

by Jessi Lane, Patient Advocate

Ebony Jones, of 8Twenty8, is a cannabis Pastry Chef paving the way for other people of color following her path. “Being one of the few known Black women in the Oklahoma cannabis industry has been very challenging, but [it is] a fight I’m willing to stay in. I’m more than ready to occupy spaces with more powerful women looking to open doors in this industry with hopes and dreams like myself,” she says. Ebony is a Survivor, a Caregiver, and entrepreneur. An empath and spiritual Virgo, she is both lion and lamb – strong and bold yet gentle and calm in her approach and is agile and flexible in her pursuits. She is a fine example of the Divine Feminine.

Ebony is an Oklahoma cannabis industry transplant who comes to us by way of Georgia. The youngest child in birth order, she was born in Hampton, VA to a big military family. Her Mother, Toni, was a member of the US Air Force. “She taught us who God was,” Ebony relays. Her maternal Grandmother, Annie, was the only Black teacher in her school. She taught Art and Home Economics and was a Godly woman. Growing up, “she had us at revivals from eight to four in the afternoon.” It was not until high school through the age of twenty that Ebony found her personal relationship with God.

Toni had fallen ill with papilledema, a condition that, according to the National Cancer Institute, causes swelling around the optic disk. This is the area where the optic nerve enters the eyeball. Toni was also diagnosed with Arnold Chiari Malformation – a condition in which brain tissue extends into the spinal canal – subsequently forcing her into early retirement from the United States Postal Service at the age of thirty-five. This was the beginning of a life-long battle. A caregiver for her mother from about the age of ten, Ebony dropped out of high school to care for her more closely.

Toni’s multiple surgeries and required aftercare unfortunately resulted in readily available narcotics in the home. Without Toni’s knowledge, Ebony became a young person with access to unmonitored prescription medication and heavy burdens to carry. She was also living with the ghost of personal trauma. Ebony is now an advocate for therapy. “If I hadn’t gotten in therapy, I wouldn’t be here,” she declares. After a choice decision left a sibling stranded when she numbingly put him out of the car during an argument, she quit the pills. She tells us, “We are survivors of the pill pandemic.”

As a young person Ebony aspired to open a medicinal cannabis café for kids. “Since tenth grade my business plan has always included weed.” She returned to high school and upon completion went on to obtain her Associates of Occupational in Patisserie and Baking from Le Cordon Bleu while she established herself as a Baker and Pastry Supervisor in the highly competitive and innovative Atlanta food service industry. The delicate measure and alchemy of baking is in her bones so naturally our meticulous, calculated Virgo excelled in her craft – including a position as the Baking Supervisor with Carlo’s Bakeshop as featured on the reality tv show Cake Boss. She recalls, “[The] first day we had a line out the door starting at 3am, and we didn’t open until 6!” She reflects on her position with Primrose Schools – an institution that provides high-quality early education and care – in the highest regard, “I loved those kids.” Ebony’s interest in holistic wellness was unwavering and she would also obtain her Certificate of Completion in Cannabis Education through the Cannabis Training University of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

She saw what was happening in Oklahoma and wanted a piece of that sweet potato pie she would later bake for herself. Ebony began submitting resumes everywhere and received a bite when RD Hendrickson – the owner of Arizona-based Sublime – reached out to let her know if she were ever in Oklahoma, he would like to interview her. “You don’t know these people,” her family said, “turn your [phone] locations on,” she recounts through a giggle. She was not going to miss this opportunity, regardless of the risk. Ebony’s personality is as golden as her resume and Hendrickson wanted her to join the team, so with the support of her grandpa, she left everyone and everything she knew to pursue her dreams. “To others it may appear as if it came easy but take some time to converse with me [and] you’ll learn it has taken trials, tribulations, tears, and plenty of therapy sessions.” It was the first time she had ever left home, and within a week of her big move Ebony’s sweet Grandpa suffered a stroke. Then suddenly her employer lost their location, forcing them to temporarily close during the relocation period. Instead of retreating home Ebony stuck it out through her tribulations and found a cannabis industry position with Euphora dispensary until Sublime’s new building was secured.

“Oklahoma is a sacred land,” she tells us, “So much has happened here. You can feel the blood in this land.” Ebony’s euphemism is not lost on us. “This industry is messy,” she goes on to say, “the divide out here is crazy.” She is speaking to the boundary that is being “one of the few in the room,” she tells us. “In all honesty it has been worth it, though in the beginning it was a huge culture shock, and I didn’t think I would survive Oklahoma.” She asks herself how she is going to change the conversation. “I love being in a place in my career where I can professionally correct others for being culturally inappropriate or placing me in an uncomfortable position and we can still operate in a healthy environment after the teaching moment.” Ebony speaks openly and earnestly on her social media platforms. “I’m down for teaching. I’m still learning myself,” she says. She believes herself to be a “Virgo that has no filter at all.” However, she tells us she “understands the effects of speaking before thinking and evaluating the power of your words and how they may affect another person.” Within her healing process Ebony has also learned that to achieve growth she must “take accountability for my wrongs, correct those wrongs, and put in the work to actively become a better person for this world.”

The life of an entrepreneur is not for the weak, and keeping your faith is ten times the work, she’s found. “Choosing to uproot what I knew as comfortable to relocate to Oklahoma has shown me the power and resilience that has been instilled in me by my mother.” Ebony now represents and manufactures products for Country Cannabis, who acquired Sublime. “They are a diverse company,” she says and asks, “what does country look like to you?” She tells us she is incredibly grateful but “technically I’m still out here by myself.” While she feels immensely supported by her employer Ebony’s real hustle is her passion project, 8Twenty8, LLC. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Taking leaps of faith and believing in the purpose of the company is what keeps 8Twenty8 going, Ebony believes. 8Twenty8’s craft-baked goods and custom orders have satisfied the palettes of Oklahomans with every dietary restriction and preference known – try those gluten free oatmeal cream pies – but she is not just in the business of baking dessert, her true business is loving people. Ebony doesn’t want you to stereotype her- she’s not just about pies. She is interested in curating experiences, and tells us, “Whether that’s with me, you tasting my pies, or hosting an event.”

Things have been taking off for 8Twenty8. Ebony has received lots of exposure recently as 8Twenty8 has been featured in recent Studio 30 events and Sherweed Forrest’s Throwdown Bazaar. She is called upon for private catering and custom orders by the biggest names in the Oklahoma cannabis industry and while ever grateful, Ebony is always looking to the future. With an entrepreneur’s heart she declares, “I’m not accepting this middle class shit anymore,” she goes on to say, “America has taught us to work to live.” She wonders, how can I not think about making money while I make money? “I think it’s disgusting how much I want to give back to people,” relays our brave empath. Ebony dreams of an 8Twenty8 small-batch kitchen to order, that would accept custom orders for a patient’s individualized needs or commercial grow orders for retail sales. She also wants to create opportunities through events designed to be a retreat – a vacation.

8Twenty8 in association with Universe with Jaz Present Puff and Plant in the Park Sunday, June 12th, from 6-8pm. Located at Veterans/Centennial Park, attendees can expect an evening filled with release and manifesting. Paint’n’Plant intention kits provided with the purchase of admission. Event features Sound Bowl by The Reiki Mama, massages by Beyond Skin Deep and Oracle readings by Soar. Smokable organic herbal blend provided by Universe with Jaz. Light snacks served by 8Twenty8.