by Veronica Castillo
In 2019, we featured Oklahoma Women Cann and discussed the mission of the organization. This month we sat down with Delene Gilbert, President and Co-founder of Oklahoma Women Cann, and founder and owner of Full Spectrum Integration, LLC, to chat about Little Buds. Delene talked with us about the projects under OWCA and what it’s like working alongside passionate people from diverse backgrounds.
About the Little Buds Charity
Little Buds has a goal of helping families in need with the costs associated with medical recommendations to improve the quality of life of children facing medical/health adversities. A charity founded under the Oklahoma Women Cann Association, Little Buds wants to eliminate the hassle and alleviate the financial burden the children and family are tasked with under SQ 788:
“SQ 788 requires that children obtain 2 physician recommendations in order to gain access to an alternative medicine that a lot of children can benefit from. The average price for the registration and 2 physician recommendations is $200-$400. These fees have to be paid before children can legally walk into a dispensary and purchase their medicine under parents supervision” says Delene when asked why Little Buds was born.
Questions and Answers with Delene Gilbert
Edited slightly for clarity. Question by author, answered by Delene Gilbert.
What is Little Bud’s reason, the why?
“Given that children are suffering from debilitating diseases and most families are already financially struggling as a result of scaling medical bills, the least we can do is give the family a break and provide the upfront costs for their child/children to gain access to medication that is 100% natural. The OWCA not only wants to help families who cannot afford this process for their child, but we want to show all children that we are here to fight for them and with them.”
What’s something that people should know about the hardship in the community you serve?
“Specifically for our ‘little buds’, the hardship starts with finding the doctors who will sign off on the 2 recommendations required at a reasonable cost. There are several practicing physicians who refuse to provide minors with their recommendation. The parents we have worked with mention how difficult it has been to find doctors willing to recommend medical marijuana for their children.”
Aside from Little Buds, there are 2 other projects under the OWCA umbrella, can you talk about those?
“Our other community projects include our Sweet Sisters project which not only assists women with MMJ recommendations, but is expanding to include covering the costs for virtual counseling to assist the many women in Oklahoma who are dealing with depression and anxiety.
We have a project called Community Now, which focuses on coordinating fundraising events and activities. The proceeds from these agents are earmarked to be contributed to local nonprofits that service the needs of women and children dealing with medical, mental, and/or physical concerns.”
We asked Delene what it’s like working with a diverse group of women advocating for cannabis, she responded:
“There is always strength in numbers, but through OWCA, we have found strength in diversity, with how our passion for cannabis has been derived, and how we use that to translate it to our following.
From patient advocacy, to connecting businesses to businesses, and businesses to the patient, each woman brings her own craft to the table in order to properly communicate to our members any and all cannabis industry insight to keep us all informed in the rapidly evolving market.”
And though the OWCA and their projects are led by women, Delene says:
“Believe it or not, we have many men in our circle who are just as passionate.”
Women working with the plant is a special thing. Rumor has it, women have a better connection to the plant because they are nurturers, like the female cannabis plant. Delene closed with:
“Women working together can be such a tremendous motivator because we feed off of each other’s enthusiasm. We feel the excitement when we come together for events or meetings. That has been the driving force behind why we continue to soldier on in this male dominated industry.
To all those women who have stood behind OWCA, we would like to say thank you and remember we are here for YOU!”