We had the good fortune of connecting with Katherine Golden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Katherine, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My first thought of starting my own business was to do what nurses do best, create something to care for the public in need. I took on the giant task of tackling healthcare inequality. As a nurse in a alternative medicine private practice, I saw first hand the incredible challenge to afford not only the out of pocket doctors visit, but also the struggle to afford the very expensive medicine. I was nervous to venture into creating a small business since they don’t teach you entrepreneurship in nursing school, but I had the support needed from family, friends and colleagues to give it a go. I knew I needed a small business development partner and I recruited the perfect Co-Founder. She gave me the autonomy to build the business exactly the way I had envisioned it. From that support, I changed the business idea from a for-profit to a non-profit model, which immediately provided a solution to the problem I was passionate about solving. .

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started a non-profit in the cannabis industry where there has been and still are many challenges due to the stigma that surrounds the plant. It was vital to me to create an organization that was run by licensed clinicians incredibly professional, to stand out in an industry that was turning their focus on the party lifestyle instead of the patients that were advocating for it’s legalization. I’m most proud of the success of the hotline because I get to hear everyday from callers across the nation, their determination to improve their health. I got to the success Leaf411 is today by sticking to the original mission, affordable and accessible healthcare for everyone. This has not been easy due to the federal illegal status it still has. As a Registered Nurse, I not only worried about putting my license on the line, but I had to recruit other nurses to staff the hotline that I knew would be doing the same and now I had their livelihood in my hands. I’ve learned that the stigma runs deep, regardless of all the scientific evidence out now about the healing properties of the plant and the organization runs into discrimination from the people that don’t believe or are uneducated about the plant. I have Foundations that won’t review our submissions due to the word cannabis and I’ve had banks use unprofessional slang words and say they won’t work with “weed” businesses. I have had many doors close before I get the chance to explain our mission. I would love the world to know that people in power had financial ulterior motives in the past, and those people created narratives surrounding this healing plant that were false which has prevented patients from exploring its potential use. People should know that Leaf411 was created to equal the playing field in healthcare for the common good.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If I had a fiend visit Colorado that had never been here before, I’d line up an itinerary that included visiting Red Rocks Amphitheater, Garden of the Gods and driving through Glenwood Canyon for the breathtaking landscapes. Then I’d take them to the Dairy Block, Union Station and Avanti for an assortment of eateries and bars that give you a peek at the hip people that form the communities in Denver.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I will always credit the American Cannabis Nurse Association (ACNA) for providing the network needed to move my mission forward. I followed and contacted the top nurses within the field through ACNA. Since I was a member, anyone I contacted gave me their time to read my requests for guidance. They also provided the education to build my skills in this emerging new field of nursing. ACNA is where I found my new business partner, Eloise Theisen, NP ,who has become the guiding light I needed to see my way through the tough times being a new entrepreneur and to grow the non-profit to the success that it is today.

Website: Leaf411.org

Instagram: Leaf411org

Linkedin: Leaf411org

Twitter: Leaf411org

Facebook: Leaf411org

Youtube: Leaf411org

Other: Pinterest: Leaf411org

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