The Cannabis Nurse: A Green Discussion with Heather Manus

Cannabis, the long victim of misguided conjectures, is fast becoming legalized in different states of the US. It’s finally been accepted and its potential is now being embraced all across America. The realization of benefits that started from California all the way back in 1996, now has a legalized status in 28 states of America – all of whom have endorsed the use of medical cannabis. Furthermore, market researchers have estimated the legal cannabis industry to grow to a figure of $50 billion over the next decade.

That’s huge and it has set the eyes rolling of many – especially the future leaders, the Millennials who are following the growth of the industry very closely. They know that a growing industry has plenty of opportunities to offer them. Most importantly, they know they have the opportunity to be part of something that can contribute to the society, and Millennials love being part of movements where they can be part of a positive change. Whether, they are aspiring entrepreneurs looking to gain entry as seed harvesters, edible creators, or as medicinal product developers – everyone looks fascinated by the prospects that the industry holds for them.

This content discusses the current condition, future trends, and trajectory of the cannabis industry.


They have the aspirations; we thought we will provide them with the inspiration from Heather Manus. We requested for her time and she answered. This content discusses the current condition, future trends, and trajectory of the cannabis industry. We have shared excerpts of the discussion which we had with her in which she shared her views on the cannabis industry as an entrepreneur, teacher, and practitioner of the field itself.

Nurse Heather Manus – A Brief Introduction

Heather Manus, RN is a native New Mexican and Registered Nurse specializing in all aspects of medical cannabis care. As founder of the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, Heather was responsible for the addition of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTSD) as a debilitating condition under Arizona’s medical marijuana act. In 2015, Nurse Heather was honored for her efforts, and awarded the CannAwards “Best Charitable/Community Outreach Program,” and Cannabis Business Awards “Activist of the Year.” She also won the Cannabis Business “Educational Achievement” Award in December 2016 for her work with Cannabis Nurses Magazine.

In short, she has been championing the growth flag of the cannabis industry in California and all across the United States.


Brian Higuera with baby Sadie. [Feb 2, 2017]

Heather Manus: Her opinion on the industry’s public perception

The cannabis industry has been plagued in past with social stigmas and misapprehensions, primarily due to the lack of knowledge among people. Heather Manus believes that educating people is all too important if we want to see the industry grow further, and that is what prompted her to become an educator and teacher in this industry.

“I have always loved my educators and I love being taught. When I first came into this industry, I learned valuable information, valuable enough to share with others. In this industry there is a lack of knowledge in many areas within it and areas outside of it. And so I think in order to expand and promote the life benefits of cannabis, it is important to be that bridge. Education becomes all too important here. I believe knowledge is power and since I have been empowered in many ways so I thought to empower others by sharing what I have learnt during my journey and on my path. I hope to continue to do so to change people’s false perception about the industry.”

Industry’s perception has improved over the years, but she wants to refine it further through her educational and consultancy endeavors.

RELATED TOPIC: Opening Cannabis Medicine to Nursing Students

Heather Manus: What the industry currently lacks?

Like Nurse Nature there has been other endeavors which have played a positive role in the growth of the industry, but Heather Manus believes there are some important elements still missing, which needs to be worked on.

“I went to nursing school and I also have a psychology degree, and in neither of those degrees did they teach me anything about business. The disconnection between formal education and entrepreneurship is what I feel is missing for the new entrepreneurs in this industry. I learnt through trial by fire and I did the hard way. Most of the students who want to come to this industry lack the entrepreneurial skills and if this could be worked on, then we can have some great leaders in the future.”

Currently, the industry may be missing out on some brilliant ideas mainly because the thinkers don’t really know how to execute their plans as a formal business plan.

Branding Course 101 at HEA [Dec. 2, 2016]

Heather Manus: What projects is she working on to help grow the industry?

An industry cannot grow by resting on its laurels, especially an industry which is still small and competing against big pharmas, medical complexes, and the government regulations in some states. Heather Manus believes the industry need continuous efforts from all the involved players to help it grow further.

“My primary focus in 2016 was conferencing and educating. I introduced Nurse Nature last year and although this year I would continue with the mentoring part – my main focus would be on my company’s projects. I am really going to be focused on Nature Nurse’s product development plans; focus on business relationships, and want to focus on bringing the right people that can resonate with the philosophy of the company. I want young talented people to take this idea of Nature Nurse and expand it in ways that I haven’t really thought of yet. We are looking at micro-dosing, looking to develop products that can be used over different methods of administration and have nurses who can be here to help patients along the way. I believe telemedicine will be an important part of this strategy. Nature Nurse will also endorse other cannabis products where we will have Nature Nurse’s seal of approval to encourage producers who want to create amazing products for patients.”

If properly executed, these plans can play a positive role in the development of the cannabis industry.

Heather Manus: Why she believes medical cannabis is the future?

It’s refreshing to know that someone can look at the future of medicine beyond the world of chemicals that currently dominate it. Heather Manus believes medical cannabis hold a more natural treatment and solution for different medical conditions that will eventually help it to replace the pills of today.

“We are created from the elements of nature and there has been a long standing relationship between us and the plants, after all that is what ethno-botany teaches us. But we have recently moved away from this relationship. The results could be seen in the form of autoimmune disorders, neurological disorders and cancers. It has spiked, it is increasing and it is getting ridiculous. All this is because we have stopped looking at nature. We rather prefer this pill popping pharmaceutical chemical world. As humans we have always responded to nature, I think we need to go back to it and the cannabis industry is opening way for it. Cannabis is the ultimate future and she is the ultimate teacher. She is teaching us in order to come back to the best self we really need to come back to the nature and feed our bodies what they really know how to process. The opinion and idea about cannabis is going to change drastically over the next 10 years. We are already shattering stigma right and left.”

This can be corroborated by the expansion of legalized status of medical cannabis in many states of United States and the predicted growth rate of the industry itself.

RELATED TOPIC: Developing the Cannabis Nursing Sector: Industry Insight with Elisabeth Mack, RN, MBA

Heather Manus: Her opinion on what the aspiring entrepreneurs need to do to be a part of this industry?

As someone who has been associated with this industry for 8 years, there aren’t many better who can guide the Millennials on what they need to do to be a part of this industry. Plus, it’s not just her experience but having the expertise in different positions for which her opinion matters.

“To turn the heads of the big boys and make yourself visible, first do your homework. Know who you are talking to. Reach out to them. Be respectful. Let them know that you value what they are doing. I would show the big boys what we are doing. Whether it’s good or bad – show both. Just come prepared to show what you have to offer and let them know what you desire. Tell them, this is what I have to offer you. So it’s really about getting across your desire and your want. And remember, if you are coming into this industry put your whole heart into it. But don’t put your whole everything – you need to maintain a balance.”

We thank Nurse Heather Manus for her valuable insights, opinion and advice. Most of all we would like to thank her for taking out some time and communicating her ideas and beliefs. We hope that our readers and students found this discussion helpful. If you know someone that is a huge educator in your university and supports cannabis, please send them our way so we can feature them. Please call (858) 952-6330.

About the Author: Carlo Desierto is a serial entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in business startups. He has founded, built intrinsic value, and sold several companies in which he sits as an adviser for the Board of Directors. Carlo has interviewed over 200+ entrepreneurs and published mini-biographies for new digital media channels relating to entrepreneurship, health, self-help, and the green industry.


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