Member Spotlight: Jessie Alvarez
Jessica Alvarez grew up in San Francisco to Salvadoran parents and she is this month’s BALCA Member Spotlight.
“Cannabis was everywhere in Hunters Point. You could smell weed nonstop”, recalled Jessie. “It was actually kind of a problem for my parents. They didn’t want me anywhere near it and would literally cross the street if somebody was smoking weed.”
When she was twenty years old, Jessie was at a cannabis event when she spotted her big brother! It was there that her brother Juan, shared that he was working with Dave Pate, the founder of GW Pharma, and that he was running a cannabis lab making RSO oil.
Jessie’s brother Juan became her mentor and taught her about trimming and everything she needed to know to kick-off a burgeoning career in the cannabis industry as an extractions expert, investor, and entrepreneur.
Today, among other things, Jessie is the COO at Joyus Recreation and Wellness Group, a cannabis manufacturing facility in west Oakland with a micro-business license that provides services from cultivation to distribution. With a range of projects that span from extraction to retail, Jessie is quickly solidifying her place in the cannabis industry as a standout leader.
And Mom and Dad? They’ve come around. “They know that I’m in equipment sales and that I have my own lab. They’ve come out to the build-out in Oakland and they’re all proud mamas and papas. It’s been quite a journey. But I love it. I love cannabis”