Kimberlee Kesterson and Jessica Carroll are moms, and they also enjoy consuming cannabis. These two identities haven’t always fit together in the eyes of society, but Kesterson and Carroll are working to change that. Their group, STL Cannamoms, gives mothers a chance to get out and enjoy cannabis at monthly events, which range from yoga or brunch to arts and crafts or a tattoo pop-up. “When you become a mother, your whole world changes,” Kesterson says. “You’re used to being able to just get up and go and do whatever you want, whenever you want. That dynamic changes when you have kids. It’s so easy to forget about yourself when you’re so busy taking care of everybody else.”
Kesterson and Carroll met while working in a call center 10 years ago and became fast friends; Carroll was one of the first people to meet Kesterson’s daughter when she was born. As time went on, the pair drifted apart, but were fatefully reunited when they were both hired at Feel State Dispensary at the same time, and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Eventually, they decided to start a Facebook page called STL Cannamoms to give other mothers like themselves a place to enjoy cannabis along with a thoughtfully crafted meal – either infused or non-infused. In the first month, they gained 300 followers; now, they have a follower count of more than 1,200. While the events are undeniably fun for the mothers who partake, it also provides a judgement-free space from the challenges of motherhood.
People are also reading…
Here, Kesterson and Carroll share the importance of the group to the moms and its impact in St. Louis.
Why do you think it’s important for St. Louis mothers to have something like STL Cannamoms?
“For me, motherhood saved me. But it’s the hardest thing that I’ve ever done. Most people have a support system. Most people have a sister or a friend or somebody who’s gone through motherhood. But for me, I still felt so alone. I never felt like I had other women that I could relate to in a way that they could fully understand, or that I could be open about myself, because cannabis is such a big part of my life. So for me, I just needed [this group]. It’s important to me because I want other moms to not ever feel the way that I felt.” – Jessica Carroll
“At our yoga event, it was amazing. We had moms holding each other and crying together and it was just such an amazing thing to see all these women from different walks of life come together. And lift each other up and say, ‘Hey, you’re a great mom. And I know you’re going through something right now. But you’re still a great mom.’ Just to have like that support at that moment at the yoga event, for me it was really eye opening. It’s like, wow, we really did create a community to where moms feel safe enough to fully be themselves and express their hardships as moms and get emotional about it and not be afraid of our reaction.” – Kimberlee Kesterson
You mentioned wanting to provide exceptional culinary experiences at STL Cannamoms’ events. What are some of the ways you do that?
“I really am all about supporting mom-and-pop shops. I don’t ever want to have something like Chick-fil-A catered. I want to give back to someone who also gives back to moms. I want to be able to provide an experience that people might not be able to get because they don’t step out of their comfort zone.” – J.C.
“We had a chance to work with Rooted Buds. Being able to work with different chefs that are in St. Louis and being able to pay them and putting money back into our community is so important. We’re always cooking for people, as the mom, so nobody wants to go to something and it’s just like a bunch of subs that were catered from somewhere. We wanted to have an experience and give them an amazing meal because moms are always in the kitchen.” – K.K.
How do you go about planning your events, and what’s coming up for STL Cannamoms?
“Our thought process when it comes to our events first starts with an idea, obviously. And then it branches from like ‘I’ve only got one day a month to get out: What do I want to do?’ And then it kind of just branches off from there. Like for me, I’m such a foodie. So my one day that I get out, I’m going and I’m bashing some tacos, because I own Let’s Taco Bout It STL on Facebook. So my thought process with our events is: Let’s feed them amazing food. Let’s supply them with cannabis, but give them community and a group of moms that they can connect with. And let’s just have fun. For June, it’s gonna be nice. Well, I’ve got a friend who works at a golf course. So now in June, we’re gonna have a golf event where we give pointers, a little putter tutorial and then we’re gonna eat and smoke on the back porch at a golf course.” – J.C.
“The possibilities are endless.” – K.K.