5 years ago, Susan van Brunschot created Fundación CANNA. A nonprofit organization based in Spain, Fundación CANNA aims to study the cannabis plant and educate users about its use, safety, and potential medicinal benefits. Specializing in cannabinoid analysis, it didn't take long before Fundación CANNA had clients across Europe. Collaborating with specialists, MD's and other professionals in order to provide the purest and most accurate information possible, Fundación CANNA is dedicated to furthering our knowledge about the cannabis plant. When she isn't organizing events or answering emails, Susan is also overseeing Canna España Fertilizantes S.L., a cannabis fertilizer supplier.
In the beginning, what inspired you to get involved with cannabis?
I started at the CANNA company (leader in high-quality plant fertilizers) over 10 years ago. 5 years ago I created Fundación CANNA, a non-profit organization based in Spain aimed at studying the Cannabis plant and educating users about its use, safety, and potential medicinal benefits.
What was it like starting Fundación CANNA?
Chaos haha! In the beginning, we didn't know what to expect. Part of the Foundation's activity is our analytical laboratory. We started offering cannabinoid analysis. In no time, we had lots of clients all over Europe. We started collaborating with specialists, MD's and other professionals in order to provide the purest and most accurate information possible to the users worldwide. There is still a lot of education to be done in explaining to the general public how cannabis and the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the human body work. Along with the potential therapeutic use of cannabinoids in medicine.
How has cannabis changed your life?
Seeing how the pharmaceutical industry tries to either boycott cannabis or buy it makes me realize that we live in quite a nasty world. I think before I started doing this I was a bit more naive.
What excites you as a woman in the cannabis world?
It is a man's world. However, in medicinal cannabis, you do meet more women. In the USA, I believe the percentage is even higher. I learn every day and I strongly believe in the potential of cannabis as a medicine. Much more research is needed and if I, somehow, can contribute to that I would be very happy. I do not believe in the money driven American movement as it will not lead to further accomplishments in research. I hope that more fortunate companies are willing to help with what really matters.
How would you describe the cultural climate towards cannabis in Spain?
Spain is tolerant but has no law on paper about medicinal cannabis. It simply does not exist. The Spanish government keeps on closing their eyes to the reality; everyone uses it and we have more cannabis associations now than ever before! The government should at least try to regulate cannabis so the quality of the products sold in CSC's and online outlets becomes much better and safer.
What does a day in the life of Susan consist of today?
I am also the CEO of Canna España Fertilizantes SL and Manager of Fundación CANNA so I have quite a busy job! My day exists out of answering emails, organizing events, traveling, establishing new business relations etc.
What has been your biggest hurdle working in the cannabis industry?
Trying to stay with my own beliefs as to “what comes around, goes around”. My honest and direct way of communicating and my strong belief in karma sometimes make it harder to find the right people to work with as it is such an extremely money driven industry.
Any tips for women looking to break into the industry or get involved?
Now is the time! The cannabis industry loves women. We need women in this industry. Women often can multitask better, have a more open and creative mind, and be more sensitive towards the people around her.