Company: High End Society
For the past 12 months, the editorial staff at Marijuana Venture has compiled a list of candidates for our third annual 40 Under 40 feature. This year, we narrowed our list down from hundreds of worthy candidates to come up with a cross-section of personalities across the U.S. and Canada, from salt-of-the-earth farmers to tech savants. All of them have unique stories, successes and ambitions and all represent the excitement and promise of the cannabis business. We feel honored to share their stories and look forward to watching them push forward in our ever-evolving industry.
Mae Bereal fights back tears as she revisits her life before the cannabis industry and the advice she wishes she had prior to joining.
“I think I would tell myself to get a lot of sleep before getting started,” she says. “Because it’s going to be really rough and you’re going to face more things than you could possibly imagine. You have to be strong.”
Bereal is a relative newcomer to the cannabis industry. Within the past year, she’s made the remarkable transition from having spent 10 years as a stay-at-home mother of four to being the owner, founder, CEO and head chef at High End Society, an edible and topical manufacturer in Los Angeles. She also has a license to produce cannabis events and has created her own charity program — 2 Buds, 1 Stone — that donates one product to a patient in need for every product her company sells at retail.
“My account executive says I have too much of a giving heart,” Bereal says. “But for me, that’s where all this comes from — I’m a mom and I naturally want to nurture and take care of people. They need these meds and they are really expensive.”
But having charitable practices, organic ingredients or even a “mean-ass sweet potato pie” recipe aren’t going to move the needle for a new business in a hotly-contested city like Los Angeles.
Instead, it was Bereal’s critical eye for details that drove her ambitions forward — a skill she honed through extreme couponing. When money started getting tight during her decade as a stay-at-home mom, Bereal noticed an Instagram post of a young woman showing off her latest haul of discounted groceries.
She became hooked. She started taking notes from other coupon aficionados and memorized consumer laws for her inevitable and numerous confrontations with store managers.
“I was getting cease-and-desist letters from Living Social and Target,” she says. “I ended up getting on U.S. News and Yahoo Finance as a ‘money-saving expert.’”
Now with her critical eye on cannabis, that tenacity has helped get her products into retail stores and her first cannabis event is scheduled for July. Bereal also has a line of hair care products in the works and says she is excited to produce more innovations in the industry.
“The road is open,” she says. “You are not limited. You can do anything with cannabis.”