Higher Profile: Tara Wells, Founder of Ganja Goddess, California

Tara Wells, founder of Ganja Goddess, talks about her entry into the cannabis space.
Higher Profile: Tara Wells, Founder Ganja Goddess, California
Courtesy of Tara Wells

Cannabis industry leader, Tara Wells, began her career in television as Executive Producer of The Amazing Race for CBS. As a producer, her skill set includes having a head for business and numbers, public relations, marketing, being extremely organized, and being able to run large-scale operations with multiple employees answering to her. 

Wells’ brand, Ganja Goddess, established in 2011, offers up carefully curated cannabis products with two other companies under its umbrella—one with a focus on CBD, and a delivery service proving to be a great success in California.

In 2014 Wells opened a recreational retail storefront near downtown Seattle. Reviews from its Google Business page reflect well-stocked shelves, a knowledgeable staff, and “the coolest vibe in town.”

CBDGoddess.com, launched June of 2020 is a national e-commerce site devoted to the sales and distribution of CBD products for people and pets.

During the 2020 Pandemic, Tara Wells launched Ganja Goddess Delivery, servicing California residents throughout the state. The delivery arm turned out to be needed as an essential business during the time of COVID, as it propelled the Ganja Goddess brand into a stunning 100 percent growth spurt before the year’s end.

Special to the delivery service is its attention to detail, specifically in making deliveries a priority to small and rural areas that may not be served otherwise.

The combined sites host an average of 75 cultivars and more than 150 products at any given time. All sites and services host farmers and producers who are largely organic and environmentally aware, with products sourced solely from the U.S.

Recognizing Women’s Purchasing Power

With more than 10 years of experience in the retail cannabis space, Tara Wells is considered a pioneer in terms of representing female entrepreneurs in the industry. 

Seeing that women were sorely underserved, she founded the company with a mission for change, keeping  a close eye on the company’s direct-to-consumer data on consumption habits and trends, helping her keep up with the rapidly growing and ever-changing marketplace.

“The female demographic in the U.S. has always had the buying power and the cannabis marketplace is no different. According to Insurance Business Magazine, women make up 70 to 80 percent of all consumer purchasing in the cannabis space,” said Norman Ives, broker and cannabis practice leader at NutraRisk.

In a 2019 report by Headset it was reported that women are more likely than men to use cannabis for its health benefits, rather than for recreation. Women are also more open to trying different products, such as capsules, topical creams, and sprays. 

Women also make up 36 percent of the cannabis industry workforce. Also noted within the study is the evolution of marketing to women in the cannabis space, with the welcome absence of bud and boobs as marketing tools when women market to women.

Tara Wells Was Late to the Table

On a personal note, Wells was a self-admitted late bloomer when it came to discovering cannabis, abstaining until well into her late 30s.

“Once I finally tried it was like a beautiful flower opening up in my field of awareness,” she explained. “The first time I tried it in earnest it was by eating a chocolate cannabis-infused truffle—I was instantly smitten! Cannabis enhanced my creativity and made my body feel great.”

In her past life as a television writer, director, and producer, she had only used the plant in the evening to unwind after a long day on set, but it eventually became a tool for writing.

“My brain would see things in a different light,” she continued. “I also used cannabis to help with joint pain in my knees, as a result of being very athletic in my teens.”

Wells said she began planting seeds in her garden at home, resulting in enormous Blue Dream cultivars. 

From Homemade Brownies to a National Platform

“From then on I began harvesting wonderful bud and started making edibles for myself and friends,” she said. “I used a brownie recipe from my family and experimented with butter and dosage until I got the perfect mix.”

The brownies developed within California’s legal medical market in 2006 eventually became her now infamous “Ganja Goddess Brownies,” becoming an instant hit all over California. The brownies that started it all are still available on its website. 

Realizing cannabis as an ingestible remedy for pain also gave her immediate relief from severe arthritis in her joints and knees—a throwback from being an athletic teenager.

“Cannabis and CBD products helped me, both from topical use and ingesting,” she concluded. “The results were so outstanding that I wanted to show people the different effects and dosages of CBD on my own body, so I created an online tutorial, available through the CBD Goddess site. What ended up happening is we began hearing stories of healing from friends, family members, patients and customers, with them sharing how much our products have helped them.”

Higher Profile: Tara Wells, Founder Ganja Goddess, California
Courtesy of Tara Wells

Testament to the Plant

One heartwarming story involved a family member in her 80s, who had suffered through several bouts of cancer, with doctors prescribing, what Tara Wells referred to as “heavy pharmaceutical pain killers.

“It was Thanksgiving and we all knew it would be her last,” she said. “She was having trouble eating, but would not use cannabis, thinking it was a ‘bad’ drug.”

Wells made her a small batch of her own tincture and she became more comfortable with taking it after the family agreed to take doses together on Thanksgiving morning.

“The next morning, within two hours of taking the tincture she was laughing, smiling, and her pain had completely subsided,” she shared. “When it came time for dinner, she ate—for the first time in weeks—a whole plate of food, and had a second helping of my pie.”

From that day forward, until her death several months later, she took Wells’ tincture three times a day, successfully quelling the pain, with no waste-away whatsoever, and a good appetite.

“Her daughter told me that the difference in her end-of-life care and the quality of her life was enormous, and even her hospice care workers contacted me to get bottles sent to their other patients,” she said. “It really hit home how important access to this medicine is for everyone. I became a true believer in the healing power of cannabis.”

“Since that day, some 14 years ago, I’ve had thousands of patients reach out with stories of healing with cannabis, and I feel honored to be able to participate in spreading the good word about this plant—and so many healing herbs we’ve come to know since.”

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