Debra Callahan is a cannabis activist, grower and the founder of Wocann Women’s Retreat. She has always enjoyed starting and running businesses. In fact, by the time she was 17, she had already started a candle company and won 2nd place in an apple pie baking contest. After raising her 3 children, 5 foster children and 2 grandchildren during which time she volunteered with numerous boards and organizations, including 4 terms as city councilwoman. While on city council she was instrumental in getting laws passed permitting the growing of medical cannabis within the city limits. A huge relief to many medical patients.
Ever the teacher she shares her knowledge of living sustainable and gardening with those in the cannabis community. Providing education to the cannabis community so they can be more informed, produce products on their own and have the independence that comes with knowledge. She teach classes on topics such as terpenes, growing and processing different types of products as well as processing cannabis.
She started using cannabis later in life. Beginning at 21 in 1977 when she asked her younger brother to pick up some weed and a bong for her and the rest is history.
In 1979 she was diagnosed with MS before there were definitive ways to diagnose it. In 1995 her first grandchild was born and she quit thinking cannabis isn’t something grandmas do. Fast forward to 2001 when she began to have some physical issues and was diagnosed with MS and give western medicine to treat it.
Within 9 years she had be near death twice, paralyzed 3 times and wound up in the hospital with a failed pancreas and liver. At which time she told her doctor if the cure is going to kill me then I will take my chances with the ill. 2 week later she was in Spokane, the only place in Eastern Washington to get medical authorizations and had one. Over the next 10 years she spent time researching, attending MMJ University taking classes, and attending any and all functions relating to cannabis such as Hempfest (volunteer for 3 years), CannaCon, Cannabis Summit and many more gaining knowledge along the way. In 2018 it became apparent to her that the knowledge being shared on the Westside of the State was not filtering over to the Eastside.
Hence the inception of Wo-Can. Women and Cannabis, an enlightening educating experience bring like minded women together for knowledge, fellowship, music, stories and so much more.
Her favorite part of having Wo-Can is meeting new people and sharing knowledge because it allow her to share knowledge and commune with like minded people. The Wo-Can women have the most fun and have become a close knit family of women who meet for walks and lunches throughout the year. We also can call on one another when one of the ladies needs assistance.
When not teaching or advocating for cannabis she can be found in her garden and maintaining her sustainable farm. She also likes to cook, sew, craft and can. Her Cajun Pickled Asparagus recipe can be obtained at any extension office in the nation.
She is a teacher, advocate and woman who enjoys everything cannabis from Washington State.
Find Debra Markle Callahan on Facebook to connect.