I had the pleasure to interview actress, model, and CBD leader Sarah McDaniels.
What is your “backstory”? How did you first get into this business or get interested in the cannabis business?
When I was seventeen, Instagram had just launched. There were really no such things as “Instagram Influencers” yet, since the platform was so new. I started posting photos for fun, but of course posing like I was already a model, and I started to gain a following. Once I noticed there was actually something to this, I began working with professional photographers and videographers, including Theo Wenner. The professional shots really helped increase my following on social media, which led to the other amazing opportunities like modeling with Guess.
Because Theo is pretty well-connected, he invited me to be a part of projects he was working on, including starring in the music video for “Summer Breaking” by Tame Impala’s Mark Ronson. The video was a huge success. Theo and I loved working together so he contacted me about modeling for the first non-nude issue of Playboy Magazine, which was such an honor.
Although I still model, I’ve started focusing on my true passions: stop-motion filmography and my CBD oil line, Walagoot. I created a fun short animated series featuring a rabbit known as “The Professor” which I created in partnership with Movie Mountain Studios. We are now working on a cyclops character for our next series.
In terms of my oil line, I used to struggle with acne as a teenager. After trying Accutane, over-the-counter medication and every fad on the market with no results, I knew there had to be something else- something natural. Light bulb! Cannabis. I partnered with a friend in Colorado who recommended the proper mix of oils, and then I added some personal touches and Walagoot was born! It has completely cleared up my skin and I can’t wait to share it with the world.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
I would say what makes my company unique is my honest love and passion for my products. I’m extremely passionate about my CBD oil line because it’s my baby! I created it from scratch for my own personal needs, so I know if it helped me it will help others who may be struggling with similar skin problems.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story of how they helped inspire you?
There are too many to name! The most current would have to be a friend, Foster Huntington, who is basically doing everything I’m working for now. He’s an influencer/ filmmaker hybrid with an amazing mind! He’s doing stop-motion animation at a much larger scale than I am so I find his work inspiring. He helped me get “The Professor” off the ground and basically taught me everything I know about stop-motion. He’s based in Portland, but I know that I can always pick up the phone and ask him anything. Also I have to give a huge shoutout to Theo Wenner, who helped launch my modeling and acting career!
What are you working on next in terms of your company or any other projects you have in the works?
For my CBD line, I’m looking forward to launching Walagoot with the world and hearing about our customers’ results.
In terms of by on-camera work, I am currently signed with 28th Ave and Abram Artists and recently acted in Lionsgate’s “The Row” debuting in theaters and on demand, July 27th, from Director Matty Beckerman, opposite actress Lala Kent. I’m also in the psychological thriller, Perfect, alongside Abbie Cornish and Leonardo Nam and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh. The film premiered at the 2018 SXSW Festival in Austin, TX and will debut in theaters nationwide this October. I was lucky to have large roles in both films and can’t wait for audiences to see them.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Cannabis industry? Can you share 3 things that most concern you?
The three things that most excite me about the cannabis industry is:
1. Cannabis heals! I’ve met so many incredible people who are battling some form of illness, whether it’s cancer or chronic pain, cannabis has been an amazing form of treatment/therapy for them. Cannabis actually blocks the pain receptors in your brain, allowing those suffering from pain the ability to get back to their lives.
2. Cannabis clears! As I’ve mentioned previously, I suffered from acne and mild eczema as a kid. After trying everything on the market, I consulted a good friend of mine in Colorado who recommended CBD oil. I added my own personal touches to it and now my skin is completely clear, so I know it can help others who are struggling with skin problems as well.
3. There’s so much more to explore in the cannabis industry! We already know it has the ability to help patients who suffer from pain, so I’m excited to see the advancement in medicinal marijuana.
The three things that most concern me are:
1. The industry can get a bad rep. Sure, cannabis is recreational and fun, but there’s so much more to it.
2. The federal government’s attack on the industry. We all know our Attorney General’s (Jeff Sessions) stance on marijuana and the federal government is now making threats to withhold funding to states like California and Colorado who have legalized it.
3. Companies who are not legitimate who make false claims or produce a bad product. Cannabis, and all things that can be monetized and used for medicinal purposes, can be easily exploited by bad people. I would hate to see people who are seeking help get taken advantage of.
In our experience when people are passionate about what they do they are more successful. Where does your cannabis passion come from?
I can’t lie, I do indulge in cannabis recreationally. However, I was always aware of the medicinal purposes of cannabis as well. I’ve always had a passion for helping others and after experiencing bullying as a teenager over my acne, I wanted to help others feel beautiful in their skin.
Where do you see your business going in the next 5 years? Where do you see the cannabis industry going in the next 5 years?
In terms of my filmmaking, I’m excited to see my cyclops come to life and to continue expanding on my first creation, “The Professor.” I’m also looking forward to additional acting roles.
For my CBD line, I’d eventually like to expand from topicals to more medicinal tinctures for things like bone density, migraines, and eventually herbal chemo. I’d really like to use my knowledge of CBD oil to help people medically and work toward creating cancer preventatives.
What growth sectors within cannabis should most people be paying attention to that they might not be currently?
There’s an entire untapped market with cannabis and medicine. I’m really excited to see how in the coming years cannabis will be used to help cancer patients, those suffering from pain, seizures and more! In fact, the FDA just approved the first cannabis-based (CBD) prescription for treating seizures! It will be cool to see how we continue to find new ways to help people suffering from a disease or condition with cannabis.
Is there a business leader whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?