Originally published at Vegas Cannabis Magazine
SHWA LAYTART - JULY 1, 2020
Las Vegas’ NORML Co-Founder and Executive Director, Maddie Saglibene has not only been feeding the minds of cannabis users with information, she’s also been feeding their bodies with fresh slices.
Launched in 2019, Pizza Stone’d is Saglibene’s food truck, equipped with a custom built-in stone oven from which handmade pizzas, strombolis, calzones, come flying out of- as well as, baked bacon, jalapeno, or veggie mac-n-cheese that’s to die for!
Maddie, you've been busy during the quarantine. First, tell us what you have been up to with your food truck, Pizza Stone'd?
I think the saying goes, "idle hands are the devil's playground!" (LOL!!)
This has obviously been a really stressful time for everyone, so I've just been trying to deliver as many smiles as possible with pizza!
We launched a program to help provide meals for frontline workers and right away got support from friends in the cannabis industry to make it happen.
Our good friend Ashley Ciliberti from NVCann Labs actually came up with the idea to feed police officers alongside NORML and right away the local department was very accepting! When we showed up that day, we caaaasually snuck in questions about cannabis. What types of arrests were they making? Is public consumption a problem? We were really excited about their responses, because they were honestly so much more accepting than we even knew.
Public perception is that cops are vehemently opposed, but time and time again they acknowledged that alcohol was the real problem. Opening up the conversation with Pizza made it a little easier I have to admit. Move over, donuts.
There have been some big updates with LV-NORML, but first, you recently lost your NORML mentor, Mikel Weisser, can you tell us a little about Mikel and how you two worked together?
Mikel was a true gift to the cannabis movement that I had the pleasure of meeting in Phoenix back in 2016. I wasn't an activist at that time, just a pot smoker with passion. I watched and listened to Mikel from across the room when I first was introduced, and he honestly felt like a celebrity to me. As longtime Executive Director of Arizona NORML, he was so well spoken yet had such a unique demeanor that you couldn't help but to feel his larger than life personality. Mikel was the driving force behind me starting Las Vegas NORML as soon as I got back to Vegas that year and [Mikel] never stopped being my mentor. I was honored to be awarded Activist of the Year by National NORML in 2019, and Mikel was the first person I called to tell. That day, he stood in the crowd like a proud father, taking my picture and cheering. I will never forget the wisdom he shared with me or his contagious laughter.
Big things are happening with LV NORML right now, give us the lowdown.
Mikel would have been so proud. These past few weeks have been so huge for Las Vegas NORML because we have been working on a new program.
The Las Vegas NORML Giving Tree Fund has been started to help provide relief to the Nevada cannabis community, including displaced cannabis industry workers and registered patients.
We received an initial $25,000 donation from the Tuttleman Foundation, which as many may know is David Tuttleman CEO & Founder of Matrix. There is strict eligibility criteria and supporting documentation will be required, but we are going to be awarding 100 people $250 checks as relief during this tough time. As cannabis advocates, it's been painful to see the struggle that patients and displaced workers have been going through. Federal law excludes cannabis businesses from relief packages, putting them in detrimental positions even though the cannabis industry employs more workers than the coal industry, and pays more in taxes. Larger and better funded businesses may be able to get through tough times, but without economic stimulus to small businesses through federal action, many won’t survive. This could only worsen the rapid corporatization of the cannabis industry in a way that is inconsistent with the values that many of us have within this space, so NORML is working hard at the federal level to work on these issues.
A note from David Tuttleman: "Community involvement has always been a priority for me. There is nothing I revel in more than meeting new people and learning about their stories. As the cannabis community has also been impacted with the COVID-19 pandemic, I knew now more than ever I could offer my support."
What's Pizza Stone'd schedule and how can people get a slice of the action?
Booking for 2020! We offer a really great catering option for cultivations, productions or anyone else in the industry looking to create good morale with their employees. We pop up, thank everyone for their hard work making our industry go, and feed em’ pizza. I love it!! Pizzastonedlv.com has a booking form. I always offer the best deals to industry...!
Get your munchies on & get involved with Las Vegas NORML!
LAS VEGAS NORML