Photo| Josh Fogel
By: Bianka Anguiano| April 26, 2020
Ophelia Chong is a true Weed Queen. She’s an activist, educator and entrepreneur and is on a mission to educate the public about cannabis. She is the founder of Stock Pot Images, the first stock photo agency to specialize exclusively in cannabis-related imagery and founder of Asian Americans For Cannabis Education, a space she created to connect and empower Asian communities and partner to The Bevel Group, a full service creative agency. I had the opportunity to interview Ophelia about her success in this space as a woman, her journey into this industry and on how to jump into the weed world too!
What were you doing before you started Stock Pot Images? What did you go to school for? How did that influence what you do ?
I went to the Art Center College of Design for a BFA/Painting and Photography. My education gave me the skills to intellectualize my work and to speak clearly about my work to my clients. I have been in the entertainment and publishing business for 3 decades. I’ve release 30+ films and designed over 10 titles and appeared in over 10 monographs featuring my fine art work.
What factors have contributed towards your path of success?
The need to create from a young age. I have always been making art from the moment I could hold a pencil.
What was the hardest/most difficult aspect about starting your Stock Pot Images?
Getting a bank account despite the fact that my business is ancillary. Everything else fell into place.
What’s your favorite part about your job? Least exciting?
Favorite part is meeting people, least favorite is bookkeeping.
How/do you think your involvement in this industry going to positively impact your community?
My involvement created a space for others like me and I had the opportunity to reach out to other Asian Pacific Islanders through my outreach website Asian Americans For Cannabis Education.
What’s the biggest change you want to see in the cannabis industry?
I would like to see more opportunities for those most affected by the War on Drugs.
There’s still a perception or stigma attached to the people involved in the cannabis industry or just consumers that partake in recreational or medical use, as being stoners- if you have encountered this kind of close minded perspective, what would your argument be to shift the conversation to one of the importance of the weed market and why it should be celebrated/normalized?
The moniker of “stoner” is a badge of honor, it is a person that appreciates the history and the products. Once the mass market sees the benefits of the whole plant, it will be normalized in the way CBD is now being sold at your local drug store.
What would you consider to be the most effective way or initial steps of breaking down barriers and ceilings to pave this path for women in the industry?
Inclusion by those already in the industry, give a hand up to the sister next to you.
What would be your best piece of advice for fellow WOC looking to pursue a career or start a business in the cannabis industry?
Whatever you are best at, just add cannabis. Learn the laws, regulations, join groups, ask for help.
Name 4 women in the weed world that you want to give a shout out to.
Where can we connect with you and your work?
Asian Americans for Cannabis Education
Key Takeaways from Ophelia:
- Give a hand and support other women
- Whatever you are best at, just add cannabis
- Learn the laws, regulations, join groups, ask for help
You can learn more about the work Ophelia does and how you can support this industry through her page Opheliachong.org.
Weed Queens wants to thank Ophelia Chong, for taking the time to inspire us and for sharing her story, advice and knowledge.
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