CANNABIS CULTURE – My name is Michaela Toscas, I am 24 years old and I am the founder of Higher Elevation, a cannabis delivery retail located in California’s East Bay Area. Along with my delivery I currently have 3 cannabis companies and hold a manufacturing, distribution and cannabis event license. I have also helped start a full seed to sale facility that created green zone real estate for 27 different licensed companies. I am a cannabis advocate that has opened up many different local municipalities to allow commercial cannabis activities. I am inspiring positive everyday to help others create their businesses and change the stigma of cannabis.
I wrote this to show an example of what anybody could be, no matter where you come from. I want to spread this awareness. If you want to start a cannabis business of your own, you can. The best advice I can give is never listen to anyone’s negative opinions, do what YOU want to do. Some of the best decisions ever made were done by people that nobody believed in. Also if you have an idea or dream go after it right away anything is possible but ideas can have expiration dates. If you want to get into the cannabis industry you have to know the right people, getting out there, going to shows, scheduling meetings with others in the industry is so important to become successful. It’s all about who you know. Getting involved politically is probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, reach out to your city, go to meetings, advocate for cannabis this will get you far.
I started Higher Elevation with a $4500 student loan and within 3 years, I have turned that loan into a million dollar company. I am also on the road to do the same with my additional 3 companies.
I grew up in Sacramento, CA. I was very poor and had nothing as a child, getting evicted from every house we were in, eating out of the trash can and becoming homeless and on my own at age 14. I was told by law enforcement that I was “a piece of shit, that will never go anywhere in life” I was a high school drop out, never really made it all the way through freshman year. I went to a school with little to no education, the school itself wasn’t even accredited. I was sexually and physically abused at a young age. We had no money and I was probably in the worst place I could possibly be in. My entire family was struggling.
When I was 18 I saved up $1000 and I moved from Sacramento to the East Bay Area, I moved there because I thought it was an amazing place, a safe area and I wanted to start over and build something beautiful for my family back home and myself. I started attending college and was challenged by the higher standard of education there, it was easy for everyone else who were able to go to an accredited high school. My dream there is to obtain my PHD in clinical psychology and find natural therapies for people with mood disorders and schizophrenia. After 2 years of struggling to pay rent in one of the most expensive areas in California, I took out a student loan of $4500. I drew out a business plan on four pieces of paper, my goal was to turn that small amount of money into a million dollar company. My family thought I was crazy, they told me I would need a lot more than that. I believed in it though, I believed in myself. I started the company April 17th 2016, Within the first two months I made my money back and it has continued to grow like crazy. Higher Elevation has grown 300% just in this last year.
With these 3 years in business so much has happened, I have worked insanely hard with more drive and passion then anyone I have ever met at my age. I’ve become a huge advocate and been able to work with government bodies and spread education. I have obtained the hardest licenses to get in the California cannabis legal market. I currently have a Type-9 non storefront retailer, a Type-7 volatile manufacturing license, a Type-11 Distribution license, and a cannabis event license. I have studied and learned cannabis law and helped license many businesses within the cannabis complex I created, this is only the beginning for me. I have so many different ideas and dreams. I believe I can truly Inspire Positive and make change throughout communities. I have already impacted so many things and so many people, I have also came from nothing to something huge.
I have created a general 5 year plan for Higher Elevation and my other ventures. I have already started relationships with people in other states to expand there. I am going to turn my delivery into a storefront retailer in the bay area and I am also going to introduce craft concentrate into different places that don’t have access to it. I am posturing myself and companies for when federal legalization happens. Everyday I continue to struggle and go through challenges. But I have done more at age 24 than most people have done at age 40, I can’t even begin to imagine the things I will accomplish in 5 years. My main goal is to grow these companies and make enough money to help my struggling family, I will not let anything stop me until I make it to the top of this mountain.
Because I am a 24 year old woman some refuse to take me seriously. Even though I have done more than most people have in such a short period of time. I am still self-funded because I have yet to find an investor who believes in me. And yet, I continue to fight for my vision. I have been through so much in my life that I don’t think anything can scare me. I am ready to grow these businesses, create a legacy of positive impact and become a major player in the cannabis industry at a time when true cannabis liberty represents the greatest opportunity for my generation, and the future of the world.