Bud and Breakfast Q&A
Traveling around the country and covering cannabis is a dream job for many. For Vee Castillo, it’s not just a dream job. It’s a way of life.
Her latest project will allow her to work with one of the country’s few cannabis-friendly bed & breakfast spots.
Skunk magazine spoke to Vee about her new partnership with how she got into covering cannabis, how the plant works in her life, and her work with Bud & Breakfast.
Mehka King: Vee, you have been a frequent contributor to Skunk and other publications in the past like CashColorCannabis. You definitely built a name for yourself. For those who aren’t familiar with you, please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
Vee Castillo: I’m a Writer/Journalist that lives on the road capturing all things cannabis/ hemp/ and overall plant medicines. I write for many of the top industry magazines/blogs/publications, lead a column with MJ News Network, am an equity partner at Skunk Magazine, and focus much of my work on black/ brown/ and woman-owned businesses.
Mehka King: How did you find yourself in journalism? What were some of your first stories?
Vee Castillo: “It was all a dream; I used to read Word Up Magazine” I really did! But in my case, it was more of an Encyclopedia.
I loved reading, words, looking up their meanings, listening to people, and seeing the story play in my head; it was poetry, and it was also my skill of expression on paper. I’m an Aries. My mom is an Aries. We always had a hard time speaking to each other. My way of speaking without interruption was by writing letters. By 8, I knew that this was what I wanted in life.
In 2015 Cannabis saved me, and it was right then that I knew that I would go do it- be the writer and traveler I always wanted to be by writing about and exploring the plant that saved me because people needed to know the truth. My first piece was published on Medium, and it was my letter to the world, so to speak, that Cannabis is Medicine whether we like it or not.
Mehka King: When did you decide that your focus would be on cannabis?
Vee Castillo: When cannabis saved me from chronic migraine is when I knew. In 2018 I did it- I left home for the road and published my first piece in 2019.
Mehka King: What is your relationship like with cannabis, and how do you use the plant in your life?
Vee Castillo: Me and Mary rock heavy! From the first high that healed my pain, I consumed her daily. My preferred method is smoking. With my medical condition, smoking is the fastest and most effective way. But also for my work, smoking for me is best. No other method takes the pain away and opens my mind at the same time.
Mehka King: Over time, you have branded yourself as “the traveling cannawriter.” What is it like going from city to city and covering cannabis?
Vee Castillo: It’s amazing! I absolutely love experiencing the entire country and am honored to have a community that supports what I do in so many ways. All I ever wanted was to be a traveling writer living out of a suitcase.
Cannabis healed me and made my dreams come true.
Mehka King: We all know that traveling isn’t cheap and that help is needed. How do you go about finding sponsors for your trips?
Vee Castillo: It really isn’t cheap! Even the budget travel needs a little “just in case” nest. I have a big tribe of support. My sponsors are everything. It’s a community that helps me make this happen.
In general, I pitch to different businesses. Much of the time, my sponsors are repeat sponsors. I reach out with the assignment, what it will take to make it effective, what I need, how much it will cost, and then I lay out the tiers available. I show them proof of success from past assignments supported by sponsors and include past sponsor references. I’m able to offer my sponsors various services in exchange for their sponsorship.
Mehka King: One of your latest sponsors is Bud and Breakfast. How did that partnership come about? What does the partnership entail?
Vee Castillo: This was such a career goal of mine! We connected on social media, then after a while, I saw a post of theirs, and I was like, “it’s time,” I commented, sort of shooting my shot. We went to DM’s, then text messages, then the phone call that led to me writing for them! After a few weeks of working on a project, I asked if they wanted to reconsider the freelancer/client arrangement and discuss them being sponsors instead. I explained why I thought that would be better and how we could really make more impact this way vs. the other way. We discussed it over a few days’ time, and it happened! We all agreed that this was the way and jumped right into the next steps.
Bud and Breakfast will sponsor my stays within their network for various assignments/projects/industry travel needs.
Mehka King: They are one of the first and biggest 420 friendly B&B’s. How excited are you to be able to work with them this year?
Vee Castillo: It’s an honor! It’s rare that I have a hard time finding the words, but this is sort of like that. I am beyond excited and literally living the life of my dreams.
Mehka King: What can we plan to see from your sponsorship with Bud and Breakfast?
Vee Castillo: So much! So much I can’t talk about just yet. I can say that as I interview with you, I’m sitting in one of the canna-friendly properties in their network. They sponsored my stay to cover a few stories and canna tours in Phoenix, AZ.
Next month, they collaborated with Black woman-owned Canna Capecod to sponsor my team trip to DC, and we are making plans for Colorado.
Mehka King is the founder of CashColorCannabis