Michelle Mangione knows how to run a business. Before she started her cannabis edibles company, HIGH HEALS, she made a name for herself in the Orange County real estate market. Today, the only reminders from that former life are a white Maserati and a black Mercedes coup. But the driving force behind her sudden change in career had little to do with money or fortune. It was a matter of life and death.
“I got sick,” says Michelle. “They told me I had stage 4 liver cancer with three months to live. I had two surgeries to remove tumors. But it wasn’t liver cancer. Turns out, I have Cushing’s Disease, and my current brain tumors are inoperable. As a result, I quit my career because I lost a lot of my cognitive abilities. My beautiful vocabulary was gone and today I’m pretty unfiltered (laughs). But Im healthy and I’m alive.”
For most people living with cancer, getting the news is just the beginning. What follows are major life adjustments, decisions and a reality check. Treatments options today offer more hope with cannabis, but that wasn’t the case even a few years back. But Michelle decided to fight cancer with the help of cannabis – and God – and she’s never wavered.
“I was using CBD for pain in my head and back of my neck. I had migraines, loss of vision, so I used creams on my eyes, temples and cheeks. I found a granola form too. With granola you can take a small piece at a time and not worry about half a cookie getting stale.”
A woman of renewed faith, Michelle says, “When they gave me three months to live, I knew it wasn’t a true diagnosis. Somehow it had to be wrong. Jesus believed in me when I didn’t believe in Him…and I’ve been blessed ever since.”
This type of spirit and approach made me wish we could discuss such matters with the man Himself. Over a smoke, of course.
Michelle put this same level of faith into the cannabis granola and cookie recipes she made herself. At first it was trial and error, choosing different flowers and oils with varying levels of THC and CBD. She found herself coming up with formulas, tested out of necessity, not regulation.
“Back in 2013, I did some test bars similar to a KIND bar, meaning all organic and natural,” says Michelle. “I made these granola bars for a dispensary in San Diego. I thought, oh my God, I love this. So I got licensed, I got a commercial kitchen and started up as HIGH HEALS.”
The edibles were in high demand, and it became obvious she was on to something. But not everyone was playing the same game; manufacturers had to be vetted for high quality oils, versus snake oils. Basically, there were a lot of inconsistencies in the industry, but Michelle committed to high standards, working out of a commercial kitchen and 3rd-party testing her products up north. Still, she says she couldn’t help but wonder where other products came from and how they were being made (i.e., seed-to-sale).
“Back then, it was the wild west,” says Michelle. It cost me more money to do it right, but I’m grateful I did, because it led me to create Dosey Dough.”
A Patent-Pending software platform, Dosey Dough has a dosing and tracking system that will ensure businesses comply with federal regulations and compliance standards. So, whether you’re making edibles, balms, vape oils or any foreseeable product that involves federal standards, you’ll need Dosey Dough. In fact, Michelle recently attended the A. S. T. M. conference in New Orleans and has been asked to sit on the international advisory board.
“Everybody out there loves this industry that’s in it and wants to have regulations and standards to live up to so we can keep our industry going. I have created a Patent Pending platform that will allow us to do this. It’s a seed-to-sell with a Patent Pending that will take care of dosing. A skew and description will be required in the end, so every item is the same.”
Will this be enough to regulate the industry? Will such a compliance platform satisfy the federal government and open the door to legitimize the cannabis industry? Is all this just talk and a bad acid trip? Only time will tell.
In the meantime, Michelle keeps the faith and continues to develop her HIGH HEALS brand. This includes a line of Pet products that not only looks and sounds promising but has the numbers to back the vision (Americans currently spend over 60 billion a year on their pets).
The HIGH HEALS line currently includes oils that go into food, treats, and balms for wrapping injuries. However, Michelle states she is eager to introduce more products that will go under her Two Girl Ranch brand. All of her pet products are tested for consistency and will eventually utilize the Dosey Dough platform, even though laws for pet consumables don’t yet exist.
Besides the dollar signs, Michelle has a very personal reason for starting her pet line:
“I love animals. Sometimes they’re nicer than people. When I was sick and told I was gonna die, I came home from the hospital and on the TV was a report about a horse that someone had tied to a tree in Ontario. It was summer, about 115 degrees, and this horse was left there with no food and water for almost 45 days. I called the news station to see if I could pay for its medical bills, and the sheriff called back and told me they put her down. Her name was Mama. I swore at that time that I was gonna give back. It’s been a couple years now, and I want to give back through the animal products I’ve created. My ultimate dream is to have a rescue or sanctuary.”
Dreaming is not only a known trait of successful entrepreneurs, staying positive is essential for anyone fighting a good fight. Michelle’s story reminds us that life challenges, like cancer, can also be a form of alchemy. A catalyst to change. So in my opinion, if the high heals…then Michelle has done her job not only for herself but many others, including Fido and Jesus.
Can I get an ‘AMEN’?