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Happy Trails with Rachel Tatusko

Amanda Ferron

When Aubrey Amatelli and I started working towards launching For:20 Minutes, one thing we really wanted to focus on was women in the Cannabis industry. Women owned Cannabis companies, products, services… You will hear me say it over and over, but I truly believe the Cannabis Industry has a unique opportunity to NOT be a “boys club”.  

The space is filled with divine feminine energy. Partially because the female Cannabis plant produces the buds we all love… But that energy also comes from some truly incredible women who are stepping up and making their mark in the world of Cannabis. 

Women like Rachel Tatusko.


I first met Rachel during my time at Backbone Software. I was working as a Solutions Architect, and had been assigned to help build software for some of our Social Equity partners. On that project, we got to connect via Google Meet twice a week. Meeting so often allowed me to become friends with both Rachel, and her Mama, who is a retired CPA/CFO, and is an essential part of Happy Trails success.

After I left Backbone, I remained in contact with Rachel over Instagram. Starting my role as Head of Community for PayRio had me going into dispensaries more often than I did before, and I always loved seeing Happy Trails on the shelves. “Hey, I know her!” I would always say excitedly… 

When For:20 Minutes launched, I had a few people that I knew I wanted to interview. Rachel was one of the first people that came to mind. Even though we had only met over a laptop screen, her energy was always fantastic. And I knew she was exactly the type of woman I wanted to highlight. I sent her a DM on instagram, and arranged to meet up with her in person at Rose Mary Jane in Oakland, CA.


Meeting Rachel in person did not disappoint.

Like I said before, she has amazing energy that you can seriously feel through a laptop screen, and in person, she simply radiates. We embraced in a tight hug, like old friends would, and sat down for a couple joints and a chat.

Q: Tell me a little about your background. How did you get into Cannabis?

A: “I started smoking when I was in High School. I have struggled with Depression and Anxiety since my teens. When I found Cannabis, it really allowed me to manage my anxiety, and get what I needed to get done, done. I was living in Orange County at the time, and Cannabis use was more Taboo down there than it is up here in NorCal. So it was always kind of ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell.’ when it came to my smoking. After graduating, I tried to sell Life Insurance…”

Side note: I ALSO sold life insurance after graduating. To be blunt, I absolutely hated it. It’s high-pressure sales, and I would routinely go into the bathroom and have small panic attacks after making so many horrible cold-calls. I didn’t last long doing that… But I digress…

“I trimmed and traded a little weed in my younger years… Then, I was lucky enough to start working with some very knowledgeable people in Cannabis. Back when most of us were working out of garages… I am still very close to that group of people. When I wanted to launch my own brand, they were supportive and understanding.”


Q: How did Happy Trails come to be?

A: “I originally wanted to call it something else, but it was very close to an already trademarked company name, so my lawyer friend advised against that… And I actually met someone who worked for that company that same week, and they were going on about how litigious they were, so I was like ‘Well, that’s a sign from the universe… Definitely going with a different name.’

I have a girlfriend that I grew up with, who had a family saying… Instead of aloha or goodbye, they would always say ‘Happy Trails!’ to each other… And it’s actually the license plate on their family RV as well. So I was walking up her driveway one day and it hit me. I was like ‘Oh my God, Happy Trails…” I asked her what she thought of me calling my Cannabis company that, and she was like ‘I would be honored!’. It’s like a family saying to me as well, since I am so close to her and her family. So the name itself has special meaning.“

With that, Happy Trails Cannabis was born. They offer pre-rolls, flower, and a unique package of buds called “Trail Mix”; A mixed bag containing different strains of Cannabis. Which to me is such a great idea, because I love rolling joints filled with different strains… a.k.a. “Full Spectrum Joints”, since you get different cannabinoids and terpene profiles from each strain.


Q: Being a woman in the industry, and a young female owner at that, how has your experience been?

A: “I’m so glad you asked, because it is something I think about and deal with all the time…. It’s funny because the most common thing is people dont assume that someone who looks like me is an owner, so that’s something people say to me a lot. I’m thinking maybe I just come off as too chill or too nice or something. “ She giggled “Plus I am young, so they just seem confused when I explain that I am a company Owner. But once I start talking to people, they realize that I know what I’m talking about…

I am in full control of the entire process. And while it does mean you have to do like 10 peoples jobs, I really see that as a huge driving factor in the brand. I have full creative and quality control, I know what people like, and I am a consumer myself. ”

Rachel certainly does know her stuff, and it shows in the quality of her Happy Trails products. Her Cannabis is sourced from a small, craft grow, with which she has had a personal relationship for years. “It makes it easy to maintain the quality overall, being so close to the growers.” She explained.  



Seeing women like Rachel dedicate their lives to this plant, and the community who consumes it, is truly inspiring. We joked in between joint hits about the saying “nobody gets rich working in Cannabis”, which is something you may hear a lot of Cannabis industry professionals talk about. 

But that is a harsh reality. Rachel and I know a lot of people in this space… And most of the people we know in the industry, even some who have achieved great success and recognition, are still living paycheck to paycheck. Between issues like the federal legality problem, the outrageous taxes, and the overwhelming amount of robberies, it is hard to stay afloat. “It’s like you’re getting squeezed from all sides,” says Rachel.

People like Rachel don’t do it for the money. They got into this space because they truly care about Cannabis. They believe in its therapeutic, medicinal, and industrial potential. And they are doing everything they can to ensure Cannabis consumers are provided with clean, safe, high-quality products for years to come.


“I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail.” – Muriel Strode

You can now find Happy Trails Cannabis available in 40+ dispensaries across the state of California. Rose Mary Jane, the dispensary where we met to have this interview, regularly has Happy Trails in stock. I walked in before Rachel got there, and purchased a Happy Trails Pre-Roll for us to share while we chatted. When I mentioned Rachel was meeting me there for an interview, the staffs faces lit up “WE LOVE RACHEL!” they all exclaimed.

Rose Mary Jane is a beautiful dispensary located in Oakland, CA. The staff is knowledgeable, warm, and friendly. It’s not only a dispensary, but a consumption lounge as well! They have an awesome bar, serving up seriously yummy Cannabis mocktails, and an open-air smoking space in the back where you can feel free to relax and consume your favorite Cannabis products. The smoking space also includes tables with ashtrays and lighters conveniently placed for consumers to use. Rose Mary Jane works with For:20 Minutes sponsor, PayRio, so you can use your debit or credit cards when you shop there! 

Regardless of gender, the Cannabis space is not an easy space to thrive in. But Rachel is a true trailblazer, and I have no doubt that she and Happy Trails will be around for years to come. Spreading positivity, giving amazing hugs, and truly caring about the quality of the Cannabis she provides. 

I can’t wait to see what Rachel accomplishes next. 

“It’s what makes me wake up and get going… I wake up everyday and I’m like ‘I’ve never wanted anything more in my life.’” Rachel Tatusko