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By Amanda Ferron


My name is Amanda (@canna_panda_ on instagram) and I’ve been working with Cannabis since 2015. I began working in cannabis after my son was diagnosed with Leukemia when he was 3 years old.

For:20 Minutes is a weekly blog powered by PayRio, inc., where I take a few minutes to discuss all things cannabis: Hot news stories, cannabis culture, products, companies, and a bunch of other cannabis related topics. I’ll be conducting interviews with industry experts, and delving deep into the issues we face as both cannabis professionals, and consumers.  

I started my professional cannabis career at Guild Extracts, who happily gave me a very flexible schedule. That allowed me to get my son to his chemotherapy sessions, and stay employed so I could still financially support him. Forever grateful to my Guild Fam!

I’ve been a cannabis consumer for about 20 years, having started using cannabis when I was 15 years old. It has been a Godsend for me when it comes to my overthinking, anxiety, and PTSD… all which have led to constant tummy issues. 


My stomach issues started at a very young age. I actually got my first stress ulcer in the 4th grade. My poor parents tried so hard to figure out this issue, trying different doctors, diets, and meds… They feel horrible, now, that they never thought of the problem being anxiety related. Anxiety just wasn’t really something people related to physical ailments back then, particularly in young children.

The pills were always too much. Especially as I got older and Doctors started trying to prescribe heavier anti-anxiety meds. They just made me feel incredibly tired and zombie-like, and never really helped ease my anxiety. I found it impossible to take those pills and be productive, even more-so once I become a mother. 

Finding cannabis as a teenager changed my life in ways I could have never seen coming. Did it completely cure my stomach issues or my struggles with anxiety? Of course not! Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a cure… 

What cannabis DOES do is calm my anxiety, helping me function like a regular person who doesn’t have crippling anxiety. It settles my stomach so I don’t throw-up everyday… It eases my ailments so I can feel slightly normal. 

Something you’ll hear me say regularly: “I don’t smoke to get high, I smoke to get normal.”

Finding cannabis also led me to a career that I absolutely love. The cannabis industry is not an easy space to work in. It is constantly changing, and not always for the best. But I truly believe in the power of this plant; Medicinally, industrially, therapeutically… It’s a miracle plant. One that should have never been made illegal in the first place… But that is a story for another post.


The Cannabis industry has always been (and hopefully always will be) about building relationships. Why would you ever want to do business with someone you wouldn’t want to be friends with?

PayRio’s CEO, Aubrey Amatelli, and I are both passionate about building those relationships, and helping the cannabis community thrive. Whether we accomplish that by offering PayRio’s boutique payment processing experience to cannabis retail professionals, or by helping other cannabis professionals connect, completely separate from our services… Believe it or not, we are happy regardless. We just want to help our fellow canna-people any way we can! 

Our ultimate goal is to help. Period. 

We want to help make the cannabis industry a safer place to operate, help people who’ve been negatively affected by the “War on Drugs”, and help preserve cannabis culture and the community we all know and love. Connecting people, keeping the cannabis community intact, and honoring the plant itself is what it’s all about.


Over the years, I’ve worked in many different areas of the industry… From the farm, processing, and manufacturing, to office administration, marketing, team management and tech solutions. 

Anyone who has worked in Cannabis can tell you, most companies are basically start-ups, and you learn to wear 10 hats under one title. Wearing so many different hats and working with so many amazing people in the industry has given me a unique view into the worlds of both Legal and “Traditional” (aka the less-than-legal) Cannabis.

Working with cannabis has also led me to study this amazing plant in my free time. I try to learn a little more everyday, and educate others about the Endocannabinoid System, different terpenes, different cannabinoids, and different delivery methods.

Basically… Cannabis is my passion!

So come chill with me for a few minutes a week, and read along as we explore the world of Cannabis!

Aubrey Amatelli and Chase Nightingale at PayRio