At just 23-years-old, Antuanette Gomez is a name to be recognized in the Canadian cannabis scene.
Just a handful of years ago, she quit her job, relocated to Peru, and then ended up enrolling in school in Canada for holistic nutrition. While on that path, she turned her attention to cannabis.
Gomez now is the CEO of Pleasure Peaks — a company she created that is dedicated to the sexual health benefits of cannabis — as well as an industry consultant, and the former director of Canada – Women Grow. She also recently was invited as a scholar to the Forbes 30 Under 30 summit.
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“I help women and minorities specifically [get businesses off the ground], usually pro bono, because we have a lack of inclusivity in the industry—and it’s always kind of been like that and it’s getting progressively more dominated by men,” Gomez explained. “The opportunities available to women are scarce.”
The Cannabis-Sexual Health movement
It’s no secret that there seems to be a linkage between sex and cannabis that our society is only just beginning to explore.
Gomez is not only known for her expertise in cannabis and sexual health, but also in tantra.
“In a partner situation [using cannabis], you’re being able to connect with your truest self and leaving a lot of barriers behind; cannabis is also known to be an aphrodisiac as well, because it’s known to heighten sensitivity and arousal,” Gomez said.
When used topically, Gomez explained that cannabis can cause more blood flow to the genitals as well as lubrication and increased sensitivity to touch for those with vaginas.
She created Pleasure Peaks “because of the need for sexual healing education, products, community and awareness.” Her company not only will be selling fun cannabis sex products like lube and CBD-infused candles come legalization, but will also focus on holistic sexual health benefits, such as products like suppositories for women suffering from such ailments as endometriosis, chronic yeast infections and even cervical cancer.
Currently, Pleasure Peaks is developing a line of 16 different products and has secured a licensed producer partner in Canada that will help take the company to the next level upon Canada’s legalization on October 17.
Gomez referenced “underground compassion clubs” in Canada back in 2012 that worked with doctors across the country. She began working at one. It was there that she learned how to work with cannabis for different diagnoses.
“I was seeing hundreds of patients and was dealing with many MS patients; cannabis is incredibly effective for MS,” Gomez said.
Then, she ended up meeting a woman who was diagnosed with the notoriously painful condition endometriosis.
“Putting two and two together… I gave her a nice, simple coconut oil topical base to start with, and she said she was able to have sex again,” Gomez said.
She then made her patient suppositories, which they found were “incredibly effective.”
The woman and her husband thought she would never be able to have kids. But, after treatment with suppositories and four months’ time, Gomez’s patient got pregnant.
“It was a miracle baby,” Gomez said.
After that, Gomez knew there was something there that no one else had really honed in on. “I thought that I was the best person to take this on,” she explained of her decision to make a cannabis sexual health brand for women by women.
“There were so many barriers not only for me, but for other women as well, that I could see,” she said.
Diversity, the Cannabis Industry, and the Future
Recently, Gomez found herself a lone female speaker on panels at a major cannabis event in Toronto.
“I had to say ‘vagina’ a hundred times, and I could feel how uncomfortable the room was,” Gomez recalled. “‘Vagina’ is not a dirty word.”
As a young woman of color, Gomez undeniably stands out in an industry lacking in diversity.
“It’s incredibly disheartening. Even though I have six years in the industry, I’m in Toronto Life as a most influential woman in the cannabis industry…I’m in Forbes. Even me, I still have issues getting involved in the cannabis industry.”
Gomez said her quest to get a licensed producer for her company took her four years.
She said it’s been “a struggle being a minority” in the industry but that her passion for the business has gotten her to where she is today.
“There’s no playbook: There’s an industry that doesn’t exist yet, so there’s really nothing to run off by but your gut,” Gomez said. “You really just need to be adaptable.”
Gomez thinks it’s “amazing” that Canada is legalizing recreational use come October 17.
“I honestly didn’t think it would happen in my lifetime,” she said. But, she said, there’s some lacking on the social responsibility side in regards to pardons for those facing criminal records in Canada related to previous cannabis activity. Gomez referenced Oakland, California’s weed reparations as a model that could be looked to.
Gomez hopes to soon take her company global.
“It’s truly a calling. I know that nobody else can really do Pleasure Peaks justice… I do this because I just know I need to,” she said.
To learn more about Pleasure Peaks, visit their website here.