Imelda Walavalkar

The Pure Beauty CEO and co-founder on injecting politics into weed, the comfort of stoners, and not being the face of the company.


The first time I smoked weed was in college. It was out of a giant bong and it put me on a whole other planet. I ended up totally freaked out, and then didn’t smoke for a while. I think a lot of people have a similar story. 

I wasn’t that experienced with drugs, and I didn’t have that much understanding of what it’s like to be put in an alternate universe. Whether it’s acid or any other drug, I think the first time that happens , it can put you in a scary place. That’s why I think microdosing is so amazing, but it’s weird to me that at that time, people never thought to do it. Instead of easing into it, it was like, “You’re going to take this giant tab of acid.”

Smoking put me into this place where I was just like, Oh, shit, weed is really scary. I would say it took me five or six years before I picked it up again. I had just moved to New York. I had a good friend who smoked all the time and eventually, I was just like, Ohhh. I was more ready for it. That’s when I realized, Holy shit, weed’s amazing and so fucking deep and life changing.