Jennessa Lea, also known as Fit Cannabis Girl, has come a long way with the help of cannabis. With nutrition, exercise and, of course, medicinal marijuana, Lea has lost a hundred pounds, gone from being in a wheelchair to running in the Rocky Mountains. But less than a year after Fit Cannabis Girl opened Break the Stigma, a cannabis-friendly gym, authorities forced her to shut it down.
Fit Cannabis Girl’s Story
Jennessa Lea wasn’t always the fit, canna-positive woman you see on Instagram. She suffers from Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, a condition that leads to painful joint instability due to issues with collagen production. Lea told Green Rush Daily, “I lived obese, in bed and drugged up and had no quality of life. I started slowly just seeing my whole life disappear.”
Then Jennessa Lea discovered the plant that would inspire her moniker. She explained, “I started to take cannabis and was able to actually get through my fitness regimen, and not only get through it but was able to come back to it the next day and consistently build that muscle.”
Staying fit and going to physical therapy is a big part of treating Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. While opiates clouded her mind, Lea found cannabis helped her stay present. “It changed everything … my whole quality of life right before my eyes. It was just cannabis, fitness and nutrition,” she said.
Break the Stigma: Pairing Cannabis with Exercise
After running her first 5k, Jennessa Lea became Fit Cannabis Girl. She moved to Wheat Ridge to open Break the Stigma, a cannabis-friendly gym. For a little under a year, they held 2-hour classes for $28 dollars each. The first hour was a yoga class, followed by an hour of education on the Endocannabinoid System.
During the second half, Break the Stigma would gift cannabis to their customers. They never sold marijuana, Lea explained. “It was always $28. You’d never pay for that product. You’re paying for the class, you’re paying for the education.”
This is legal under Colorado’s gifting law. You can give anyone over 21 years old up to an ounce of marijuana. Break the Stigma’s sponsors would gift their products to Lea, who would gift them to her clients. The price of a class never changed depending on how much cannabis you accepted or didn’t accept.
City Shuts Fit Cannabis Girl’s Gym This Week
The city of Wheat Ridge closed Break the Stigma on June 4th because they claim that they never knew customers would be smoking marijuana on the premises.
Lea explained, “The fact that they’re saying that they never knew is a lie. We had so many conversations, and not just myself, a realtor on the behalf of Break the Stigma fitness.” Lea has a business license for yoga and cannabis education from the city of Wheat Ridge, and the support of her community, she says.
When Jennessa Lea first applied for her license, she remembered, “They said they didn’t care what we did inside our private residence since this was on private residential property.” According to Fit Cannabis Girl, there is no law against gifting marijuana on private residential property in Wheat Ridge.
Raising Awareness For Fitness and Cannabis
Lea is returning to her mission that predates Break the Stigma: educating the public on cannabis for health and fitness. In addition to documenting her journey on social media and through her blog, Fit Cannabis Girl will be going on tour.
“I wanted to help other people find that hope. I know what it feels like to feel so hopeless and to feel so sick,” she said.