Tue | Oct 27, 2020

The epic life of Ashlie Barrett

Published:Sunday | October 13, 2019 | 12:00 AM
Epican’s Dispensary Manager, Ashlie Barrett, strikes a pose for the camera.
Ashlie Barrett’s personality shines through in this photo, shot at Epican in Marketplace in Kingston.
Ashlie Barrett’s personality shines through in this photo, shot at Epican in Marketplace Kingston.
Quick to assist, Ashlie Barrett (left) helps out customer service representative Kadijie Swaby at the brand’s Kingston Retail location.

Ashlie Barrett is a magnanimous, vivacious, and ambitious individual. To say she is a fighter is an understatement, having gone through two major surgeries while battling endometriosis – a brutal uterine condition, as she describes it. Coupled with surviving a terrible car accident, her daily mantra has become ‘to live every single day like it’s your last’. As such, she appreciates everybody that plays a vital role in her life.

Struggling tenaciously with the illness since age 16, Barrett uses the platform gained from winning Miss Jamaica World 2016 to advocate for women with the same condition, as well as those with general uterine diseases, through various outreach programmes. She is also passionate about healthcare as it relates to medical cannabis.

“Cannabis is a coping mechanism for endometriosis, as it assists with the treatment for some of the effects, such as insomnia, lack of appetite, nausea, and pain,” Ashlie explained.

She says that the usage of marijuana in her nine years of suffering is the only product that came close to attacking all her symptoms associated with endometriosis, all at once. Barrett confesses to not having a flare-up in quite some time, as she pairs the usage of the medicine with dieting and exercise.

“Once you are high, everything tastes good, as it is much easier to sustain that kind of lifestyle,” she says.

Her friendly and down-to-earth persona, landed her a position at Epican, Jamaica’s first cannabis dispensary, as the dispensary manager, by casually talking to the CEO, Karibe McKenzie, about her passion for Cannabis. Being employed at Epican for a year, Barrett proclaims that the establishment has assisted in providing proper guidance on how to medicate naturally.

“For years, we’ve been conditioned into thinking that medication has to be produced from a lab,” she said.

Her versatility allows her to properly engage in the different intricacies involved with her role at Epican. According to Barrett, a daily to-do list is necessary, as it is imperative to stay afloat and effectively undertake her responsibilities. Managing different personalities, logistics, planning events, and doing interviews, are just a few of her duties. Continuously changing the lives of the people she interacts with on a daily basis, the ‘social butterfly’ aims to bring innovative ideas to the brand, as she intends to be with the company for the long run.

The Epic Life

Working in such a relaxed environment and being part of something so historic, are just a few benefits of being member of the Epican family.

“Epican is not just Epican, we are epic for real,” says Barrett. “The company was the first to get a licence to distribute and produce cannabis and already has two operating stores in the island, while plans to expand in Negril are under way,” she continues.

Having the opportunity to speak on the organic product and knowing that she is doing this for the betterment of her lifestyle, is a major accomplishment for the model. She describes the experience as one that is ‘better than a pay cheque’, as she expresses her magnitude of knowing how it feels to suffer from a severe illness and to assist in coping with the treatment of that said illness among others.

The most important part of her job is to make sure that everybody is happy and composed. She commented that the energy of the workplace has to be right given that the purpose is to sell a spiritual plant. She encourages team members to educate, elevate, and medicate themselves, bestowing positivity and lifelong encouragement, but most important, to bring a positive attitude to customers and translate this with higher sales for the brand. “Epican, we are all epic in our own right,” she ended.