Jennifer Shepherd—known affectionately in Las Vegas as Nurse Jen—might have been destined to work with cannabis. As a young girl, she played in the laundry room where her father grew it. As a 16-year-old student athlete dealing with congenital hip dysplasia, she began experimenting with it for pain.
Later, as a nurse, she and her patients became increasingly frustrated with western medicine. She began learning about cannabis and moved to Colorado once it began medicinal sales. There, she heard about the potential of Las Vegas as a marijuana mecca, motivating her to draft a business proposal and move west. She began advising Vegas patients on how to best incorporate medical marijuana into their existing treatment.
Shepherd has professional healthcare experience to complement her almost 20 years of marijuana education. “If you’re going into a dispensary for something because you can’t sleep or you have pain, they can help you,” she says. “If you have a whole medicine list and aren’t sure about [how to use them with marijuana], there’s where I help.”
Shepherd might be one of the few registered nurses in the market, but she’s far from alone in representing the female demographic. She regularly meets with other local women also working in the cannabis field, and remains impressed by their representation. “I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by empowering women in this industry,” she says. “A lot of women are higher up in the companies. I’ve never seen anything like it.”