CBD boutique MaryJae aims to break taboo around cannabis

Carlie Whisman

Cases of intricate glass bongs and pipes line the walls of MaryJae, a high-end smoke accessories and CBD shop on South Lamar.

Owner Jae Graham said she created MaryJae to break the taboo around cannabis and smoking and to provide a safe space for consumers of all kinds to learn about the benefits of CBD.

Graham said her inspiration to start MaryJae was her father, who started using cannabis during his battle with cancer. Before he passed, he asked her to share the healing powers of cannabis with everyone, especially the elderly community.

Graham decided to start the venture and sold her house to travel for over a year, learning as much as she could about CBD and curating an array of products before opening the store in 2017.

Beginning as MaryJae Smoke Culture, Graham said she shortened the name to MaryJae to rebrand the store as not only a smoke shop but also a lifestyle shop.

“We are a female-owned, women of color (and) queer community safe space that anybody can come to, but we are here for the women, the elderly, the queer community — just anyone that’s ‘other,’” Graham said.

MaryJae’s curation is carefully selected by Graham, who personally tests all the CBD products to ensure everything is clean, safe and effective. From topicals, edibles and prerolled joints, MaryJae has a variety of CBD products for every kind of consumer — even pets.

In addition to CBD, MaryJae sells cannabis themed jewelry, glassware, bags and more.

“We (buy) a lot of (products) from females, people of color, the queer community and small businesses,” Graham said. “I want to serve the people behind the product so I can connect the product to my people, the community.”

With a variety of CBD strains providing different kinds of relief, Graham said MaryJae aims to share the relaxing qualities of CBD for both physical and mental health.

“I started using cannabis because of my PTSD, and it really helped me manage (it),” MaryJae employee Effy Williams said.

Excited by the inclusive space she saw as a customer, Williams said she was inspired to join the MaryJae family to help break the stigma around cannabis and share what has helped her with others.

MaryJae employee Amy Garcia said this education, not just CBD sales, is the basis of the MaryJae company. In a rapidly changing industry, Graham said typically, people don’t know what products do and how they are used.

“People are able to come in and ask any questions they want,” Garcia said. “We want to educate people and help them in a clean, comfortable space.”