CBD Hemp Derivative to Help Officers De-stress
After having twin girls at age 45 and returning to figure in the Austin police district, Jamay Nellum-Fane began looking for something to help manage her postpartum depression and cope with the violence and despair she witnessed on the job.
The veteran cop eventually turned to CBD, or cannabidiol, a nonpsychoactive compound typically derived from the hemp plant that’s wont to treat everything from insomnia and pain to Parkinson’s and epilepsy.
When she had good results, Nellum-Fane became an evangelist and began a CBD company last year with her husband, hoping they might help other cops get past their misgivings about cannabis and ultimately heal.
“Officers are afraid. But I just tell them, ‘Hey, do your research. As long because it doesn’t have the THC in it, you’ll be fine,’” she said of the mind-altering component found in marijuana, which officers are still drug tested for.
On Wednesday, she retired from the local department after 16 years to focus more on her family and La Collection Mouja company. While earning a six-figure salary in her most up-to-date role as a training instructor at the police academy, Nellum-Fane acknowledged it’s “very hard now to be a policeman .”
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She said supervisors canceling days off on short notice was “one of the first factors” in her decision, noting it took a “major toll” on her family life.
Much to the chagrin of rank-and-file officers, that’s become standard practice as the department struggles to recruit amid a spike in departures.
“I’m liable for these little girls, and I’m a mom first,” she added. “I understand I’ve got a duty as a law enforcement officer, but it’s a choice. This is often not prison. I had to form the decision to come up with another stream of income and to focus on that.”
Nellum-Fane, who is Black, also pointed to the police killing of George Floyd, which changed her perception of policing and sometimes “made it extremely difficult for me to put that uniform on.”
“I’m almost sure if people are familiar with the history of what African Americans probably have experienced or gone through in this country,” she said. “And I feel what magnified it is that it was done on film. The planet saw it. It had been no going around it. It had been like right there in your face, and it had been just a horrible event.”
Still, she said, Floyd’s murder offers police and community members a chance to “come together to heal these wounds.” She said she joined the local department with a “community mindset” in 2005 and hoped to “bring change” to the city.
The Austin native previously worked as a community organizer with the nonprofit Northwest Austin Council and later spent much of her enforcement career policing the district that covers that area.
Though she came into her career hoping it might give her an “edge” to help her community, her perspective shifted after she had her twins in July 2019 and was hit with postpartum depression. She said returning to the “fast-paced,” and violent Austin district didn’t help.
“I was trying to deal with what I’m seeing daily, trying to serve within the community, then when I get home, I’m a mom,” she said. “So it had been just a lot. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of how severe the postpartum was.”
Then she found CBD, a “game-changer” Nellum-Fane said has helped manage Depression and her sleep issues. After seeing the advantages, she and her husband, Moustapha Fane, eventually partnered with one of his college friends to start La Collection Mouja.
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The company now sells CBD products — including oils, beauty products, and candles — through its website and at vending events. Their key goal is to supply some relief to cops, who Nellum-Fane noted often suffer from depression, PTSD, and sleeplessness.
“We wanted to be a part of a team that’s gonna help the officers understand that it might be difficult for them to go see a therapist, but we can deliver them a product that’s gonna help them cope with whatever situation they’re in going through,” she said.