In 2018, De La Vega became a receptionist at STIIIZY, a premium cannabis lifestyle brand. She gained hands-on experience while being promoted to budget tender and shadowing the cannabis buyer at the STIIIZY mission site in San Francisco. The brand flew her to their flagship store in downtown Los Angeles for two weeks to teach her the roles of general manager and how the store works. She also took it upon herself to learn more about the industry by taking courses at Oaksterdam University, the US’s first cannabis college, to study budget and other cannabis topics. It then decided to apply for the equity program, which aims to reduce the barriers to obtaining cannabis licenses for those hardest hit by the war on drugs, and began the application process in May 2018.