Tag Archive 420News

ByMieko Perez

Global Healthcare Conversations with Mieko Perez ft. Janie & Gavin

By Mieko Hester-Perez

What is your personal story with choosing cannabis for you child on the autism spectrum?

My oldest son, Gavin, was diagnosed with autism in 2010 at the age of 5 and accepted into the Sussex Consortium for their year-round Autism program. It was a hard diagnosis for us to face even though my husband is a Special Education teacher and works with autistic children on a regular basis.

Gavin was born a twin with his sister, Rylie, at 29 weeks gestation. I remember the first time I was allowed to hold him he cuddled up under my neck. My first thought was “Oh, wow! I’ve got a little cuddle bug!” I called him my Bugaboo. He met all of his milestones albeit a bit delayed due to his early birth.

There was still something “off” though. He seemed to have been born with OCD. His pediatrician and I would discuss his “quirkiness” when he was very little but as time went on, we both knew we needed to get him evaluated for ASD. He would fixate on broken or uneven floor tiles and physically fight me if I tried to move him.

Instead of clothes, his dresser drawers were full of rocks, sticks, pieces of electronics he took apart, old erasers, and pieces of folded papers that he would stare at. He never once played with toys. He was combative, aggressive, and controlling with others, especially with Rylie.

He could not handle changes and had to have strict routine. He was developing certain behaviors such as smelling and tasting nonfood items, for instance ants, plants, feet if he could get to them under a table, soap, etc. The communication coming out was perseveration and how he was receiving communication was extremely pragmatic.

Communication, mutism, and lack of being able to console or touch him was our biggest concern. He was disappearing into a different world each day. We saw him mirror others around him so we decided to integrate him into regular classrooms with a therapist by his side and private therapy during the summers.

He was ahead for his age on an intellectual scale but emotionally, socially, and behaviorally things were difficult for him. We saw slivers of empathy come through and this made us hopeful. The hardest for us was the social impact we saw playing out for him. We could see that he was figuring out that his brain worked differently than his peers.

He wanted to be accepted by his peers but was not. Sports did not work out in his favor with his IBS, awkward gait, and severe social anxiety. We began making plans to remodel our downstairs into a suite for him as he got older, thinking long-term.

He also wanted and needed his own space to retreat and calm down. His social anxiety, even with family, was apparent. What would his future look like? Were we doing the right things? Diets, medicines, therapy…I know every parent question themselves if they have done enough. It’s a hard thing to wonder. You literally tear yourself up over this…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. Tetragram App

By Mieko Hester-Perez

Tetragram is a trailblazing digital platform that helps you get the most out of being a medical cannabis patient. Finally, a platform that empowers the new faces of cannabis and highlights CBD consumer trends.

As more cannabis & CBD products are redefining their social responsibility in communities across the world, the science of cannabis and CBD therapeutics now has a new ally and that’s Tetragram.

Tetragram has been featured in Green Market ReportsMaryland’s Capitol Gazette , Washington Post and The Cannabis Diversity Report and now with us.

Courtesy of Otha Smith III

What is your personal story and mission that motivated Tetragram?

I’m originally from Southern Anne Arundel County, MD., located twenty minutes south of Annapolis, Md. I first started smoking cannabis at the age of 17 with a friend of mine that lived in my neighborhood.

Most of the people I grew up with in my neighborhood were smokers, but at the time I was heavily involved in sports, so I didn’t give it a try until later in high school.

In 2003, I was involved in a serious car accident that nearly took my life. I fell asleep at the wheel and was ejected from the car landing on my head and upper back. It resulted in a six inch and thirty-four plus staple scar on the top of my head.

After being released from the hospital I was prescribed several different opioids to address my neck and back pain. After three years of using prescription pills, I decided I didn’t want to continue to take pills daily for the rest of my life. So, one day I completely stopped taking them.

I started buying cannabis from a friend of mine who had been selling cannabis since high school and lived relatively close by. Fast forward and years later cannabis started to become legal for medical and recreational use across the country.

Once Maryland legalized cannabis for medical use in 2014 I jumped at the opportunity to get my medical cannabis card. After getting my medical cannabis card I will never forget the feeling of entering a dispensary for the very first time…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. Oklahoma’s Flower Therapy Dispensary

By Mieko Hester-Perez

What is your personal story and mission that motivated you to work with cannabis?

My story and mission that motivated me to work in cannabis probably started originally back in 2004 when I came home from school at Florida A&M University.

Courtesy of Terrance LeMaile

That summer, I was incredibly focused on breaking into the music business industry, so much that I felt confident enough to walk into my father’s private practice office and let him know that college wasn’t for me and I wanted to pursue starting my own business.

Long story short, it did not go over well and I was faced with a dose of reality. Making this decision led to me to moving out and figuring things out on my own like how I would make money and pursue my career goals.

I will touch on this lightly over time, because of course in 2004 -2005 the laws were nowhere to the point they are now. However, during this time was when I learned how good I could be as a knowledgeable resource for what people needed and how I could go about it relatively unseen and unheard.

I had an internship that turned into a job in Hollywood so my mobility around the city allowed me to be of service to all different types of individuals, that this plant connected me to.

Genuine conversations and interactions with people from different walks of life began to show me how much positive energy was provided with this plant.

I was able to observe California implement medical marijuana laws and start to see a framework that could make sense, instead of the risks I was previously taking.

Fast forward to life around early 2018, I found myself in Ohio trying to land a marketing job with a start-up company. In preparing for the possible relocation, I asked about how the medical cannabis policy would be handled and the job offer was pulled.

It turned out to be a blessing in disguise and one of the primary moments in my life that led me to pursue what it would take for me for me to be able to capitalize in this new emerging LEGAL recreational market in California.

I was aware that less than one percent of people that looked like myself were represented in this new business. However, at the core of what this is, I couldn’t accept not trying. I told myself if I couldn’t find a way to talk to people about the health benefits of cannabis then maybe I need to reconsider everything I’m doing and reset…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. Tammy Pettigrew

Republished July 3, 2021 | By Mieko Hester-Perez

Tammy Pettigrew is a California-based cannabis advocate, educator and speaker focusing on cannabis science, history, business, and debunking countless myths surrounding cannabis. Her goal is to create change by helping others improve their lives by arming them with the proper information and challenging outdated perspectives when it comes to health and wellness.

In 2019, Tammy was market chair for Women Grow Orange County, and hosted monthly networking events, connecting professionals in the industry with those aspiring to be in cannabis.

In 2018, Tammy graduated from the University of Miami with a Master of Business Administration and subsequently launched her cannabis education company, The Cannabis Cutie. This educational platform hosts a cannabis-based book club, cannabis courses, a vlog, and social channels with daily informative lessons. Currently, she hosts educational and informational segments on Herb Magazine’s social channels, as well as KandyPens.

Tammy is used to creating movements and was able to be part of history at Oklahoma State by being one of seven women who chartered the first multicultural Greek-lettered organization on campus. The women met in the fall of 2007 for their first meeting, and on June 13, 2012, they were granted chapter status by Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Inc., as the Epsilon Epsilon Chapter, with Tammy elected as their first president.

During her tenure at Oklahoma State, she also joined ranks with the Oklahoma City Thunder, the newest NBA team in the league. Her job was to manage all entertainment elements during pre-game, time-outs, halftime, and post-game. She helped coordinate game-day scripts and contracts, supervision and leading of the spirit team, held office hours, sat in department meetings, and aided with bookings for half-time and pre-game performers.

What inspired you to start The Higher Learning book club?

I really love to read! It’s how I gather a lot of the information about cannabis, but one of the hardest things about reading books is holding myself accountable to the book. This seems to be a problem for many people, so the book club seemed like a no-brainer! The purpose of The Higher Learning Book Club is to bring like-minded cannabis users and enthusiasts and elevate our knowledge on all-things cannabis, while holding each other accountable.


We are so much more than just “potheads,” and in order to change the public perception and dogma around cannabis, we as users have a responsibility to be that change first. This book club is cultivating advocates to push the mission of freeing the plant, forward.

Read full blog on hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Cannabis Lifestyle with Mieko Perez welcomes Big Kush Jay

June 29, 2021   |   By Mieko Hester-Perez
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Jason ‘BIGKUSHJAY’ Berry is a cannabis influencer with roots in the music industry. Born and raised in upstate NY, he started his career in NYC as an intern at Jive Records in the promotions department.

Quickly learning the ropes, he soon started a promotion and management company for mixtape DJ’s. All while holding down a job as marketing director for The Fridge Magazine, an independently published magazine that focused on the collision of action sports and hip-hop culture. He combined his efforts which led him to Eminem’s Shady Records. After much success in the music industry, he decided to switch focus to Los Angeles and the cannabis industry.

Utilizing his DJ and marketing talent relationships he started the cannabis lifestyle brand Klub Kush DVD Mixtape Magazine, where he interviewed artists such as: B-Real, Method Man & Redman, Raekwon the Chef, Curren$y, & many more on the topic of weed & hip hop. Klub Kush soon morphed into more than just a cannabis lifestyle brand encompassing clothes, bags, and cannabis lifestyle pieces. His book, Married to Marijuana, is his personal journey with weed and hip hop where he tells many of his stoner stories of him smoking and having fun with many of our favorite rap artists. Today BigKushJay is more of a cannabis influencer than anything, working behind the scenes with Oaksterdam University helping to educate the greater Los Angeles area on the finer points of cannabis horticulture and business.

What is your personal cannabis story that inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?

As I worked within the entertainment industry for years, cannabis was always closely associated with most of the creatives I dealt with. When I decided to start my company, cannabis and hip hop was going to be the cornerstone of everything Klub Kush!

Do you think cannabis education for medical professionals and healthcare providers is lacking?

Yes, I feel education of the cannabis plant is very much lacking. Cannabis is a Schedule 1 drug which prohibits any federal funded studies. Making it very difficult for any education to happen without proper certified studies. The first priority in my option is to reschedule the plant. Jason ‘BIGKUSHJAY’ Berry  klubkush@gmail.com @Bigkushjay @KlubKush

Read full blog @hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Conversations with Mieko, Generational Cannabis Connections

February 13, 2021   |   By Mieko Hester-Perez

Join The Hungry Medium for her popular Friday evening community event; Exclusively on Clubhouse!

Connecting with Kat Niambi was no accident, you can hear her spirit in her laughter and her soul on a mission as we discussed how important it was for her perspective to be heard from the local neighborhood bodega to the steps of the White House with this blog. It had become apparent we shared the same “soulful journey” in “Changing the narrative” which has become my go-to hashtag these days, and Ms. Niambi does not skip a beat in owning the same calling, Let us be the ancestors our descendants will thank”.

An open blog by The Hungry Medium, Kat Niambi.

Your teenager knows that you smoke weed. You know how I know? Because I am a mom. A mom who smokes cannabis. Moms do weird things. Weird things like pretending to clean your kids’ room while they are out of the house just to be nosy. We do it! Do not act like you do not. On one of these weird days, as I was “tidying up”, I felt the need to snoop in my youngest daughter’s nightstand. The contents were basic teenage items…lip gloss, a small mirror, markers, spare change, postcards and oh hello…rolling paper, a weed roach, and a teeny tiny dime bag of cannabis!

Lots of thoughts. All of the thoughts.

  • Really? She is smoking weed.
  • Oh no!!! My baby (16) is a pothead!
  • Is she smoking in her room? I have never smelled it.
  • I feel bad. The dime or nickel bag is still a thing? Poor baby!
  • Is this weed any good?
  • Should I tell them that I am a toker too?

It is the last one that I struggled with often since having kids. I had been smoking cannabis since I was 16 but because of the stigma surrounding it, I was afraid that my perfect “image” would be diminished. Even my first reaction to seeing the joint in my kid’s room was more about my perception of what kind of person she must be. It was a fleeting thought but real, nonetheless. There was/is some shame to unpack when it comes to the use of this plant. Even still, as I start to speak more about it publicly, I am met with nervous giggles and even a “shhhhh” once in a while.


There is definitely some judgment, but there was one life event that somehow offered me somewhat of a reprieve from the guilt, to finally open up and reveal my love for cannabis. The life event. Cancer…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. Herb of Life CEO

March 20, 2021   |   By Mieko Hester-Perez

Known simply as the 1st Lady of the West Coast on her Instagram, if you’re lucky enough to sit down with her to discuss music and medicine, you can call her “E”.

Destined to become major player in the cannabis industry with a product line of infused drinks and cannabis strains, she definitely brings this quote to mind; “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey

With her latest single that just dropped, BGMO Featuring Rick Ross, Let’s welcome the 1st Lady of the West Coast to Hopegrown.
With her latest single that just dropped, BGMO Featuring Rick Ross, Let’s welcome the 1st Lady of the West Coast to Hopegrown & Chronic Fatigue.

What is your personal story that connects you to the cannabis industry?

Cannabis saved my life from antidepressants. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Depression back in 2003. You would not know about my disorder unless you grew up with me and witnessed my journey and where I am today. I am proud of myself for choosing life and educating myself on the medical benefits of cannabis for bipolar depression. A lot of people do not know cannabis can be effective for treatment of bipolar disorder symptoms and can act as mood stabilizer. I have worked so hard on myself and the woman I wanted to be in life. I refused to be another statistic especially as a black woman living in America.

I thank my family for saving my life and helping me through everything, but most importantly allowing me to know what love is. I think it’s important for others who deal with mental health to have options, like natural alternative like plant-based medicines to help alleviate their symptoms. Pharmaceutical drugs can be very effective but the side effects can produce their own harrowing symptoms.


Rather than continuing to consume antidepressants, it allowed me to be me again. I felt “stuck” every time I took Prozac and all I wanted to do was sleep or sit in one place. Cannabis was a great alternative for treating my symptoms and I am so excited to help educate others about this amazing plant.

Read full story on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon ft. former NFL player, Turk Mcbride

photo courtesy of Turk McBride

 February 22, 2021 | By Mieko Hester-Perez

Turk McBride recently sat down with Mieko Perez to discuss how he is pioneering change in the cannabis industry.

Turk McBride is a former NFL defensive end who started his football career playing at the University of Tennessee where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology. He was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. During his seven year NFL career, Turk played for the Detroit Lions, New Orleans Saints, and Chicago Bears before retiring in 2013. He later attended the University of Miami and received his MBA.

Upon retiring from the league, Turk made the permanent move to California where he became exposed to the medicinal cannabis industry and studied the medical benefits of the whole plant, including cannabidiol (CBD). As Turk saw many of his NFL heroes diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), he correlated the benefits of cannabis, specifically, CBD in assisting those diagnosed. He not only began advocating for the use of CBD in retired players, but he sought opportunities to become part of the solution. Turk explored intricacies of the medicinal cannabis market in California. He partnered with experts and immersed himself in learning every aspect of the industry. In 2016, McBride founded Global Research Ventures (GRV) with a mission to provide industry leading genetics, cultivation, formulation and research for the advancement of responsible and therapeutic cannabis use.

As a former professional athlete, what inspired you to enter the California cannabis business sector?

Lack of representation in the cannabis industry inspired me to enter this sector. I did one year of due diligence trying to find a mentor in the industry. It was extremely difficult to find any minorities and anyone under the age of 40. The opportunity of being a pioneer in a new emerging industry also propelled me to enter.

In the next 5 years, where do you see Global Research Ventures making an impact? And why?

In 5 years, GRV will be making a global impact by assisting minorities and disenfranchised people to gain an opportunity to get in the cannabis space. The resources and blessings from my previous career in the NFL enabled me to experience the opportunities in cannabis I have today. In the same manner, I will use any opportunity I have to facilitate any mentorship or job creation and pass along the blessings I’ve received.

If you were able to tour a cannabis analytics lab, what are some of your interest and why?

If I had the opportunity to tour a lab I would love to see the process of uncovering the terpenoid profiles. These molecules are the most important parts of the plant’s biology. They determine the taste, smell and high. As a cultivator, this feedback is crucial in helping us optimize the plant’s performance. www.grvca.com

Instagram: @turkmcbride @GRV (Global Research Ventures)