Tag Archive black enterprise

ByMieko Perez

Mieko Hester-Perez is a Champion for Special Needs Families

Mieko Hester-Perez is a modern day warrior mom, a champion of special needs families. Every single day, her mission is to help families improve the quality of life for their loved ones through unconventional treatments and she has pledged to “leave no family behind.”

Courtesy of Mieko Perez

Just this past Sunday night, Mieko was presented with the Chalice Festival’s Industry Dedication Award for her tireless work helping families with special needs children to better understand medical cannabis. Drawing on 20 years of legal experience, 15 years of special education knowledge, ongoing research, and her personal experiences navigating through treatment options for her own son, Mieko continues to help families throughout the world achieve positive results with cannabis.

Not your typical cannabis activist

Now, it should be mentioned, Mieko Hester-Perez is not your typical cannabis activist. She doesn’t wear tie-dye, wasn’t raised by hippie parents, and doesn’t use cannabis herself. Quite the contrary: she comes from a very conservative family that includes a long line of law enforcement. “I know I’m an unlikely cannabis advocate,” Mieko says, “being raised in South Orange County among other conservative constituents.”

Because of her professionalism and reliability, physicians who don’t normally recommend cannabis call Mieko to consult with patients’ families who are considering cannabis when all other treatments have failed. She understands and sympathizes with these families because she’s been in their shoes: before trying cannabis as a treatment, her son Joey had been on over 14 different experimental medications that did not work. Secondary to his autism, Joey was diagnosed with anorexia and malnutrition and it was Mieko’s extensive research into how to get him to eat that led her to bake a few batches of gluten-free cannabis edibles for her son. 

Not only did the cannabis edibles successfully improve Joey’s appetite, which led to improved nutrition and healthy growth, Mieko also noticed he began making eye contact on a more consistent basis, he had less aggression and became more productive in educational and home settings.

Not your typical cannabis activist

Now, it should be mentioned, Mieko Hester-Perez is not your typical cannabis activist. She doesn’t wear tie-dye, wasn’t raised by hippie parents, and doesn’t use cannabis herself. Quite the contrary: she comes from a very conservative family that includes a long line of law enforcement. “I know I’m an unlikely cannabis advocate,” Mieko says, “being raised in South Orange County among other conservative constituents.”

Because of her professionalism and reliability, physicians who don’t normally recommend cannabis call Mieko to consult with patients’ families who are considering cannabis when all other treatments have failed. She understands and sympathizes with these families because she’s been in their shoes: before trying cannabis as a treatment, her son Joey had been on over 14 different experimental medications that did not work. Secondary to his autism, Joey was diagnosed with anorexia and malnutrition and it was Mieko’s extensive research into how to get him to eat that led her to bake a few batches of gluten-free cannabis edibles for her son. 

Not only did the cannabis edibles successfully improve Joey’s appetite, which led to improved nutrition and healthy growth, Mieko also noticed he began making eye contact on a more consistent basis, he had less aggression and became more productive in educational and home settings.

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Global Healthcare Conversations with Mieko Perez ft. Luv n Cann Founders

By Mieko Hester-Perez

What is your personal story and mission that inspired you to go public with your son Aiden?

My wife and I sat down one day and realized that we rarely, if at all found other parents who looked like us. At times, we were managing our son’s condition on a daily basis sometimes twenty four hours a day and seven days a week (on alert.)

We’ve spoken to so many people in the industry from CBD manufacturers, doctors, pharmacists, and parents whose child had similar conditions but mostly with autism. As we continued to learn about our son’s condition and how to treat him the one thing that alluded us was parents who looked like us.

So, we decided to go public because in hopes that other parents like us would not be afraid to share their story and in turn we created the Luv N Cann podcast.

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

Yes, we do believe cannabis education for medical professionals and health care providers are lacking and that’s because of federal laws and the pharmaceutical industry that supports the medical and health care system.

When my wife and I go into doctors’ offices and share with them the alternative paths and the endocannabinoid system they often have no idea what we are talking about or why we’ve considered taking a holistic approach to healing our child.

We are huge proponents for education as it relates to cannabis, cannabinoids, and the endocannabinoid system…

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. James Henry SF Cannabis Brand

By Mieko Hester-Perez

Social responsibility falls upon businessmen to heed the call in any society. Businessmen must review the impact of their decisions and actions on the other sections of the society. According to Peter F Druker, “Social responsibility requires managers to consider whether their action is likely to promote the public good, to advance the basic beliefs of our society, to contribute to its stability, strength and harmony.”

When startup companies include community social responsibility, this provides consumers with a “trusted” sense of assurance that includes: understanding the elements of community responsibility, ethical actions, legal aspects, economic Interests, and philanthropic obligations…

Courtesy of John Alston

And that was just in the first forty-five minutes into my conversation with John Alston of the James Henry SF…

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

Being a Louisiana native, the state has one of the highest rates of cancer patients in the country and as a result, it has plagued my family. When I had a breast cancer scare with my mother, I researched all the information I could find on cannabis killing cancer cells.

I wanted my mother to try concentrated, full or targeted spectrum cannabis therapy in lieu of chemotherapy. Thankfully, she only needed a few rounds of radiation. I’d now learned the truth about medical cannabis and also forged a social justice initiative to make an impact with my new found knowledge. As a young black entrepreneur, I wanted to change the negative way that our communities viewed cannabis consumption.

And the proof is in the data, we have more states on board with some form of cannabis legalization and federal legalization is in very promising talks. And that’s with more education and information that from brands like James Henry SF and organizations like the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine have been contributing and working towards.

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Ventures on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. entrepreneur, Donnie P.

By Mieko Hester-Perez

Donnie P., an entrepreneur and native of Jeanerette, Louisiana, realized early in his professional business career that he was equipped with the necessary drive and determination that would allow him to start businesses—from the ground up—without any money.

He used these tools and, immediately upon graduation from Southern University A & M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, he established Community Case Management, an adolescent substance abuse counseling service. Soon after, he would also create Preventive Medical Services, a community-based medical health center.

Later on in 2007, Donnie P. would hone his entrepreneurial knowledge and skills by founding A Plus Home Care Services, a non-medical, in-home health company that focuses on elder and support.

Courtesy of Donnie P.

He credits the success of A Plus Home Care Services to his unparalleled motivation and perseverance. During A Plus Home Care Services’ infancy, he assumed every role that was required to effectively run the business. He became an expert in the areas of finance, sales, marketing, and operations.

Today, with over 20 years of experience, Donnie is guided by his unwavering faith in God and desire to develop business platforms that will uplift others. He is currently founder and CEO of OSD Holdings, LLC, which is a cannabis dispensary owner/partner of Greenleaf Dispensary in Houma Louisiana.

He launched A Caring Home Services’ national franchise rollout in the middle of 2012. In August of 2013, he sold his first of many franchises to Karl and Beverley Stephens, LLC out of Nashville, Tennessee. A Caring Franchise was sold in 2019.

In 2014 Donnie P. Authored his first business book titled, How to Catch a Mouse with No Cheese. It was written for people who either have been in business for up to a year or are interested in starting a business, but do not have money.

It discusses five life-changing principles that will help you succeed. Each principle has its own basis for preparing you to get your business up and growing with no money.

What kind of cannabis research is needed that hasn’t been covered yet?

More research is needed on the cannabis plant to discover all of its healing power because it has so many. We have only scratched the surface on how much healing power the herb has which can help so many people.

Where do you see Greenleaf dispensaries in five years making an impact?

In five years, we envision Green Leaf Dispensary operating in several states and bringing other budding entrepreneurs into the industry.

What is the best advice you can give to a first-time cannabis user walking into Greenleaf Dispensary?

Well, for a first-time cannabis user that walks into our dispensary, they speak with our board-certified pharmacist to discuss the health benefits of cannabis after a recommendation from their doctor. With that knowledge, they are ready to enjoy the benefits of cannabis for their symptoms.

Read full blog on Hopegrown.org

ByMieko Perez

Business Horizons on the Horizon with Mieko Perez ft. Chef Matt

By Mieko Hester-Perez

Chef Matt’s culinary career began in 1998 when he opened his first restaurant in Oklahoma. Since then, Matt has traveled and studied culinary arts overseas and throughout the United States. In addition to pursuing his culinary passions, he has also been in the catering industry since 2000.

He has won numerous cooking events during his time as a chef. He’s won BBQ awards, Cajun/Creole awards, and several other awards to date. His overseas experience is powerfully displayed in his finished culinary works.

Courtesy of Chef Matt

While working for the Hyatt Regency, he ran several of their 5-star restaurants including a Teppanyaki restaurant, Italian restaurant, Japanese restaurant, and even their Las Vegas style buffet restaurant. Matthew is well versed in butchery, training, and menu planning.

So, it should be no surprise that Chef Matt has developed a brand of his own CBD products to compliment his passion for the culinary arts. Through this passion he has partnered with diverse companies such as: Nuvo Olive OilPantry Food Company, Deeper Green, Juju Royal, and CBD Daily Eats.

Chef Matt’s products bring chef quality cooking to your kitchen as well as a unique variety of CBD and THC – infused products to the everyday consumer.

He encourages fine cuisine enthusiasts to try new recipes and is a strong advocate and educator to those who are curious about experimenting with THC and CBD-infused ingredients as a part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

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

I started cooking with cannabis in 1994. My uncle was a cannabis grower and I watched my uncle add it to everything like rubbing alcohol, liquor, and sauces.

One day in my 20’s, I had a bag full of buds and we were having a pool party. I threw some cannabis into the BBQ sauce and it was the talk of town!

After that experience I started adding it into everything. And on that day, I really understood what it meant to wear a chef hat (especially one handed down from uncle to nephew.)…

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. 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.

420 CENTRAL

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?
420 CENTRAL

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.

420 CENTRAL

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…

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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.

420 CENTRAL

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