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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
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is to create change by helping others improve their lives by arming them with the proper information and challenging outdated perspectives when it comes to health and wellness.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.
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.
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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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org @Bigkushjay @KlubKush
Read full blog @hopegrown.org
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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”.
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.
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…
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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
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
February 2, 2001 | By Mieko Hester-Perez
Everyday cannabis technology is proving to stabilize its place in the American economy, valued at over $76 billion dollars by 2027. Companies like TrellaGro LST, An automated horizontal plant-training system and Bloom Automation using (A.I.) artificial intelligence robots to water plants in greenhouses, cannabis apps that address clinical research by enhancing the consumer experience this technology is empowering one of the fastest growing global markets amid an unforeseen virus that has forever changed how we view “Reefer” in 2021.
Damian and Talla Rivera, founders of Tree Moguls, sat down with Mieko Perez to discuss their new brand that uses innovative technology on cannabis packaging. While this concept has been brewing and evolving for several years, former prop 215 cooperative model owner and consultant, knew he had something special on his hands when he developed his first prototype in early 2019, launching in January 2021 amid one the most productive cannabis research and consumer driven decades to date.
Tree Moguls uses augmented reality to stream videos on their cannabis packaging through the ease of your phones’ camera. Damian Rivera states that while their intention is to showcase various aspects of the cannabis culture- through seed to sale walk throughs, industry nightlife, and the behind-the-scenes aspect that typical consumers do not get to see- highlighting the diversity of the community and unification through cannabis plays a significant role in the brands development. The brands growth vision includes creating a space for consumers to connect with influencers, music, art, and more through their love of cannabis and the excitement is palpable when they speak on what is to come.
The California Brand
So? Where can you find Tree Moguls, and more importantly, how is their flower? “Cookie Glue” Growing quickly and quite elusive, I was surprised to find local California shops The Medicine Woman in Bellflower, CA and The Green Room in Long Beach, CA were carrying this brand within weeks of their launch to let consumers determine if their technology & brand will raise the bar with savvy California consumers. I knew from speaking with Tree Moguls that they were consumers themselves and were careful in product selection, with a high focus on quality of flower. 3 out of 5 consumers found the strain to be a quite euphoric high with a strong flavor profile and enjoyed it very much. With new strains being dropped frequently, we are confident Tree Moguls will be a new consumer favorite.
Reviewed by “The Molecule”, an anonymous pharmaceutical technical scientific in-house advisor.
Cookie Glue is a hybrid indica dominant strain out from the genealogy of Girls Scout Cookies and Gorilla Glue. Its genetics came originally from the Mediterranean specifically from the South of Africa and the Afghani regions. As a very particular physical characteristics it has long spade-shaped dark olive green nugs with coating of chunky crystal trichomes and light amber hairs. It is a strain well recommended for medical cannabis patients who are looking for pain relief, mind numbness (heave head high) and utterly relaxed effects. It can be suggested for patients looking for relieve from chronic debilitating conditions such as: arthritis, spasm, fibromyalgia, and seizures, among others. The effects of Cookie Glue increase gradually after consumption until reach a completely numb relaxation that soon spreads to your mind as well allowing you to have a full pleasant resting time.
This hybrid indica dominant strain lineage suggests having a ratio of 40% sativa – 60% indica with THC levels reported from a range between 18.0% up to a 28.2%. A remarkably interesting cannabis specimen which also reported a 1.0% of CBG (Cannabigerol) as part of its overall profile which contributes in most of the part as muscle relaxer agent. Overly sweet flavors and aromas can be found on this strain. After evaluating the premium flower sample provided by “Tree Moguls”, I can personally talk about and describe the fruity, sour and piney flavors mainly suggested for this strain. These flavors had a direct correlation with the terpenes that can be found as part of its content like for example:
Myrcene – Associated with mangoes and lemongrass, providing beneficial medical effects for insomnia, muscle inflammations, muscle relaxer and pain reliever.
Humulene – Associated with hops and ginger, providing beneficial medical effects also for insomnia, muscle inflammation and calming effects.
Caryophyllene – Associated with floral and citrusy tones that provides which is proven to boost your endocannabinoid system providing anti-inflammatory effects.
In an overall personal/ professional Cannassuer rating, I consider this strain as a 4.8 out of 5 stars for physical characteristics, flavors, potency, and medical quality attributes.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
In conclusion, what other brands would Tree Moguls like to collaborate with using their packaging technology?
The Congo Club, A highly sought out brand from the Bay area.
Humble Bloom, An educational platform based in Brooklyn New York. Global Research Ventures, Industry leading genetics, cultivation, manufacturing, and research for the advancement of responsible and therapeutic cannabis use.
For more information on licensed California dispensaries, go to: hopegorwn.org .
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.
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 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 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)