What benefits do you see for patients throughout Florida within this space?
The benefits in my opinion are almost limitless! As a Florida medical cannabis patient, people have the opportunity to explore the many different ways that cannabis can improve health. Not only that, but patients are given the opportunity to empower themselves to heal on a more natural level, and therefore regain control over their own health and wellness. As more and more states legalize cannabis use, the negative stigma associated with medical cannabis slowly starts to dissipate. There is no denying that even in the past year, with the Covid-19 pandemic full flare, cannabis has been deemed essential and more people are opting for plant medicine versus the alternative standard of care. Floridians and seasonal residents of all ages have access to some incredible knowledge, product, and opportunity for healthier lifestyles. Whether they reduce their need for pharmaceuticals, feel relief they could not achieve with traditional treatment or simply experience improved sleep and/or mood, these differences have a profound impact on quality of life. I think it is fair to say we all deserve an opportunity for improved quality of life.
What motivates you to be a part of the cannabis Industry?
One of the biggest motivators for me is educating others. We already know that science and research is constantly revealing more data that supports the healing benefits of plant medicine, however this isn’t something covered in med school. My belief is that as more people are made aware of the research and data, people will be less anxious about trying this specific form of alternative medicine. I look forward to the day when medical cannabis is not considered alternative medicine … as I believe this should be a first-round consideration. Most importantly, my passion is in pediatric medical cannabis treatment. I am the mother of a pediatric patient; my child has been free from pharmaceuticals for almost 3 years and using only low THC products. I have consulted with several Florida families and throughout the globe, who are treating their child with cannabis for Autism, ADHD, Epilepsy, and many other disorders. It is absolutely inspiring to see the success stories of both adults and children who utilize the various ways of consuming cannabinoids.
What field are you in within the cannabis space?
I am the Founder/Owner of Canna Crusade Wellness in Tallahassee. We provide qualified patients of all ages the required physician recommendation needed for medical cannabis, education and assist them with the State application for their medical marijuana card. I also volunteer consulting work for cannabis support nonprofits.
How can people in Florida benefit from the company you represent?
As someone that has had the benefit of being a patient first, then an employee on the dispensary side and then opening my own practice, I believe people in Florida can feel confident in the care they receive at Canna Crusade Wellness. I have seen firsthand what patients are lacking in terms of their experience with their MMJ doctor, I have seen what a patient’s experience is in the dispensary as well as what a “budtender” experiences day to day. As a mother of a pediatric patient, I can confidently assure that we are one of the only clinics in Florida that see pediatrics and possess the knowledge to gear patients toward success. I believe it’s important to bridge the gap and provide education, especially in the pediatric population. The more people are made aware of this alternative medicine, how to use it properly and responsibly, the greater the stigma will be reduced, and more families will have improved quality of life.
How did you get started within the cannabis industry?
I became a patient first, began networking and volunteering at various cannabis events throughout the state and advocating for cannabis legalization. This allowed me to meet other people in the industry and build relationships with people who are on similar journeys. Then I left “corporate America” and worked for Florida’s largest MMTC (dispensary), as well as being a brand ambassador for a Florida cannabis brand and public relations for a large Florida medical cannabis conference.
Are you personally a MJ card holder?
Yes, I am. I am proud to be one of the first 10,000 registered patients.
Do you see Florida moving forward with recreational Marijuana/cannabis and how will that affect your business?
I think it’s hard to deny the cannabis movement is growing stronger as more than half of the U.S. has implemented some form of cannabis legalization, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, the cannabis industry being deemed essential makes a pretty profound point when considering legalization. I believe it’s not IF Florida will move forward with recreational, it’s WHEN. And will it be before Federal laws change? This will cause a change in the medical market and will directly impact my business. However, I believe there will always be a demand for medical cannabis for a few reasons. First, recreational cannabis comes with extremely high taxes, people who can qualify for medical cannabis will likely go that route to avoid paying the high cost of recreational products. Medical cannabis is not taxed. Also, imagine how the demand will change once federal laws change and health insurance companies come into play. This will be huge for medical patients, as cost is almost always a concern. There will still be patients who are looking for the guidance of a physician. Finally, Canna Crusade Wellness has a passion for helping children, and regardless of recreational laws, minors will always need medical cards as it’s not recommended that children use cannabis recreationally and in states that have approved recreational laws, it’s for adult use only. So, while I believe there will be some changes in the industry once we go recreational, we will adapt and continue to grow as we have since the passing of Amendment 2 in 2016.