What benefits do you see for patients throughout Florida within this space?
Giving patients the option to experience natural relief without fear of governmental overreach is a must for our beautiful state. I feel strongly that Florida should lead the way out of the opiate epidemic. Statistically speaking, Florida holds an incredible amount of responsibility for the opiate crisis in our country and allowing cannabis to be used freely as risk reduction therapy is imperative.
What motivates you to be a part of the Cannabis Industry?
I am a relatively new cannabis patient myself. I voted for medical marijuana as a resident of California in 1996, but I had only purchased marijuana once in my life. Upon being recommended medical marijuana under the table by my then specialist in Jacksonville 5 years ago, it took me three months to even try using it because I just did not believe it would be able to help me. I was 43 and weary. It has changed my life in such an amazing way that I feel absolutely compelled to help as many patients as possible.
What field are you in within the Cannabis space?
I founded and am the Executive Director for Buds for Vets, Inc. a Florida nonprofit.
How can people in Florida benefit from the company you represent?
We have been very fortunate to partner with medical marijuana doctors all over the state who provide free first time MMJ patient appointments to our prequalified veterans who are rated 70% disabled or higher. We are actually celebrating 500 Veterans served this month!
How did you get started within the cannabis industry?
I am the daughter of a Vietnam era Combat Marine and the sister of an Army Special Ops Veteran and was medically ineligible for service myself. I had my first ovarian cyst rupture at 17 and by 19 I was diagnosed with PTSD. I struggled with night terrors and debilitated panic attacks, GAD (general anxiety disorder) and insomnia until finding cannabis and I realized that though I could not serve my country in the same way as my dad or brother, I could help my Veteran brothers and sisters who are suffering.
Are you personally a MJ card holder?
Do you see Florida moving forward with recreational Marijuana/Cannabis and how will that affect your business?
I am not focused on recreational cannabis at this time. My priority is patient access which has a long way to go here in Florida. It is of utmost importance to me that our veterans are allowed affordable access and our current system is absolutely unaffordable for most of our neediest veterans. We believe being able to grow your own cannabis flower is a natural right and if our government can entrust our military men and women to protect our country, they absolutely should be entrusted with growing a few cannabis plants for their personal medicine. I will not rest until this is a reality here in Florida.
I do have some fun ideas in the works for cannabis tourism businesses once legal. I live in not only the most beautiful town in Florida, but the oldest city in the country and cannot wait for tourists to experience St. Augustine while elevated!