What benefits do you see for patients throughout Florida within this space?
The benefits are the ability to get relief naturally, from the cannabis plant and its derivatives without going to jail as long as they adhere to the strict guidelines set forth by the legislature. The biggest benefit is that patients no longer have to worry about being arrested for having cannabis and doing what many have been doing since they were teenagers. Patients gain a greater level of control over their healthcare treatment by adding this as a legal alternative. The politicians in this state often cite the need for research into the health and safety of the cannabis plant, and so far the greatest health and safety risk has been law enforcement intervention.
What motivates you to be a part of the Cannabis Industry?
My motivation comes from years of persecution for self-medicating with the only medicine that has worked without any harmful side effects, outside of those listed in my first answer of course. I’ve been arrested for possession and been robbed at gunpoint over an ounce of flower. I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy and was other than honorably discharged for using cannabis which nearly killed me because I thought my life was over. I have seen countless lives ruined, and families torn apart because of cannabis prohibition. I have a deep burning passion to continue to work in the industry and help pioneer the Florida program until everyone has access in the form that they need. I don’t want anyone to have to face incarceration, lose a career, be denied housing or be put into a dangerous situation due to prohibition.
What field are you in within the Cannabis space?
I am a serial entrepreneur and actually work in a few different fields from education to product development as well as non-profits. I own a marketing company, Conscious Communications, LLC that produces The Marijuana Solution podcast and FloridaMarijuana.net, both educational platforms. I am a partner with Sunshine Cannabis, the first Florida brand to have a product line licensed by an MMTC. I also am a partner in a recruiting company for the industry, Career Extracts LLC. I work with a few nonprofits in the space such as We are Rare Inc., a 501c3 that helps children and their families with rare neurological disorders such as Schizencephaly to various Norml chapters around the state. I also work closely with Regulate Florida to spearhead legalization efforts in the Sunshine State.
How can people in Florida benefit from the company you represent?
People benefit from the companies I represent in a variety of ways such as education about the plant, how to navigate the state mmj program and effectively advocate. Every company that I partner with is very compassionate. We have been fortunate enough to provide free mmj recommendation visits, pay the state fee for cards, and Sunshine Cannabis with partner Trulieve was able to give away tens of thousands of dollars in free medicine at the brand launch and other events. Career Extracts has helped many people land well-paying careers with the state’s largest MMTCs, and those looking to get into the industry can benefit greatly from this company. Sunshine Cannabis has the largest effect on the people of Florida, because it’s working to benefit every legal adult in the Sunshine State. Sunshine Cannabis has committed to donating 10% to the Regulate Florida petition gathering campaign. The company founder Chris Sunshine has a vision that we intend to execute and that is helping Regulate get to Supreme Court review and eventually on to the 2020 ballot. This will allow everyone to grow their own cannabis and open a small business if they choose among many other great protections such as the 2nd amendment and a prevention of dispensary bans unless the constituents vote the ban in.
How did you get started within the cannabis industry?
I got started in the cannabis industry in the beginning out of a need to pay for the medicine I was consuming on the black market. This was my first entry into the space, so to speak. The way I got into the legal cannabis industry was by creating a brand and building it online when it wasn’t as popular in 2013.
Are you personally a MJ card holder?
I am pt2373 and one of the state’s earliest adopters prior to A2 being passed when all we could get was low-thc and had to wait 90 days from the time you first saw the doctor until the date they could put you into the registry.
Do you see Florida moving forward with recreational Marijuana/Cannabis and how will that affect your business?
Yes I do, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Regulate Florida is going to be at Supreme Court review and be the first adult use petition to have ever done so in the Sunshine State. It’s highly likely that the petitioning group will do so prior to the date John Morgan’s United for Care accomplished it with Amendment 2. This is huge — it means that recreational is on schedule to get to the Supreme Court faster than the MMJ amendment did. For everyone with a financial interest in the cannabis industry, myself included, it will mean a greater opportunity to build a thriving profitable business doing what we love while helping the entire state generate more revenue and bring an already thriving market into the light so everyone can participate.