Taneia Surles, Author at Green Market Report

Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 26, 2021
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5min1090

Editors Note: This is part of a month-long series on Black-owned cannabis companies to celebrate Black History Month.

When thinking about the type of patients that use medical marijuana, one may think primarily of those with a chronic illness. However, there is another overlooked population that can benefit from cannabis: veterans. Launching next week, Gratitude Blossom is one of the latest cannabis companies that aims to provide the best services to medical marijuana patients.

 New Cannabis Company on the Rise

Launching next week, Gratitude Blossom is a cannabis company founded by Antionette Wade based in San Diego, California. that provides physician-approved CBD products to customers and patients who use alternative health methods and natural remedies. The company’s mission is to educate its consumers and medical marijuana patients about how beneficial hemp-derived CBD and cannabis can be. Gratitude Blossom provides information on safe ways to access CBD and cannabis legally and affordably.

Gratitude Blossom’s website includes the following:

  • Meditation sessions: Clients can request a customized meditation session with a consultation beforehand.
  • Consultations: New clients of the company can receive talks that address their physical and mental needs. The consultant designs a plan for the client used to help improve their health and wellbeing.
  • A CBD shop, which includes items such as tincture, freeze cream, gummies, and more
  • A blog that discusses all things CBD and cannabis

Gratitude Blossom’s Associate Program

Gratitude Blossom also offers consumers and patients the opportunity to become an Associate. As an Associate, clients can access exclusive information relating to medication, counseling, and outreach programs. There is also the opportunity for Associates to receive, practice, or teach stress-relieving techniques.

About the Owner

Gratitude Blossom is owned by black businesswoman and veteran Antoinette Wade. Wade has had a long-lasting career full of accolades and achievements. Antoinette has received a master’s degree in Health Sciences with a major in Public Health from Trident University, a bachelor’s degree in Business and Leadership from Trident University, and an Associate degree in Supervision and Management from Coastline Community College.

Antoinette served 11 years in the Navy, holding positions such as an Aviation Structural Mechanic Leading Petty Officer, a Legal Administrative Specialist, a Recruiter, and a Human Resource Liaison. When the Navy honorably discharged Antoinette, she received numerous awards to recognize her hard work and humanitarianism. During her time in the Navy, she gained leadership, teamwork, and organizational skills that would help her in the future with her business, Gratitude Blossom.

Antoinette’s great educational background, work experience, and skills allow her to develop a stronger connection with her patients, including veterans, the disabled, and the terminally ill. Her exceptional customer skills allow Antoinette to advocate for people who can’t, as she has a deeper understanding of a cannabis patient’s needs.

Antoinette has deep roots within humanitarianism, previously working as a YMCA Summer Camp volunteer and currently holding a membership with the Disabled American Veterans Organization. Antoinette believes that communities are built on the foundation and root of people. She aims to use her extensive knowledge and experiences to improve her patients’ health and wellbeing.

Patient advocacy is a vital part of improving the lives of medical marijuana patients. The cannabis industry relies on its consumers and patients, so they must provide the services needed to ensure customer satisfaction. With a business-driven CEO who advocates heavily for the needs of all cannabis patients, Gratitude Blossom will be a highly successful company in the alternative health industry.


Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 24, 2021
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5min3540

Editors Note: This is part of a month-long series featuring Black-owned cannabis companies and leaders.

Ardent Life, Inc: A Company Revolutionizing Cannabis Technology

The growing cannabis industry is continuously looking for ways to change the way patients access and use medical marijuana.  With constant updates in technology, cannabis companies must formulate new ways to provide services to clients in an efficient manner. For Ardent, the company has put in many years of hard work to offer patients different ways to consume medical marijuana.

Creating New Administrative Routes of Marijuana

Ardent Life Inc., a company based in Boston, was officially launched in 2015 by its founder, Shanel Lindsay. The company’s idea came to fruition due to Shanel not being satisfied with the limited administrative routes for cannabis. With years of hard work, Lindsay would create a sublingual (underneath the tongue) administration of cannabis. This administration route had never been introduced to the cannabis industry before, which led to Lindsay immediately protecting her concepts before other companies could grab hold of it. In 2014, G.W. Pharmaceuticals gave $100 million to the company to support FDA trials of the company’s sublingual sprays, Sativex and Epidiolex.

About the Founder

Ardent Life, Inc.’s CEO, Shanel Lindsay, is a medical marijuana patient who has suffered from chronic pain and inflammation due to ovarian cysts formation from having her son. Shanel strives to help other women and patients alleviate their pain through the use of medical marijuana. Shanel began working with scientists at MCR Labs to research decarboxylation, leading to the NOVA Decarboxylator & Infuser. Decarboxylation allows for THC and CBD in cannabis to have more potency and more accurate dosages.

Besides her work with Ardent, Shanel is an attorney and activist for the cannabis industry, fighting for equity amongst the industry. Additional accolades of Shanel include being an author of the Massachusetts Marijuana Legalization Initiative, a twice-appointed treasurer of the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board, and the Co-Founder of Equitable Opportunities NOW! (EON).

An Easy-Bake Oven for Weed?!

One of Ardent Life, Inc.’s most recent products is the Ardent FX. Also known as the “Easy-Bake Oven” for marijuana, Ardent FX is an all-in-one kitchen appliance that allows patients to get the full value of their plant. Patients can cook, infuse, or bake cannabis with a portable machine. Ardent FX can decarboxylate THC, CBD, CBG, conduct oil, milk, and cream infusion with a simple press of a button. The revolutionary device is accessible for experts and novices that may not have any cannabis baking or cooking experience. Ardent FX is a kitchen appliance that won’t take up much room on the counter and can be used for other things besides cannabis. The product currently retails for $350 on Ardent Life Inc.’s website.

The Ardent NOVA: The Little Sister to Ardent FX

Ardent Life, Inc. offers a smaller version of Ardent FX called the “Ardent NOVA.” Ardent Nova is very similar to Ardent FX, but it is an excellent option for those who are just beginning to cook or bake with cannabis. With Ardent NOVA, users can still use oil and butter infusion to get high potency levels and doses from their cannabis. The Ardent NOVA retail price is $260 on their website.

With the increased legalization of medical cannabis use across the country, patients may have different needs regarding administration, dosage, and potency of cannabis. Shanel and her company, Ardent Life, Inc., have created a solution by introducing new administration routes for cannabis. With the inclusion of the Ardent FX and Ardent NOVA, Ardent Life, Inc. has marked its territory as an extraordinary force in the cannabis industry.


Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 18, 2021
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5min3080

Editors Note: this story is part of a month-long series celebrating Black History Month and the Black-owned cannabis companies. 

The ongoing global warming issue caused the large carbon footprint that we generate through our daily activities has been detrimental to our planet. With the heavy use of greenhouse gases, it’s crucial to find ways to protect the environment. Fortunately, one company is doing its part in the cannabis industry to sustain the environment while also helping those dealing with social injustices.

MD Numbers, Inc. was created in 2015 by black co-founders and siblings Marie Montmarquet and Allen Hackett. MD Numbers, Inc houses multiple brands focused on various cannabis services. With a combined 31 years of experience, the brother-sister duo Montmarquet and Hackett are well versed in the cannabis industry.

About the Co-Founders, Marie & Allen

Marie graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Psychology. Within the last decade, Marie has created several cannabis businesses alongside her brother Allen. Allen has worked in just about every sector in the cannabis industry, including sales, cultivation, distribution, inventory management, and production processing. Allen’s initial dream was to use his expertise in cannabis to partner with other businesses to create a powerful team of successful entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. His partnership with his sister, Marie, has allowed Allen to accomplish this goal with the hard work and dedication they have put in over the last ten years.

What does sustainability mean to MD Numbers, Inc.?

The goal of MD Numbers, Inc is to build multiple sustainable companies that will give back to communities. For the company, the word “sustainability” has many different meanings. The first one is equity for everyone involved, and the second is taking care of the environment by finding ways to sustain it. Last is to maintain the cannabis plant to give the highest quality plants to their clients.

MD Farms

MD Farms is a 50,000 square feet greenhouse cultivation facility where high-quality cannabis plant is grown. The facility was founded in 2016 by Marie and Allen to allow others who’ve suffered from discrimination and social injustices to see that they can still be successful if they put the work in despite the inequities they may face. People can come and tour the facility through MD Farms Equity For Industry Farm Tours.

This year, MD Farms plans to launch its products, as they currently only sell products for licensed distribution companies and retailers.

Marie’s Deliverables

Marie’s Deliverables is a delivery service located in California’s Bay Area that provides patients and customers with high-quality cannabis products. Aside from cannabis products, Marie’s Deliverables has CBD specialists that offer comprehensive consultations to ensure the patients and customers have the best shopping experience possible. Users can schedule a medical marijuana consultation, apply for a medical marijuana card, and order cannabis products on the website.

Legacy Coterie

Another business under MD Numbers Inc brand, Legacy Coterie, is a cannabis company that delivers consultations, distribution, and sales services that fixate equity for firms in the cannabis industry. Marie partnered with Jess Nelsen and Claire Lussier to create a dynamic trio of cannabis connoisseurs. Legacy Coterie provides operational management, retail/delivery startup consulting, and brand creation to help cannabis businesses excel. Forbes recently recognized Legacy Coterie as one of the top five cannabis consultants to be aware of.

MD Numbers, Inc has an expectational team behind it that is passionate about sustainability and equity. Marie’s and Allen’s dedication to helping the environment and those who have suffered from social injustices has allowed them to create numerous successful businesses that have garnered them a large clientele and well-deserved accolades from the cannabis industry.


Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 12, 2021
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6min2910

Editors Note: This story is part of a month-long series for Black History Month featuring leaders in the cannabis industry.

 

With marijuana becoming more legalized over the years, those who have played a large part in the cannabis industry must be given a seat at the table. And that means there is a need for experts in diversity and inclusion to intervene on the issue. That is where Khadijah Tribble comes into play with her expertise in both the cannabis industry and diversity and inclusion.

Khadijah Tribble serves as the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF), the largest cannabis company in the United States. Tribble has been an advocate for various human rights initiatives, focusing on women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, veterans, and minorities. Her advocacy has led to her extensive career in diversity and inclusion, including her position at Curaleaf and founder of Marijuana Matters. The mission of Marijuana Matters is to educate the public about policies surrounding the cannabis industry and how they can impact marginalized communities. Tribble has proven herself to be a strong force in the journey to the diversification of the cannabis industry.

The Green Market Report interviewed Tribble to get insight on her position at Curaleaf and her thoughts on diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry.

1) How did you get involved with Curaleaf?

Prior to joining Curaleaf, I founded Marijuana Matters (M2), a cannabis education and advocacy incubator, along with the Marijuana Policy Trust (MPT), a think tank focused on building an inclusive and diverse cannabis industry. I joined Curaleaf in March 2020, and I saw it as an opportunity to impact and shape an industry on the brink of its next phase of growth. I believe the cannabis industry can be a force for good. I’m proud to be a part of Curaleaf’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, particularly as regulation, policies, and opinions are still evolving.

2) What are Curaleaf’s corporate social responsibility initiatives?

Curaleaf’s “Rooted In Good” initiative focuses on three core pillars: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), Social Equity, and Sustainability. To be Rooted in Good is to consider the holistic health of the entire community. This initiative includes patients, employees, and neighbors, and the environments we impact, both locally and globally.

Our (DE&I) program is already underway, an internally focused approach with the critical goal of ensuring that Curaleaf reflects through its actions and decisions that it values diversity and inclusion across intersections between race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, veteran status, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The focus of our social equity initiative is on activating programs that foster repairing social harms and removing systematic barriers for people from communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and institutional oppression.

By 2025, Curaleaf aims to do business with 420 new cannabis brands, ancillary suppliers, and advocacy organizations from underrepresented communities in the cannabis ecosystem. To ensure the development of an inclusive industry, we are reaching out to populations of people touched by cannabis-related offenses. We will employ at least 10% of all 2021 new hires from this directly impacted community. This year, we are committed to contributing at least $1 million in community investment to programs that address collateral consequences associated with marijuana-related offenses.

3) What do diversity and inclusion mean to you in terms of the cannabis industry?

It means making sure that at our company that we create policies and practices that extend a wide net to include underrepresented communities. Whether it’s African American, LatinX, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community, diversity equity and inclusion means creating practices, policies, and systems inclusive of individuals from all of the underrepresented populations inside of cannabis.

4) How do Black history month and the cannabis industry intersect?

I believe it’s quite obvious that the way that cannabis has been criminalized and the impact of marijuana’s prohibition has hurt people of color, specifically black people. So, when we talk about Black History Month and the intersection of cannabis, we have to talk about the lingering negative impact of the collateral consequences associated with cannabis’s criminalization. And at Curaleaf, we believe that the most important role that we can play during Black history month is to elevate individuals from the black community in the cannabis space and amplify the voices of thought leaders in the cannabis space.  It is not our role as a company to supplant individuals who are doing this work at the intersection of cannabis and black history. It is our primary responsibility to make space. We’re doing that by amplifying voices and elevating entrepreneurs that are in the space.

As the cannabis industry grows, it is essential to represent people of underrepresented or marginalized communities. Companies like Curaleaf are taking the best steps forward by hiring experts in diversity and inclusion.

 

 


Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 10, 2021
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5min3301

Editors Note: This story is part of a month-long series featuring Black business leaders in the cannabis industry to celebrate Black History Month. 

With the constant advancement of technology, people can easily access what they need with a touch of a button. Over the last two decades, we have seen an increase in the number of digital services available through digital apps. Food delivery, transportation, and prescription medication refills are just some examples of types of services available online.

While there are many apps that focus on medical marijuana card applications or dispensary locations, Tetragram provides something different. Tetragram, a black-owned business, is a free app that allows users to record their medical marijuana products via a digital journal.

Tetragram’s CEO is Otha Smith, III, who graduated from Bowie State University with a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Smith aspired to start his own career at an early age, leading to his first business, Aggressive Detailing LLC, which was created during his high school years. After a few years in the sales industry, Smith, proposed the idea of the app after his struggles to remember his medical cannabis products. Smith is supported by two additional cofounders, G. Lucas Roe, CDO, and Julius Moore, CTO, who both use medical marijuana to help with chronic pain.

Tetragram was brought to fruition with the goal of creating a platform where users could simplify their medical cannabis product information in one location. “Built for patients by patients,” is the app’s tagline, which indicates that this app was created with medical marijuana patients in mind.

 

 

When a user logs a session in their digital journal, Tetragram asks basic questions about the strain. Questions asked on the app for journal session include the following:

  • Which strain is being used?
  • Which dispensary it was purchased from?
  • How the medical marijuana is taken? (orally, inhaling, or topically)
  • What is the patient treating? (symptoms)

 

There is also an option to add photos and rate the strain based on the treatment of symptoms, quality of experience, and flavor and experience. Patients can share their ratings with the app’s community to help other patients find the right strains.

Benefits of the Tetragram app include the following:

  • Easy accessibility: For those who are novices to tracking their medical cannabis or an experienced user, the app makes it easy for anyone to use the app without any confusion.
  • Customizable: It can be overwhelming to remember various cannabis strain names, but Tetragram alleviates this issue by allowing users to keep track of their medical products. The app will remember each strain
  • Privacy protection: Users won’t have to worry about their data being breached released. Tetragram has a Privacy Manifesto which details how the company uses data, how they make money, and privacy protection of minors, who are not permitted to use the app.

For those looking to partner with Tetragram, there are open to those with a dispensary or a certified medical marijuana provider to help patients on the app.

If you visit the Tetragram website, you will discover the company’s blog, in which they provide updated news on the app, as well as educational material about medical marijuana.

Tetragram is helping to revolutionize cannabis and technology through its digital journaling app. With the difficulty that comes with accessing medical cannabis, patients having the ability to keep track of their strains will be one less stress for them


Taneia SurlesTaneia SurlesFebruary 4, 2021
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5min2622

Editors note: This story is part of a month-long series for Black History Month. GMR wants to celebrate Black-owned businesses in cannabis and those that have made a difference in the industry. 

Despite the many benefits of cannabis use, it is still heavily stigmatized in America, with the legalization of the plant in only a handful of states. This issue leaves those with medical validation who want to use medical marijuana limited resources to find it. Fortunately, one company has made its mission to address the limited accessibility of medical marijuana and certified medical marijuana healthcare providers.

 

Veriheal was created in 2017 by black businessmen Joshua Green and Samuel Adjetunji with the objective of providing quality medical marijuana education and resources. The healthcare technology company allows medical marijuana patients to connect to certified doctors in their state with ease to get approved for a medical marijuana card. Four years later, the Veriheal has grown significantly and is considered one of America’s top medical marijuana companies.

The company has received rave reviews on Facebook Reviews, BBB (Better Business Bureau), and Trustpilot Reviews and has been featured in Forbes, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Times, and more.

Veriheal provides a variety of services on their site that are garnered towards improving the lives of many. Listed below are the services Veriheal provides through their website.

  • Opportunity to apply for a medical marijuana card
  • Locator for medical marijuana doctors in a patient’s state
  • Consultation to gain more knowledge on cannabis and its benefits
  • Locator for local dispensaries in a patient’s area
  • Edible dosage calculator that used for calculating the potency of infused THC and CBD in food

Aside from services, the healthcare technology company, Veriheal, doesn’t aim to break their customers’ pockets. The most a customer may pay for Veriheal’s services is $199 annually, significantly less than what many medical marijuana providers offer. Their customer service is always available 24/7, and those who aren’t approved for a medical marijuana medical card can be refunded.

Veriheal has a referral program for those with an account in which users can receive a $5 credit that can be used towards purchasing a medical marijuana card. Those with an account will be provided with a referral link or coupon code they can give to their friends and family. If their referral is approved for a medical marijuana card, they will receive the credit on their account.

With its focus on improving the health and wellbeing of others, it is no surprise that Veriheal gives back to various health-related organizations. Veriheal is a charitable company that donates a portion of its earnings each year to charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project, American Cancer Project, American Liver Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, and Tourette Association of America.

Alongside their charitable donations, Veriheal also aims to help the future generation by providing scholarships to students with financial needs. The cannabis company provides a scholarship for both high school and college students in America worth $1000 each year. Prospective applicants must write an essay focused on how the cannabis industry can be improved.

Black-owned business Veriheal is one of the leaders in the cannabis industry and has proven itself to be an excellent resource for patients wanting easy access to a medical marijuana card.



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