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Tag Archives | African American

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center in Oakland, is this week’s guest on The Green Rush. Keith was the first African American in the United States to run a medical cannabis dispensary. He’s the founder and CEO of Purple Heart Patient Center in Oakland, California. He started the dispensary 11 years ago and now he’s serving 10,000 patients a month. He implemented lab testing so rigorous that it exceeds the standards of Oregon and Washington. He was appointed to the California Cannabis Commission Advisory Panel, where he advises the state on regulations protecting consumer health and safety.

In this week’s conversation, Lewis and Anne chat with Keith about being a pioneering small business owner in the cannabis space for nearly three decades and how the industry has evolved around him during that time. They also touch on the issues of social justice and equity and the difficulties facing mom and pop shops in an industry that is increasingly being overrun by larger, corporate interests.

For listeners interested in the history of the California cannabis marketplace, the delivery lawsuit taking place in the state and the role of social justice and equity in shaping the industry than you’ll love this interview. So don’t sit back, lean forward and enjoy!  

Keith Stephenson, CEO and founder of Purple Heart Patient Center

Keith Stephenson is a statewide resource on cannabis and has been recognized by the California State Legislature as a subject matter expert, and has been appointed to the State of California’s Cannabis Advisory Committee under the Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC). This 22- person committee advises BCC and other licensing authorities on the development of regulations that help protect health and safety and reduce the illegal market for cannabis.

After experiencing the health benefits of using cannabis for work related injuries and complications from arthritis, Keith Stephenson launched Purple Heart in 2006. Using a combination of Mr. Stephenson’s operational expertise acquired from a 15-year stint at United Airlines, and more than 30 years of experience in the cannabis space, Purple Heart is now the longest operating cannabis retailer in Oakland. Mr. Stephenson is the first African American to operate a licensed cannabis business in America. Mr. Stephenson has served two terms on the City of Oakland’s Measure to Tax and Regulate Adult Cannabis, which was the precursor to California Prop 19.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Anne Donohoe and Lewis Goldberg of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter: @The_GreenRush

Instagram: @thegreenrush_podcast

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Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheGreenRushPodcast/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

Chanda Macias, CEO of National Holistic Healing Center and Women Grow

Chanda Macias, widely regarded as one of the most influential women in cannabis, is this week’s guest on the Green Rush! Chanda is the owner and general manager of the National Holistic Healing Center medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC, a patient advocacy company dedicated to providing individuals with debilitating medical conditions with alternative allopathic medicine. She is an accomplished scientist, has a master’s degree in supply chain management, and is also the chair of the Women Grow organization.

Anne and Lewis chat with Chanda about ensuring the cannabis industry stays inclusive to people of all colors and backgrounds, Chanda’s personal background and what eventually led to her entry into the cannabis space, the complicated nature of Washington D.C.’s cannabis laws and marketplace, the overall growth of up and coming cannabis markets in states like Virginia and Maryland and why cannabis should be looked at by regulators as both a policy issue and public health issue. The Green Rush team also breaks its first piece of news during this week’s conversation!

This was truly a fun conversation, Chanda is one of our favorite people in the industry, and one we think that all of our listeners will enjoy!

Chanda Macias, PhD, MBA is the CEO and the owner of National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), the leading medical marijuana dispensary in Washington DC. Dr. Macias has spent 15+ years developing knowledge of medical marijuana impact on patients. Dr. Macias educates women and minority entrepreneurs and patients through her outreach platform as the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and acting CEO for Women Grow with a national educational reach impacting over 50,000+ people and patients. Dr. Macias is a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, promoting safe and legal access to medical marijuana for research purposes. In her local market, she serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association that proactively engages in legislation, regulations, and compliance with the Department of Health. Dr. Macias serves on the Advisory Board of Southern University, a state-funded university, which was granted a license to cultivate medical cannabis in Louisiana.  She and her partners at Ilera Healthcare will launch the second cultivation facility in the state, becoming the President of Ilera Holistic Healthcare.  Finally, Dr. Macias serves on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association focusing on the growth of the industry in existing and emerging markets.

Links to guest’s social media:

Links and Mentions:

Show Credits:

This episode was hosted by Anne Donohoe and Lewis Goldberg of KCSA Strategic Communications.

Special thanks to our Producer Nick Opich and Program Director Shea Gunther at Marijuana Today

You can learn more about how KCSA Cannabis can help your cannabiz by visiting www.kcsa-cannabis.com or emailing greenrush@kcsa.com. You can also connect with us via our social channels:

Twitter / Instagram: @KCSA_Cannabis

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/green-rush-comms/

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/KCSACannabiz/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuEQkvdjpUnPyhF59wxseqw?disable_polymer=true

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