Roz McCarthy, who founded Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) in 2016, has often been called a unique force within the cannabis community based on her 20-plus years of business expertise now combined with her passion for equity within the medical marijuana industry - all of which are making Benzinga extra proud to have her as a featured speaker at the upcoming Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on April 20-21.
Florida-based M4MM, McCarthy points out, is an advocacy group as well as an ever-expanding network of partnerships that seek to provide real opportunities for people of color in the cannabis industry. No one would dispute that the industry has a long way to go on gender and racial diversity at the executive level as well as just about every other level.
And that’s what McCarthy’s mission is all about.
“We are specifically addressing people from communities of color who are interested in learning about the cannabis industry from the medical, social justice, public policy and workforce/economic development perspectives,” McCarthy says.
Hence the creation of the largest 501c3 serving individuals and communities traditionally overlooked by the cannabis industry. M4MM now has 27 chapters, three International chapters, two HBCU chapters and is looking to expand to the Virgin Islands and Belize.
From Corporate America To American Cannabis
With 25 years of senior-level executive pharmaceutical sales and hospice experience as a regional director of business development under her belt, McCarthy decided to start her own consulting firm, which ended up being a contractor with the federal government for the VA.
What compelled McCarthy to then move toward medical cannabis? Excellent question and an amazing response:
“I’m based in Florida. When the state was going through the constitutional amendment to get people to vote yes for a [cannabis] program, I didn’t see groups like the NAACP or the Urban League getting involved,” McCarthy said. So the logical move was to start her own non-profit.
After losing both of her parents to illness, McCarthy’s son Bryan was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia. Now 23 and a graduate of Florida A&M University, Bryan will soon begin a Pharm, D program.
“I just felt like I didn’t want my son to ever have to deal with the stigma if he needed the plant in order to support his medical condition,” McCarthy said. “I wanted to make sure that he knows what [cannabis] is about, and how to protect himself. God forbid anyone try to arrest my son because he’s trying to take care of his medical issues.”
And Now There’s Black Buddha
In keeping with her philosophy of social equity, McCarthy created Black Buddha Cannabis (BBC) to essentially establish a new paradigm for the industry as a black-owned, environmentally conscious, wellness-focused and equity-driven brand.
The latest offerings are from Soaring High Industries, the parent company founded by McCarthy to introduce and connect social equity and socially-conscious brands to licensing and partnership opportunities. Launched in February 2022, the various products will soon be available in leading dispensaries across the country through state-by-state brand partnerships with equitable manufacturers, cultivators and operators.
"I'm a proud Black woman raised by a mother who encouraged me to think big and dream bigger," said McCarthy at the time of BBC’s launch. "The creation of M4MM and BBC is a testament to hard work, tenacity, and perseverance."
Roz McCarthy has no shortage of any other those inspiring qualities, and then some.
Come and meet Roz in person at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference where she is a featured speaker. Hear more about her incredible journey and how she is, in our humble opinion, disrupting the cannabis industry in the best way possible. April 20-21 at Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel. Tickets still available HERE.
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