Collective Strategies a Certified Small (S.B.E.), Minority (M.B.E.) and Small Local Business Enterprise (S.L.B.E.), organized The State of Cannabiz 2019 Summit at the Adelanto Sports Stadium on Saturday August 10th.  Collective Strategies provides business and workforce development opportunities for underrepresented business sectors and industries.

Over 500 attendees listened to panels presenting cannabis cultivation, cannabis and veterans, cannabis laws, cannabis social justice, and cannabis comedy hour. It closed with a cannabis culinary demonstration. Vendors displayed their products and services for the cannabis entrepreneur. I shared the cannabis and medicine panel with Lanny Swerdlow from Brownie Democrats, and Kristine Amobi from Rebalan.

Unique to this summit was the panel on cannabis social justice which included Jazmin Aguiar from The Working Group, Cheryl Branch from Green Believers (GB) and Luis Rivera from Collective Strategies. Green Believers Social Equity Incubator, established in Los Angeles, is a network with a plethora of nationally recognized cannabis experts, ranging from CPA’s, faith-based leaders to scientists that provide tools needed to convert illegal cannabis cultivators, manufacturers and dispensaries into legal businesses.


There are over 4000 pages to the law which changes every six months. GB mentors these previously legal cannabis enterprises under the 1996 law but became illegal within 24hrs by the 2018 adult cannabis law. GB provides remedial reading, interpretation of profit and loss statements, implementation computer technology to run up front sales, tax laws, safety and control of products. They are a true community organization dedicated to reducing the black market.

A shout out goes to Eric Goepel who started Veteran Cannabis Coalition. This organization lobbies the federal government to legalize medical cannabis as research has shown its effectiveness for treating PTSD. PTSD untreated can lead to suicide. In 2016, the most recent data available, about 20 veterans a day across the country take their own lives. Another survey by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America last fall found that more than half of their members know a post-Sept. 11 service member who committed suicide, even though only 8 percent of the country’s population has served in the military.

Eric encouraged attendees to become involved in political activism as currently no congressman or senator, Republican or Democrat has pushed this issue. While we have a Democratic Congress there is still no action to bring bills to the Senate. This is a disheartening result of the pharmaceutical industry giving large sums of money to both parties. While there are many bills in congress they are going nowhere. Whether Eric’s opinion is reality or not we all must recognize the power we have as voters. It appears as if Senators Feinstein and Harris are doing nothing for the cause. presented results from a data base of over 450,000 cannabis consumers and usage data based on nearly 4,000 survey respondents. 2018 became the year of the female consumer which grew by 92%. Baby boomers are driving the CBD surge. Female boomers made up 29% increase. Millenials were most likely to reduce alcohol consumption. Gen Z was most likely to reduce or eliminate tobacco use. In general cannabis consumers reduced their reliance on over the counter medication by 71% and prescription medication by over 35%.

Attending cannabis conferences is an excellent way for a novice to peruse the different products and learn the science behind this 5,000-year-old plant ingested for medicinal purposes. There is always great music food and entertainment for everyone. Download a code reader on your phone before attending. This allows you to read the lab results on the bottle. Tinctures should have a graduated dropper with hash marks for 0.25, 0.5, 0.75, and 1ml. The label should tell you the potency of the product specifically how many milligrams of cannabis is in one ml. Starting with tinctures is the best for novice consumers. Edibles is difficult to control so is best left to advice from a medical person.

If you have tried cannabis and did not receive a positive response obtain advice from a nurse or physician who has expertise in cannabis application. Contact for medical professional advice on using cannabis.

Ruth Hill can be reached at