By Levi Strom
Head ChangeSep 28, 2021
Data Driven Medical Cannabis - Mara Gordon
Mara Gordon is a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher. She has harnessed her background as a process engineer to create therapeutic dosing regimens for thousands of patients around the world, drastically improving their health, quality of life and longevity. Mara openly shares her knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant – whether consulting with medical teams, through TEDx Talks or calling out hyperbole in the industry she cares so deeply about.
Mara rose to prominence through the company she co-founded, Aunt Zelda’s. Back in 2011, Aunt Zelda’s operated as a collective, bringing bespoke cannabis formulations to patients. As additional regulations were introduced in California, Mara standardized her most popular therapeutic oil blends, making them commercially available to patients through the respected Aunt Zelda’s brand.
With science as her North Star, Mara has pursued data-driven, plant-based medicine for numerous maladies. Seeking to engage a larger medical and patient community as well as to place the practice of medicine back into the hands of qualified medical practitioners, Mara launched Calla Spring Wellness, a telemedicine platform and clinical service utilized by physicians and nurses to guide them on incorporating cannabinoid-based medicines into their standard treatment plans. Calla Spring Wellnessis fueled by her careful data collection through Aunt Zelda’s, along with years of research and development in consultation with knowledgeable physicians and world-renowned researchers.
Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs with recommended dosage protocols, formal clinical research on cannabis has been unavailable in the U.S. because of its classification as a Schedule I drug, resulting in more anecdotal than factual information. Unwilling to be stymied by federal laws, Mara co-founded Zelda Therapeutics in Australia. The company brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians active in the study and use of medicinal cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. Presently, Zelda is engaged in pre-clinical research for multiple forms of cancer and diabetes-related cognitive decline, as well as clinical trials for autism, chronic pain and insomnia.
As interest in cannabis spreads, Mara continues to be an outspoken leader in the medical cannabis space. She has appeared on stage in front of audiences nationally and internationally and was featured in the films The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed, and the award-winning documentary Weed the People.
Landrace Cannabis - Jeff Nordahl
Jeff Nordahl, founder of California based Jade Nectar told me that he once “kinda believed the propaganda” against cannabis and that it was probably “frying my brain.” That was until he came down with a debilitating case of Lymes disease in 2010 and when pharmaceuticals didn’t work he turned to cannabis.
He had heard of people juicing raw cannabis from Dr. William Courtney, so he started growing his own cannabis in his backyard and eating the raw leaves and putting them in his smoothies. The THCa found in raw cannabis has documented positive effects on auto-immune diseases, so the raw cannabis helped, A LOT!
Jeff continues to grow his Santa Cruz Mountain landrace cannabis strains and still infuses the flowers into olive oil for his tincture products. He tells me he has plans to release some of the flowers on the California market soon too. Can’t wait!
It was a real treat to speak with someone with such a familiar story, passion and reverence for the plant. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as we did.
Lab Created Cannabinoids - Jeff Raber
PhD chemist Jeff Raber rejoins me to discuss the controversial lab created cannabinoid called THC Acetate or THC-O-Acetate and the potential negative effects this molecule could have on human health and the advancement of the cannabis industry overall.
Sun Grown Beats - Mendo Dope
Mendo Dope started making music in 2007 and got introduced to the world with Reek Daddy on NOYB Records releasing their first nation wide album in 2009. They exploded onto the scene in 2013 with their double disc reggae hip-hop album "Planters Of The Trees" featuring reggae legends Pato Banton, Marlon Asher, President Brown and more. Soon after the release they were raided by local sheriff and COMMET for growing medical cannabis but that didn't stop them. They gained a huge following throughout the Cannabis Culture and continued to release albums dedicated to the ganja farmers and medical patients. In 2015 they took their music outside to record "Live In The Garden" growing a Marijuana plant into a vocal recording booth and did something no one had ever done. The following year they recorded Season 2 of Live In The Garden and collaborated with legendary artist Mykal Rose, the voice of Black Uhuru, Pato Banton, Winstrong and many more. As their popularity grew they began touring the states and performing with a full live band goin all the way across the country for the 2017 Boston Freedom Rally. With their popular "How To Grow" DVD and YouTube series on outdoor cultivating they have been featured in Magazines such as High Times, Weed World, Cannabis Now and Greenleaf with strain reviews and music articles. As they continue to tour and record music their fan base continues to grow around the world. Their latest album "Live in the garden" Season 4 was released earlier this year and they are hitting the road to begin touring and promoting this new project.
Holistic Cannabis - Niki Connor
Niki Connor is a certified professional chef, certified Health & Nutrition Counselor, Internationally certified water judge and former professional athlete. Parlaying her formal health, nutrition and culinary education, athletic background, International upbringing, extensive travels, and passion for improving the lives of others, she has created a viable socially responsible enterprise. Connor’s upbringing in Tokyo, Japan and San Diego, California along with extensive International travel has inspired her to learn more about different cultures and appreciate worldwide cuisine.
Self Empowerment - Will Shaw
Will Shaw is CEO of Grind N Grow Chicago, a health and wellness brand with a dedication to community building and self empowerment. Will received his Bachelors of Applied Science in Anthropology from the University of Illinois in 2015 and has applied his 15 years experience in movement, including gymnastics, performance and the Brazilian martial arts Capoeira to empower his local community to, as he puts it, “educate individuals on the daily practice of systematic intent.” For Will this means “understanding the global impact of local practices and the causality it has on themselves and their community.”
Home Grown - Chelsea Dudgeon
Chelsea Dudgeon started making cannabis infused topicals for her grandmother with cannabis and other herbs she grew in her backyard. Her homegrown approach to medicine making is the foundation of Newell’s Botanicals, the brand she co-founded with her partner Newell, and continues to guide her approach to herbal product development. Her formulas have won numerous awards, including 4 consecutive 1st place Emerald Cup trophies for best cannabis topical.
Finding Your Way - Lorne Silverstein
Lorne Silverstein is a business and legal consultant with a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, 1991. Lorne is currently Chief Executive Officer of Silver Solar in Davis California and coaches boys Junior Varsity Lacrosse at Davis High School. After achieving tremendous success in his legal profession, arguing in front of the US Supreme Court at one point, Lorne decided to move to California to pursue a simpler life and connect to nature.
Sobriety and Cannabis - Brian Chaplin
Based in Tahoe City, California Medicine Box founder Brian Chaplin is on a mission to, as he puts it: "Co-create sovereignty in human health and happiness while harmonizing our relationship with Mother Earth.” Veteran underground cannabis cultivator turned medical cannabis brand creator, Brian embraces the core tenet of the 12 step program of “attraction, not promotion” for his brand and welcomes “fostering community and collaboration with people aligned with these same values.” He has been featured in Rolling Stone, Dope Magazine and HIGH TIMES and enjoys skiing, hiking and meditating when he’s not running a thriving cannabis and hemp brand.
Cooking with Cannabis - Sebastian Carosi
Chef Sebastian Carosi is on a mission to get you to eat your raw cannabis. Before becoming an award winning chef, however, Sebastian spent 5 years in Washington state prison on drug charges for possession and transportation of cannabis. Entering prison as a minor and coming out in his early twenties, he enrolled in the Western Culinary Institute In Portland Oregon and completed his stagiaire (apprenticeship) in Sardinia, Italy under the care and tutelage of highly regarded Gallurese Chef Giovanna Cossu. After graduating with his Culinary Arts degree landed a job as personal chef for the Bush family. He is a champion of the Slow Food movement since its inception here in the US and is the founder of several sustainable food projects including: The New England Farm 2 Fork Project, The Esopus Spitzenberg Project (an antique apple CSA) and Flora Danica, (an eco-gastronomic roving rural supper club). Most recently he and his wife have spearheaded multiple events in Washington state including the Autoflower cup and Camp Rudaralis. Sebastian is a regular contributor at HIGH TIMES magazine.
Regenerative Farming - Ron Spencer
Biosync Industries founder Ron Spencer received his architecture degree from the University of Oregon in 2009 and his MBA from Marylhurst University in 2011 with an emphasis in Green Development. Ron subscribes to the Triple Bottom Line (TBL) theory in economics that says companies should care just as much about social and environmental concerns as they do about profits. Ron teamed up with his father who owned a cattle ranch in the Umpqua Valley of Oregon and worked on turning his family ranch into a sustainable regenerative hemp farm. Ron says he is passionate about the potential of the Cannabis plant for natural health and advanced fiber production as well as the impact it can have in developing closed-loop agriculture systems.
Terpenes - Jeff Raber
Jeff Raber is a PhD chemist and innovative entrepreneur based in Southern California. As a medical cannabis patient himself, Dr. Raber recognized early on that there was a tremendous need for quality control and assurance within California’s medical cannabis arena. Dr. Raber formulated a concept for an analytical testing laboratory that provided services to the medical cannabis community. He founded The Werc Shop in 2010 which quickly became a leading cannabis laboratory. Currently The Werc Shop is leading the identification and classification of cannabis varietals through pioneering terpene fingerprinting and advanced metabolomics approaches.
Navigating the Cannabis Industry - Cameron Hattan
Cameron Hattan is a former U.S. Marine and Co-Founder along with his wife Shannon of Fiddler’s Greens. A passionate cannabis educator, road warrior and sailor, Cameron has overseen the business development of his vertical cannabis company through the turbulent PROP 64 transition from medical to recreational cannabis.
Dosing with Cannabis - Susan Marks
Susan Marks, AKA Nurse Susan is an alternative healthcare educator and consultant. Susan received her BSN in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 1984 and her Masters of Science in Nursing from Herzing University in 2019. She is a licensed Nurse Practitioner and Certified Family Nurse Practitioner as well as a Registered Nurse with the California Board of Registered Nursing. Susan discovered cannabis as a natural and safer means of treating her own neurological disorder known as essential tremors that cause her hands to shake uncontrollably.