Brad Bogus

Beyond Black History Month: Roz McCarthy - Minorities for Medical Marijuana

When it comes to highlighting Black achievements in cannabis, few others can tout the impact Roz McCarthy is having on the industry. As Women’s History Month comes to a close, we wanted to highlight this fierce cannabis advocate and tell the story of her journey.

Prior to her entry into the Cannabis industry, Roz spent 30+ years in the healthcare industry working as a branding and business development executive for powerhouse Fortune 500 companies like Bristol Myers & Squibb, VITAS Corporation, Maxim Healthcare and Phoenix House.

Roz didn’t use cannabis personally before joining the industry in 2016. But the medical uses of the plant interested her, especially after losing loved ones that she knew could have benefited from using cannabis.

Her mom passed away from breast cancer. But her son has sickle cell anemia, and her dad was diagnosed with glaucoma and lost his eyesight when Roz was in high school. Cannabis helps treat all of these ailments.

As she stated in MGO, “... the Black community is extremely averse to the plant from a medical perspective—it has the attitude that it’s a ‘gateway’ drug, describing the plant as the ‘devil’s lettuce.’ This is what convinced me that creating a nonprofit organization focused on advocacy and education was the right thing to do. 

Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM) was born in the hopes of breaking negative stigmas [around cannabis] in communities of color. Reimagining the plant as medicine—and not a gateway drug—is something we do daily with 27 state chapters committed to this mission.”

Roz was in a car accident and received a traumatic brain injury in 2021. As she herself was trying to recover from the TBI, she realized how severe it was, and a caregiver suggested cannabis to help manage the symptoms along with meditation to manifest her own healing.

“She cleared out my pantry of all processed food and all sugar. She put me on a CBD regimen. She introduced cannabis flower to me and she also introduced meditation and the ability to talk my healing back into my brain. And honestly, this is how Black Buddha was born,” Roz told Medicate Ohio.

Roz had gone from someone that just advocated for access to medicine in the Black community to needing cannabis medicine to fight nausea, dizziness, disorientation, and difficulty holding conversations.

“What I want to do with Black Buddha Cannabis is create products that are about enlightenment, about feeling better through a wellness lifestyle that also happens to be environmentally conscious—all while being social equity-driven.” 

Roz believes women are going to be the new conscious consumer in the cannabis industry. “We are the breadwinners. We’re the caretaker, we’re the caregiver, we’re the mom, we’re the wife, we’re the partner. We hold the purse strings; we have a $7 trillion buying power.”

Roz has been recognized by High Times Magazine as one of the top 100 influential people in cannabis and by several media outlets for her outstanding work and leadership. She has successfully worked with federal, state, and local legislators to craft cannabis inclusive policy, rules, and regulations. She serves as a guest lecturer and an advisory board member for various cannabis events and institutions. She is passionate about empowering minorities and communities who have suffered injustices and creating positive social change through cannabis.

If you want to support the cause or get in touch with Roz, you can find her on LinkedIn here. We highly recommend becoming members of M4MM, which you can do here on their website. On 5/11/2024, they are hosting the highly anticipated M4MM & (M)Procure's annual Cannabis Supplier Diversity Summit from 9am to 4pm EST on Zoom, which you can register for free to attend.

Share some love with Roz and most importantly, do business with her. Join M4MM and put Black Buddha products on your retail shelves. There are few more deserving of your support.