Member Spotlight – October 11, 2017
It’s time for: The Cannabis Alliance Members Appreciation Moment!
Each month we highlight one of our long term Alliance members and welcome
one of our new members. We hope this helps you to learn a little more about
each other’s businesses, and will help you network, build your businesses, your
friendships and our community too!
As a reminder Mr. Trey Reckling of The Cannabis Institute located here at SCC will
be taking short video clips of our monthly member’s right after our meetings. We
will put them up on our FaceBook page and on The Cannabis Alliance website in
the future too.
Also please remember that as members you have the opportunity to have your
business profile on our website, including logo. So if you haven’t already sent us
this information, put it at the top of your to do list so we can put it up on our
website and help promote your business. Thanks!
1. First up we have our Long-term member: Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, Dockside
Cannabis located in both Seattle and Shoreline.
Oscar Velasco-Schmitz, the eldest of six children, was raised on a farm in
rural California. Oscar began his professional career in natural language
technology while becoming a student of art, systems, business, travel and
Having been exposed to concepts of political thought and organization as a
child – through the United Farm Workers movement, and having been
exposed to normalized attitudes toward cannabis in Santa Cruz, CA – he
began engaging policy makers on medical cannabis topics salient to
Washington State, and worked with the City of Seattle to create one of the
United States' first large city medical cannabis ordinances.
In 2011 Oscar co-founded Dockside Co-Op, an award winning and nationally
certified medical cannabis access point. Since the passage of initiative 502
in Washington State, he has co-launched multiple state licensed retail
stores under the Dockside Cannabis brand.
He is a co-founding board member of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards
and Ethics (CCSE), and The Cannabis Alliance and is also an adjunct board
member of The Cannabis Alliance. He is a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), and helps organize leaders of
academia, policy and business to congregate for national and international conferences.
His contemporary interests and efforts include the expansion and creation
of business opportunity in various markets, as well as engagement and
development of policy, regulation, institutional normalcy, culture and
industry at municipal, state, national and world wide levels.
A big thank you to Oscar Velasco-Schmitz.
2. New Member:
The Coleman & Maddie Foundation, Lisa Drew and Meagan Holt
Meagan Holt became involved in the cannabis industry to act as a voice for her
four year old daughter Madeline. Madeline, or Maddie, suffers from a terminal
genetic disease called Zellweger syndrome. There is no cure or course of
treatment and most children do not live past their first year of life. In early 2015,
Maddie's disease rapidly progressed and she developed seizures. Immediately
they became life threatening. There were daily hour plus long events when
Maddie would stop breathing. Within eight weeks she was on 26
pharmaceuticals, admitted into hospice, and at just two years old, the medical
community had run out of options.
Meagan had already experienced 3 late pregnancy losses and was desperate to help little Maddie. She turned to the
Internet and found full extract cannabis oil. Not only did Cannabis help Maddie’s
seizures but now almost three years later, she is off hospice, down to only 3
pharmaceuticals and constantly improving. Maddie’s fight is an ongoing battle. A
daily struggle to fight this horrific disease that has robbed her of so much. Despite
all of this, Maddie’s mother, Meagan Holt has turned to activism to reconnect the
community and empower the people that are fighting unbelievable battles to rise
above the negativity and show the world who they are. Megan has been a patient
and family advisor for providence hospital for five years. She is acting vice-chair of
the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library, a Seattle Hempfest Core staff
member, and she writes and lobbies for bills to help patients. She just recently
self-published her first book entitled, “Just Breathe, Baby.”
Megan Holt is our newest member of The Cannabis Alliance. She became a
member to help give a voice to the smallest of patients in our state. She is now
beginning to plan for The Coleman and Maddie Foundation. An educational
resource center connecting the community with resources and support services
pertaining to natural healing and other alternatives available free of charge. It is
their hope that through truthful education they can begin to connect the
community and the families with the support they need. Many of us also knew
and remember Coleman Whiting who was also a bright light in the cannabis
community and Coleman’s legacy is making a huge impact on Maddie’s life, and
the lives of so many people in our community. Meagan is ready to show the world
that kindness, positivity, and persistence can create change.
Our other new member is Lisa Drew as she and Meagan are joining their
powerful forces together.
So we all know about the stereotypical stigmatism that follows Cannabis and as
much as it pains her to admit it Lisa was definitely aligned with those that
believed the untruths and hype. So when her daughter was diagnosed with
Epilepsy at age 20 Lisa was definitely set against trying anything other than
conventional medication, alternatives were not even a consideration.
After her diagnosis Lisa’s daughter had gone from being a 4.0 independent college
student with a job, to returning to Lisa’s home to live. She wasn’t able to function
most days because she could not go more than two days without a seizure. She
was doped up on so much prescription medication that some days she couldn’t
even remember her birth date. Almost one year from the diagnosis, with still no
real effective treatment plan in place, my daughter came to me and suggested
that she try Cannabis to help relieve her seizures. I literally laughed out loud at
her and said “Child if you want to get stoned that's your right but you will not try
to medicate yourself with it and go off your medications!” She simply smiled and
said “Ok”. Lisa says “Well she’s hard headed just like me, so I should have known
my daughter would do what she felt was right.”
Two months later they found themselves in the emergency room. She had her
first seizure since our conversation about Cannabis. They took her blood levels
and came back and said there was no medication in her system. At this point Lisa
realized that all of this time she had thought her meds had actually been working,
it had in fact been the cannabis that had given her back her sparkle. Lisa saw life
in her daughter’s baby blues eyes for the first time in almost 2 years. Then she
discovered the really hard truth… that her daughter had had a seizure simply
because she could not afford to buy the cannabis oil. This was the big game
Since each and every seizure could be deadly and the neurologists approach was
slow, methodical and obviously not working that’s when Lisa realized that her
ignorance could have killed her child.
Since that moment in the ER Lisa’s life has changed completely. She is now
dedicated to educating myself on everything Cannabis. Its properties and the
policies that regulate it. She wants to educate others that are unknowingly
ignorant just like she was.
Lisa is now a Cannabis Advocate and not just for Medical purposes but
recreational also. She is CCO and Marketing Director for a Tier 2 Cannabis
Producer/Processor in Washington State. Along with Neomosha Nelson, Meagan
Holt and Jerry Whiting she is one of the founding members of The Coleman &
Maddie Foundation. This foundation will help bring light and education to
thousands, and eventually millions, and save many more lives!
Lisa says “Let me say that ignorance is not bliss…. it’s simply ignorance. I did not
believe that Cannabis could help epilepsy, nor that it had any actual medicinal
properties. But it’s true that when you know better you do better! Thus, I will
continue to learn, advocate and educate as many as possible about the miracle
plant that gave my child back her life.”
Lisa wants everyone to know that with the help of some amazing people, and our
miracle worker Jerry Whiting, Lisa’s daughter is completely off of all prescription
medications! For the first time since her diagnosis she is doing fantastic and very
rarely has a seizure. If she does they're easily controlled with Jerry’s miracle
A big and very warm welcome to Lisa Drew, Meagan Holt and The Coleman & Maddie Foundation.