Melissa Jackson, Medical Marijuana Practitioner

My name is Melissa Jackson and I’m a Maryland native. My passion has always been healthcare for the simple fact that I gain pleasure out of helping others. I have worked in direct patient care as a sonogragher (otherwise known as an ultrasound technician) for the past 10 years in various hospitals throughout the Washington, D.C. metro area. Although this career has given me an invaluable amount of experience in dealing directly with patients and understanding where they are coming from, I have always felt I wanted to be in a position to be able to do more. As a sonographer, many times after an exam I would never see my patients again. Yes, I helped to find a tumor or diagnosis a miscarriage, but I would never get to follow up with my patients and make a true difference in their journey towards health. This drove my decision to go back to school for my Master’s degree in public health. I wasn’t quite sure where or how I would use my public health knowledge, but I knew it would allow me to expand the impact I have on helping others and promoting healthier lives. Just as I was finishing my public health degree, a school called Oaksterdam University came to D.C. for a cannabis conference. Those close to me know that I have been a long time advocate for cannabis legalization and a firm believer in the medicinal benefits of the plant. As a present, my sister-in-law purchased me a ticket to the conference ($650 gift) and that is where I became aware of the advancements and many opportunities present within the cannabis industry. The idea for my business was born that day. I began traveling the country to various conferences, trying to educate myself as much as possible on this amazing plant and how it can be used as a medicine. Unfortunately, two months after my first conference, my sister-in-law was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I took this as a direct sign from God that I was on this path for a reason. So for the past two years, I have been planning how to implement a public health-based cannabis program in Maryland which will provide patients with a comprehensive pathway to becoming competent cannabis consumers.

The name of my business is Grassroots Healing, LLC. The three main components to our business model are access, education, and support. We provide a hassle-free and comprehensive pathway for patients to become cannabis consumers in Maryland. First, we have partnered with a group of cannabis doctors who will be evaluating and recommending cannabis for our patients. Then, before our patients make a purchase from a dispensary, I will set up an in-home educational consultation with them to discuss the history, various uses, methods of ingestion, potential adverse effects, and current laws in Maryland. Each patient’s condition and prior experience with cannabis will be taken into account when guiding them towards what CBD:THC ratios and methods of ingestion are most appropriate for them. After the consultation, we give our patients an opportunity to order their cannabis products through a dispensary we are partnered with and we will then deliver the products to the patients’ home. I will follow up with our patients every few weeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the cannabis treatment and address any concerns or questions. With this business model, we are following the patient from the beginning to the end of the process, holding their hand and offering support where needed. We are also offering an added sense of privacy and convenience by coming to the patient and stepping inside of their comfort zone. My dream is that my work in this industry will lead to improved health outcomes and a better quality of life for my patients. If I can make such an impact, I will feel that my purpose in life has been fulfilled!

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