Roz McCarthy continues to build a national social advocacy nonprofit while expanding the “Black Buddha” cannabis brand to new states

Minorities for Medical Marijuana is the largest community-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to bridging the gap between the legalized cannabis industry and communities of color through advocacy, education, and outreach services as it relates to social equity and social justice.

The organization offers education, marketing, and business development opportunities to minority communities. Founded in 2016, the Orlando-based outreach organization focuses on the social, political, healthcare, and business aspects of the cannabis industry. With 27 chapters nationwide, the primary goal is to keep minorities educated about the opportunities and realities of the cannabis industry.

 M4MM’s mission has 10 programs ranging from efforts to help the general public demystify the plant, break stigmas and promote good health, to supporting small business owners in one of the nation’s fastest-growing industries. While the primary focus is on advocacy, the organization also focuses on social justice, social equity, health and wellness, and influencing public policies related to cannabis.

Roz is also the founder of a new cannabis line called “Black Buddha.” So far the products are available in Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. This week, Black Buddha will be hosting events in both Columbus and Philadelphia.

What inspires you? 

I am creative and I think my inspiration comes from helping people create and live their biggest dreams. When I meet others who have a need for support, I have the desire to help them grow and flourish. I have an uncanny ability to lead and inspire others – which ultimately inspires me. Also, I Iove being around really smart people who tap into the analytical side of my brain. The stimulation and inspiration shared are much appreciated.

What accomplishments are you most proud of since launching Minorities for Medical Marijuana?

I’m most proud of the programs that I’ve created over the last seven years. I may have made the programs; however, the execution of these programs is due to a collective body of people working together. I’m super proud to see the impact that we have. I’m also proud of knowing that this brand (M4MM) has a value that people respect. The cannabis industry has acknowledged us as an organization of the year in 2018, 2019, and 2021. Serving our community means everything to us and it matters. Every time someone leaves a message or stops by my office or says I didn’t know what I would do without you guys makes me smile.

Do you see yourself as part of history as it relates to your part of the industry? If yes, why?

Hell yeah, I’m a part of history. I am a black woman who identified a need and unapologetically delivered on that need and has created opportunities for so many people that are thriving and reaching their goals. And the dope part of the work I have done over the years primarily has supported people of color. The one thing that folks will not deny is that I have passion, purpose, and commitment to service and excellence.

Why did you decide to start a cannabis business?

Well you know I started the cannabis business which is “Black Buddha Cannabis,” because I can’t live off of just growing and maintaining a nonprofit organization. I always knew that I wanted to start a business in the industry however, I wasn’t sure about what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until 2021 when I was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury due to a car collision that the idea of creating a brand focused on women, and more specifically women of color, crystallized in my mind. After processing my thoughts I realized that black Buddha Cannabis is me and it is a privilege to create a brand with wonderful products that are geared towards making people feel better, do better, and get better.

What do you see for your future?

I want my brand, “Black Buddha” to be highly successful. I believe that we can be in the top 10 brands in the country and globally. I see a global play for this brand, and I’m already working on it. But more importantly, I will continue giving back and creating opportunities for others. I’ve been blessed beyond belief and it is important that I pay it forward. It is in my DNA. It’s who I am. I will always try to put myself out there to help the next person. So I am looking at mentorship and business development, and hopefully doing it where I don’t even charge people if I have revenue and income coming in. I want to be able to freely give my time to help and support marginalized businesses and entrepreneurs.

What are you looking forward to most in 2023?

I told people last year that 2023 was going to be my year of the harvest. And when I say harvest I mean all of the hard work starts to finally pay off. I’m finally starting to pick that fruit from the tree. In 2023 I’m looking forward to delivering on everything that I’ve been working on for the past couple of years. I also believe new business opportunities and connections will be revealed to me.

You’re very busy running a nonprofit organization and cannabis business. What do you do to unwind?

Lately, I have been focused on my fitness and health. Health is wealth and I realized after my car accident that I was an unhealthy wreck. So I am happy to say that I’m feeling a lot better, and in addition, I have lost about 45 pounds since June 2022. I am determined to continue my fitness journey, and I love going to the gym in the morning. My workout is now starting to be routine. I look forward to getting on my treadmill in the mornings. I’m also excited about my “technology-free” vacation this spring where I will practice yoga in an ashram communal style with a yogi for two weeks.

What are you looking forward to presenting at the Ohio Cannabis Health & Business Summit in Cleveland in October?

The Ohio Cannabis Health and Business summit is a great opportunity for me to present the “Top 10 habits needed to build a successful business or brand in cannabis.” I have learned so much through my journey over the last year as a multi-state cannabis brand operator. As we continue to grow and do well I want to share some of my a-ha moments with others. I’ve learned a lot along my journey and I’m in a prime position to offer support to others and perhaps give them the motivation to keep going and not to give up on their own personal dreams.

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