Episode 29 - CJ Carter Minorities for MMJ, Cannamerical Realty
If you're looking for this episode of the bluegrass cannabis podcast, you can find it here on Youtube.
[00:00:00.650] - Elijah
Welcome to the bluegrass podcast. Today we're talking with CJ. Carter, state director of the Kentucky chapter of minorities for Medical Cannabis, owner of can commercial realty group, and a member of the Kentucky Hemp association's board of directors. We're talking cannabis in Kentucky, recent progress on senate bill 47, cj's journey as a medical patient, social equity programs, and more. Let's get started.
[00:00:30.730] - Elijah
So do you want to introduce yourself a little bit and talk about your own personal journey with
cannabis? I think that you have a special connection to it.
[00:00:40.030] - CJ
Yeah, absolutely. Ironically, just a quick story. My first time smoking cannabis was at my 8th grade
graduation party. It was a going away party for me and also a graduation party. Actually lived in
Frankfurt, Kentucky at the time. But fast forward to 2015 was when I was first introduced to the
cannabis space through my brother who had started the comfy tree Academy, which was a licensing
boot camp that traveled across the country helping individuals enter the cannabis space. Through
that time, of course, I was married, but my ex wife hated the fact that I smoked. So it was two weeks
prior to father's day weekend, summer 2018. I had quit smoking cold turkey, and we were on vacation
at gray Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati. And I just remember it was like six in the morning. I remember
waking up with like three guys in my face and I didn't know what was going on. I was really
discombobulated. So I started fighting with these guys because I thought somebody had broken into
our hotel room. And it was finally when my ex wife, she let me know that I had a seizure. It was the
first seizure of my life, as I said, ironically, after I quit smoking cold turkey.
[00:02:11.290] - CJ
Then a couple of weeks after that, I had another seizure, then another seizure, then another seizure,
and then after the fifth seizure is when they diagnosed me with temporal lobe epilepsy. So the
temporal lobe of my brain, it controls your memory and your speech. So my memory is not the best,
and sometimes my speech becomes a little slurred or I lose train of thought, like mid sentence
sometimes. But that diagnosis of epilepsy kind of changed everything for me in terms of my cannabis
journey because it was just the business at first. But then once I was diagnosed, I found out that this
is really my medicine. After the MRI that I had later that year in 2018, they found that I had a
carvanoma behind my left eye, which looks like a cave on the MRI. So it's like a dark spot in my brain
where they think that the seizures actually originate from. So I still have to get an MRI. The next one
that I have scheduled, they want to monitor to see if it's grown at all the cavernoma, and if it has,
they're going to want to do brain surgery, which is something I'm very apprehensive about.
[00:03:31.170] - CJ
So in the cannabis right now. This is a very brand new industry. It's a brand new marketplace that's
about to open. So with my diagnosis in the cannabis space, where I am an advocate and a patient, I've
established a few business fronts as well in terms of offering myself and my family. I have two boys
from my marriage of a seven and a three year old. And unfortunately, since I have a preexisting
condition, I'm unable to get any more life insurance. So I view my journey in the cannabis space as a
means of me providing for my two boys through my entrepreneurial pursuits. So life insurance isn't a
route for me, but succeeding in the cannabis space is. It's something that I'm very determined in
doing is succeeding in the ventures that I have set up. So currently, that's where I am in my cannabis
journey. It's been a long one, I guess, since my 8th grade graduation party to where I am today.
[00:04:37.190] - Elijah
Absolutely. And this might be a little too personal and let me know if it is, but do you think that using
cannabis before you got your diagnosis maybe pushed off having a seizure or showing symptoms of
what was already developing?
[00:04:54.670] - CJ
Well, I'm not a doctor or