We’re bringing our series of Black History Month IG takeovers to a close with the one and only @chef_maverick, a Los Angeles based chef who makes delicious, food sensitive cannabis edibles after having been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and Crohn’s disease.
Greatly influenced by her grandmother who was an infamous beautician, and an amazing cook from Little Rock, Arkansas, Chef Maverick gained an affinity for food at the young age of 5. Her gourmet infused snacks, @mavsnacks & @mavsauce, are exclusively gluten, soy, and GMO-free along with some incredible vegan options.
How did you enter the cannabis industry?
“Initially, I entered the cannabis space as a patient advocate.
I was utilizing cannabis to help treat the autoimmune symptoms I was experiencing, and I noticed that there weren’t edibles available that I could eat. Knowing that I had food allergies, I knew that there had to be others out there struggling to find allergy friendly products as well, so at that point I decided to develop a line of treats and sauces that were non-gmo, gluten and soy free.”
Tell us about what you do in the industry
“I produce handmade gourmet CBD & THC infused food, treats and sauces that are non-gmo and allergy friendly.
All of my products are made fresh, in small batches weekly, and are all gluten and soy free. I also offer several vegan and sugar free options. In addition to my product line, I also do full service catering for private events, infused dinner parties, private dinners, and brunches all over the U.S. “
How does your work help the industry?
“My infused products definitely benefit patients in the industry, by giving them a product that they can trust to be fresh, delicious, and free from most harmful allergens and GMOs.
This is especially important because the common denominators of most diseases, cancers and illnesses are the food we are putting in our bodies and our environment.
Research has shown that soy, gluten, estrogen, meat and dairy, as well as pesticides like round up (that is often sprayed on crops before harvesting), have a direct link to diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Anxiety, MS, and Crohn’s disease. This is why I felt the need to create a product that would contribute to the healing of people, and not be counter productive.
We use cannabis to treat and heal ourselves…We use cannabis to help with inflammation and pain. So, it would be counterproductive to have an edible that uses ingredients that promotes the opposite. It is important that patients have a choice and access to quality products, rather than being forced to just buy what is available in a dispensary that may not have the best ingredients, or the patient’s interest at heart.”
What’s it like to see people who look like you in the cannabis industry?
“Seeing people that look like me in the industry is honestly very encouraging and inspiring. As a young, black, queer woman, I definitely did not know if, or where, I would fit in. Nor did I think I would be accepted by the cannabis community when I started this endeavor.
However, since I began, it has been a great experience. I’ve met other black and eager cannabis professionals who are also out there doing their thing, and are also helping and encouraging each other to win. It is definitely amazing to see and be a part of the movement.”
What’s your ultimate goal in the cannabis space?
“My main goal in the cannabis space is to help as many patients as I can by continuing to produce quality edible food products, and by offering education and insight on how to benefit most from putting the right thing in our bodies.
Ultimately, I would love to eventually franchise and be able to distribute my products nationwide, as well as have an all edibles dispensary and restaurant.”
Who are 3 black people, organizations, or brands in the industry you look to for inspiration and follow? Why?
Cannaclusive is an organization that facilitates inclusiveness within the cannabis industry. They focus on promoting marginalized people within the cannabis space. Primarily through advocacy, education, marketing, consulting, promotion and inspiring women, LGBTQi+ and all minorities of color. They have been a huge advocate for my brand, and I have learned a lot from a few of the leaders in the organization like Mary Pryor, and Tonya Rapley. You can follow them @cannaclusive or find out more info at www.cannaclusive.com.
Another organization I admire is Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana. They are a non-profit that focuses on advocacy, outreach, and education in the cannabis industry. They help cannabis entrepreneurs of all kinds find resources for whatever they need in the space, whether it’s lawyers, capital, education etc. They are a great resource for many, and I have learned a lot from a few of the high ranking members. You can find out more @m4mmunited.
Someone else I admire in the cannabis space is @Mss_Oregon. She single handedly created the National Cannabis Diversity Awareness Convention in Portland, Oregon. The convention features networking mixers, panels, vendors, musical artists, among other activities. The mission of this convention is to promote diversity and awareness in the cannabis space, and raise money for a minority cannabis brand or entrepreneur. All of the proceeds earned are given away as a scholarship/grant to a minority-owned hemp/cannabis brand, to assist with raising capital. I really admire her for attempting to make change by assisting with finding capital, especially when that is the hardest thing to do as a new cannabis brand. Salute to @Mss_Oregon! I also catered her VIP Meet the Plug Dinner as a part of the convention last week, in Portland, Oregon.
Lastly, I really really admire Seun Adedeji, CEO of Elev8 Cannabis. He is the youngest black man in America to own a dispensary. It is truly inspiring to see a black man really thriving and having ownership in this space. He not only has dispensaries in Oregon, but he is expanding to other states as well, which is very admirable because that is something I am really aspiring to have one day.”
How can the Rosebud community support you, your organization, and the brand mission?
“You guys can support me by following me and my brands on social media, @chef_maverick, @mavsauce, @mavsnacks, and you can find out more about me, place an order, see food pictures, catch up on news and media, as well as book me for events at www.chefmaverick.com.
I really appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this. Thank you.”
We loved learning about Chef Maverick’s journey in the cannabis space, and we literally can’t stop drooling over these gourmet infused treats. Be sure to keep up with all things Chef Maverick at @chef_maverick!
Check out our other Black History month features: Meet Solonje Burnett: Cannavist and Co-Founder of Humble Bloom, Meet Sandra Guynes: Registered Cannabis Nurse, Meet Lyneisha Watson: Rising Cannabis Journalist.