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Dr. Chanda Macias is a trailblazer in the legal cannabis industry many times over. In 2015 she became the country’s first woman of color medical cannabis operator as CEO of National HolisticTM Healing Center in Washington DC. Several years later, she became the first Black woman multistate operator in the United States as CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare in Louisiana. 

As a biomedical researcher, Dr. Macias maintains a unique strategic partnership with Southern University, one of only two cannabis license holders authorized to provide medical cannabis statewide. In 2020, this partnership made history when Southern became the first HBCU (historically Black Colleges and Universities) in the country to launch hemp-based and cannabis-based THC products

Macias was one of many industry experts to share their experience and wisdom at April’s Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference in Miami. 

Now, the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is heading back to Chicago on September 13-14 and Dr. Macias will be there with more insights into the challenges and possibilities of this booming industry. 

Amazing Career: Science, Cannabis Advocacy, Entrepreneurship

As chairwoman of the board of managers and CEO for Women Grow, Macias leads the organization’s mission to educate female entrepreneurs and patients. The platform has impacted more than 50,000 people and patients. 

Dr. Macias is also the co-vice chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable Board, which is dedicated to promoting common-sense federal legislation, tax equity and financial services reform. She is a member of the Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Council and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association, focusing on business development for communities adversely impacted by the War on Drugs. In her local markets, Macias proactively engages in legislation, regulations and compliance. She is also a member of Americans for Safe Access

Meanwhile, Macias continues to teach ailment strain alignment – or how to align medical marijuana strains with specific conditions or ailments. 

“Like all medications, finding the ideal one for each patient and their symptoms involves an element of trial and error, but there are some basics that can help determine the best place to start,” Macias said. “Some conditions, for example, have been shown to be responsive to higher amounts of CBD, and less THC, so that’s where formulations matter. Second, the condition of the patient is an important consideration in determining the best delivery methods.”

Dr. Macias holds a Ph.D. in Cellular Biology from Howard University with a focus on cancer research. She later became the director of STEM Education in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences. As a research scientist, Dr. Macias investigated oral care solutions and treatment options at Colgate-Palmolive Company CL. Her innovations have resulted in numerous scientific achievements including publications, compilations and several U.S. and global patents.

To those who are eager to join the cannabis industry, Macias advises people to start where they are, with skills they already have and to build a team they can truly trust.

Come and meet this amazing woman in person at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on Sept. 13-14 in Chicago. And stay with us at the historic Palmer House Hotel where you’ll rub shoulders with a slew of cannabis industry leaders and innovators at the world’s largest and most successful cannabis investing and finance event 

Get your tickets HERE and book your room HERE.

Photo courtesy 

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