Cannabis and Holistic Black Healthcare Educational Seminar


On Tuesday, July 9th, 2024, at 7:00 PM EST, Sustainable Processing Solutions hosted a groundbreaking Healthcare Leadership in Cannabis Educational Seminar, shedding light on the intersection of cannabis and holistic Black healthcare. Held online via Facebook Livestream, the event featured a panel of distinguished speakers, including the Honorable Tremaine Wright, Chairwoman of the New York State Office of Cannabis Management Cannabis Control Board; Sephida Artis-Mills, National President of the United Empowerment Party; Ashley Wynn-Grimes, RN, Founder of Cannabis Nursing Solutions; and Kebra Smith-Bolden, RN, Founder of CannaHealth. Although Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard was unable to join due to a last-minute conflict, the seminar provided rich insights and valuable perspectives.

Co-moderated by Paul Presendieu, Co-Founder of Sustainable Processing Solutions, and AJ Woodson, Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester Magazine, the seminar served as a progressive dialogue on the crucial role of cannabis in holistic Black healthcare.

Chairwoman Tremaine Wright opened the discussion with a powerful statement on patient care: “This is about patient care and addressing the needs of our people. How do we allow people to care for themselves and do the things that are best suited for them and their own success?” Chairwoman Wright emphasized the need for a patient-centered approach in healthcare, especially within Black communities.

Sephida Artis-Mills highlighted the cultural barriers and stigmas surrounding cannabis in Black and Brown communities. “In Black and Brown communities, the stigma culture surrounding cannabis is a barrier to residents being able to see cannabis through the understanding of medicinal benefits. The way cannabis could be recommended for multiple conditions shows the multifaceted value it brings to healthcare,” Artis-Mills stated, underscoring the importance of education and awareness in shifting perceptions.

Kebra Smith-Bolden, RN, addressed the lack of accessibility to medical cannabis services in Black neighborhoods. “When we speak of communities of color, according to the National Institute of Health, a lot of medical cannabis services are not in Black neighborhoods, and therefore are not readily accessible. I started CannaHealth to place these services directly in communities of color in Connecticut through practitioners that look like them,” said Smith-Bolden. Her initiative, CannaHealth, aims to bridge the gap and provide essential healthcare services within these communities.

Ashley Wynn-Grimes, RN, focused on health equity and community awareness. “The conversation as a whole is about health equity, and being able to become aware as a community on what it means to be healthy. What am I eating, is it nourishing my body and do I have access to alternative treatments for true healing? Black and Brown people were tested on to build our healthcare system, resulting in a lack of trust in services combined with trauma from the war on drugs,” Wynn-Grimes shared, highlighting the historical context that continues to impact trust in the healthcare system.

The seminar successfully fostered an informative and engaging discussion on the critical intersection of cannabis and holistic healthcare in Black communities. Sustainable Processing Solutions’ event not only raised awareness but also encouraged a deeper understanding of the multifaceted benefits of cannabis in promoting health equity. 

For more updates on future seminars and events, stay tuned to Black Westchester Magazine and Sustainable Processing Solutions.


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