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Dr. Melanie Bone – Cannabis Industry Physician and Educator

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Women in cannabis are affecting the industry in powerful ways. They are leading the industry in executive roles that exceed other industries. Many are sharing their knowledge and expertise to educate and empower others. 

Dr. Melanie Bone is one of the women driving the industry forward as a physician and educator in West Palm Springs, Florida. She is a board-certified gynecologist, robotic surgeon, and medical cannabis practitioner. 

She sees women, men, and children and certifies them for medical cannabis. Dr. Bone works with her patients to maintain total body health by finding a role for cannabis, in addition to diet, exercise, and mind-body work.

Dr. Bone sat down with Florida Grass Roots Magazine to tell us about her journey to cannabis as medicine through a family health crisis.  She also shared with us her goals for the future of her practice and cannabis.

Cannabis medicine was not always a part of Dr. Bone’s practice. She discovered one of her five children, Carlton, was overusing cannabis as a teenager. Because of Carlton’s overuse of cannabis, Dr. Bone and her husband decided to send him to a wilderness program to try to help. 

“Carlton was given a mood stabilizing medication and ultimately developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a rare, life-threatening reaction which causes the body to look and act like it has been burned,” Dr. Bone said. 

Carlton was in the Intensive Care Unit and Dr. Bone said that she was “Vowing to bring an alternative to the drug that caused the disease.” 

Afterwards, it was clear how cannabis was helping her son treat his social anxiety, and she began to study the benefits of cannabis for anxiety as well as many other conditions. With the support of Carlton, Dr. Bone opened her own practice in Florida. 

Her practice is devoted to improving the lives of people of all ages through the use of cannabis. Her specific area of interest is the “intersection of women’s health and cannabinoids, both for treatment of disease states and for global wellness.”  She treats women of all ages and has an interest in managing menopause symptoms with bio identical hormones and natural plant medicines. 

Her mission as an educator is to provide guidance and support to her patients, especially to those with no experience with cannabis. One of her passions is to educate her patients about their Endocannabinoid Systems (ECS) and how it interacts with the cannabis plant. After office hours, Dr. Bone spends her time fulfilling her mission by presenting lectures to her colleagues or speaking about topics from cancer to medical cannabis patients. She is dedicated to educating others and offers second opinions to patients all over the United States. 

She plans to continue her work with leaders in the industry, and she has plans to develop a line of products utilizing cannabinoids for her patients’ overall health and wellness. Dr. Bone’s goals for her future are to continue learning about cannabis as medicine and to educate others to improve the quality of life for millions around the world.

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The Weed Warrior

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Utilizing the discipline she deployed as a U.S. Marine, Caroline Covone wakes up at 6 o’clock every morning in Southwest Florida and makes a piping-hot pot of coffee with a few drops of Girl Scout Cookies tincture in her mug to help with near-constant pain resulting from multiple unsuccessful knee surgeries. She then makes a fresh, healthy lunch from scratch for her daughter, complete with fruits and vegetables cut in fun shapes. 

Before the family wakes up, she tidies the household getting everything ready for the day. When her daughter wakes up, she feeds her breakfast and takes her to school. Caroline then ventures to the gym to work out, followed by physical therapy. She focuses on her physical well-being by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly, believing that if you take care of your body it will take care of you. She smears CBD cream on her leg or takes a few drags from her vape pen to mitigate her pain. An individual with a strong motor, medical marijuana is the only pain relief that allows her to keep her high-functioning fast pace. 

As devoted as she is to taking care of herself and her family, she is equally dedicated to helping others. Covone spends her free time volunteering with military veterans. She primarily works with The Grateful Veteran organization which, among many other services, assists veterans by getting them off of addictive opiates and on to medical marijuana to soothe their ailments; she is a weed warrior.

Covone spent four years as a Marine, enlisting straight out of St. Bartholomew Catholic High School in Pittsburgh, Pa. “As soon as I could, I did.” 

She became adamant about joining the service 18 years ago. Nuns pulled students out of class and ushered them into the cafeteria to inform them that the twin towers of the World Trade Center had fallen and America was under attack. Covone had a friend at the time whose father worked in one of the buildings. She recalls the girl getting picked up by her mother in tears and never seeing her friend again. 

That “shook me to my core,” she said, because she couldn’t understand why all those innocent people died. As she got older, she heard bits and pieces about the incident until she was old enough to take to the Internet and fully learn the grim truth. “I just made my decision and said I’m going to do something,” she said.

Unfortunately, during her time in the service, she experienced non-combat mental trauma and still suffers from PTSD as a result. As is the case for many veterans, she was prescribed multiple medications to combat her diagnosis, then more medication to counteract the side effects of the original. She couldn’t stand the feeling of not being clear-headed and present in the moment.

Around this time, she also had knee surgery. Then she needed three more to correct mistakes made in the first. She was prescribed more medication. During her recovery, she commiserated with fellow veterans about all of their medications and heard that some of them were getting the same pain relief by using marijuana instead. At that point in time marijuana was illegal in just about every U.S. state, shrouded in the stigma that has surrounded weed for decades. 

Florida voters legalized medical marijuana in 2016, yet the stigma still plagues the patients who use it simply to make it through the day. Covone not only struggles with that and the judgement that comes with being a mother who uses marijuana as medicine. “I think people are scared to say anything, especially women, and especially mothers because they know that people still view marijuana as a drug and people think that you can’t function… but that isn’t true in the least bit. 

“If it was not for the medical marijuana,” Covone says, ”I wouldn’t be able to get up and do the things that I do.”

In the future, Covone wants to study to become a nutritionist, a desire based in her love for using food to keep her body as strong as possible. She says she will likely never stop helping veterans. As Covone speaks, her passion for helping others is evident. For her, volunteering is a choice but also a compulsion. She seems very aware that though she has her struggles, there are people out there who have circumstances far worse. Worse yet, they are not getting proper guidance and support. In her eyes, the least she can do is volunteer some time and knowledge to help people find the right path for them.

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GRAM Launches Improved Website

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The entire team at Grass Roots America Magazine is excited to release our new and improved website! We invite you to explore our new look and layout!

When we first launched the magazine, our focus was on the quality of the cannabis education presented in our print and digital issues. This meant that our website layout was the not our main priority in the very first stages of bringing great research about medicine to the world. Our original website was, at the time, intended to act as a gateway to the magazine, and it worked.

It worked so well, our views of the magazine went global and we are still expanding. Because of this, we knew we needed to provide more digital content to our readership, with a layout that was both visually driven and easy to navigate. In our design process, we experimented with  several layouts and features, resulting in many drafts that were then judged and critiqued by our design team and IT specialists.

After several rounds of updating the design by adding or removing certain features, the GRAM team was given the final approval from our Founder and CEO, Nancy Moss, and the new and improved Grass Roots America Magazine website was born!

Our new layout is more than just visually appealing. It draws your gaze to eye catching graphics that highlight the main topic of each article, encouraging readers to click and learn more. Then, each article presents current scientific and medical cannabis information, supported by cutting edge research and commentary from some of today’s leading experts in cannabis.

In addition to sharing great research about medicine, our new website also has a Cooking Corner, featuring infused recipes. You can also keep up to date with where our team will be in the world by checking out our calendar of Events. You can even meet our team at an event near you!

We hope you enjoy your new website and look forward to sharing great research about medicine as we grow into the future.

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Fun Summer Travel Destinations for GRAM

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This summer, our team will embark on a fun filled summer of learning and sharing great research about medicine. Our summer schedule of events is packed with travel all over the  United States and we’re excited to be bringing current scientific and medical cannabis information to the world. If you see any events we have listed and you’ll be attending, come by our booth to meet the team! See you there!

1. MJBizConNEXT – New Orleans, LA – June 12-15

MJBizConNEXT takes attendees into the future with a focus on what’s NEXT in the cannabis industry. This is why we chose it to officially announce our launch of Grass Roots America Magazine (GRAM)! Presented by MJBizDaily, the event features next generation technology with an emphasis on the innovations that are taking cannabis to the next level in the industry. The event features several expert speakers, including Anat Baron, Founder and CEO of Stashwall, as the Keynote!

2. CannaCon – Detroit, MI – June 21-22

Detroit’s CannaCon is the next stop on our summer travel plan! Premiering in 2018, CannaCon provided Detroit with it’s first landmark cannabis business expo, and now it’s back for a second year in a row. CannaCon Detroit 2019 will feature scientists, researchers, cultivators, nutritionists, business owners and more, bringing a wealth of cannabis education to the Great Lakes region!

3. Florida Medical Cannabis Conference & Expo – St Petersburg, FL – June 28-30

FMCCE is one of the largest medical cannabis conferences in the United States. The event draws the best and the brightest physicians and medical professionals presenting evidence based cannabinoid medicine, from all over the world. You can also expect leaders in the fields of law, cultivation, government regulation, how to run a medical cannabis business, and other emerging topics on cannabis.

4. United States Cannabis Conference – Miami, FL – August 1-4

The USSC Expo is referred to as the Official Conference of the United States! Their mission is “to help and engage the patient population to the vast amounts of treatment that the cannabis and hemp plant can bring to all ages.” This mission aligns very closely to ours and we’re proud to be a part of it. See you there!

5. CannaCon – Springfield, MA – August 23-24

The Grass Roots America Magazine Team will be wrapping up our summer travel with another CannaCon! Massachusetts has a powerful industry, built with a solid foundation in cannabis cultivation all the way from Springfield, to Boston and Martha’s Vineyard. This may be our last stop of our summer tour, but we’re just getting started! Check out our Events Page for a full list of events we’ll be attending as we continue to learn and share great research about medicine  all year long!

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