Photo from Green Flower Media

Photo from Green Flower Media

Mara Gordon specializes in the development of cannabis extract treatment protocols for seriously ill patients in California. She is the co-founder of Aunt Zelda’s and Zelda Therapeutics.

Prior to Aunt Zelda’s, Mara worked as a process engineer, helping Fortune 500 companies create intelligent software by utilizing the Rational Unified Process. This experience has enabled her to take a detailed and scientific approach to medical cannabis.

Recognizing a need for patient focused software, Gordon created CDRMed, an EMR specially developed for the healthcare community. With CDRMed, physicians and medical health professionals are able to make treatment recommendations based on the latest and highest-quality data.

Gordon sits on the boards of Zelda Therapeutics, #illegallyhealed, Daya Foundation, International Cannabis Standards Board (ICSB), Hmbldt, and New Frontier. She has presented at multiple CME-accredited medical conferences, including Patients Out of Time 2014, and led a 3.5 hour course along with Drs Cristina Sanchez, Manuel Guzman, and Joe D. Goldstrich most recently at POT 2016. Gordon has spoken at medical cannabis conferences in Australia, Costa Rica, Chile, the Czech Republic, Israel, as well as other events throughout the USA and worldwide. This includes CannMed held at Harvard Medical School in April 2016, and Medical Marijuana for Professionals 2014. Her work is featured in the upcoming documentaries, “Weed the People”, “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed”, and in Joe Dolce’s book, “Brave New Weed”.

When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important?

Because the cannabis industry encompasses every sector if the economy – food, medicine, energy,

What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?

There should be no prison sentences for cannabis-related crimes. Also, there needs to be a way for those lacking financial resources to have access to quality medicine (insurance, community chest, etc.). It is unfair to have uneven access based upon state lines. As was deemed with same-sex marriage, each individual—regardless of geography—should have access to safe medicine without risk of prosecution.

Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?

The earth is going to hell in a hand basket right now, and there is no point in creating further damage while producing a life-sustaining medicine. We must ensure that growing and manufacturing are done in a sustainable manner in order to be good citizens, and to avoid creating problems where we wish to be seen as a solution – jobs, food, fiber, medicines, etc..

How do you incorporate gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability into your work and the growth of your business/organization?

We hire the best qualified candidate for each position, remaining gender and race neutral. Fortunately, there are amazing women and men to choose from. There is still a bit of an obstacle for those with convictions on their records, and we are sensitive to anything that can jeopardize our license opportunities.  We require our growers to conform to the highest level of pesticide-free and safe conditions. Everything that comes in and out of our organization has had lab tests performed.

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Twitter: @AuntZeldas

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