Mary Carreon

About Me

Traversing the world with my pen and following stories that captivate souls. Hi, my name's Mary, and I'm an award winning journalist from Southern California. I write mostly about cannabis, but I also cover the environment, public affairs, rock n' roll and culture.

I won first place in public affairs at the Orange County Press Club Awards for my story "Spray Away From Our Kids: How Irvine Became SoCal's First Non-Toxic City." You can find it in the cover story section.

You can read my words in OC WeeklyPotPlus, Forbes, LA Weekly (RIP), Sensi Magazine and hopefully your publication soon, too. I'm available for hire on a freelance basis. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions or are interested in a collab.


Help: The Cannabis Industry Needs Financial Services ASAP!

In most cases, you can’t rely on a debit or credit card to facilitate a transaction at a dispensary. The reason? Cannabis is a schedule-one drug. It’s thus a federal offense for banks to do business with entities involved in the trafficking of schedule one drugs. As a result, the cannabis industry is solely cash-based, which poses major risks to those in the business and the general public. It’s also made the “legalization” effort in California—the sixth largest economy in the world—incomprehens

Pot Is Legal. Now What?

At long last, the day stoners have been waiting for has finally arrived: Recreational (or, as most in the canna-word would prefer you say: “Adult-Use”) cannabis is legal. HALLELUJAH! But what exactly does Proposition 64 entail? Does it actually mean anything now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions is declaring war on cannabis by rescinding the Cole Memorandum, which directed federal law enforcement to respect states’ legalization laws? Can we smoke anywhere we want? Can we drive down the 405 Fre

Tommy Chong Tells Us About The Blazers Cup, Prison Time And How He Beat Cancer

Most people over the age of 16 have seen the iconic Cheech and Chong movies. Debuting in the latter half of 1978, Up In Smoke hasn’t only (somehow) withstood the test of time, but it launched the comedic stoner duo to the top of cannabis advocacy in the thick of the Reefer Madness-mentality era. Back in the ‘70s—hell any time before 2015, actually—cannabis advocates were looked at like psychopathic slime balls by society. And just because Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong were celebrities didn’t mean

Santa Ana’s New Commercial Cannabis Ordinance Is One Step Away From Being Implemented

The reading of the ordinance came nearly four hours and 20 minutes into the meeting—no joke. As the council began to switch gears from the previous topic to adult-use cannabis, Mayor Pulido and Vincent Sarmiento recused themselves from the discussion. Of the councilmembers, they’re the two who’ve had the most involvement in the city’s cannabis industry through “consulting,” according to Pulido. So the only members of the council who stayed to vote on the ordinance were Juan Villegas, David Benav
OC Weekly

The New Owner of LA Weekly is a Pot Lawyer?

It's no question the journalism industry is in a state of crisis. In the last year alone Rolling Stone was sold, and Nylon magazine and the Village Voice closed their esteemed print editions. Last January Voice Media Group put our former sister-paper, LA Weekly, up for sale and earlier this week they were purchased by mysterious entity, Semanal Media, LLC. Until this morning, no one knew anything about them—where they're based, who owns the company, what kind of media group they are and what th

Santa Ana Is Preparing For The Onset Of Adult Use Cannabis–ASAP

Last night, Santa Ana city officials held a council committee meeting regarding a new cannabis ordinance that would operate alongside Measure BB, the city’s medical marijuana measure. The proposed canna-regulations would allow 23 adult use dispensaries, 20 medical cannabis dispensaries, 20 indoor cultivation businesses, 20 non-volatile manufacturing businesses, five distribution businesses and an unlimited number of testing facilities in Santa Ana. The unnamed adult use ordinance won’t only make

Zen & Kush’s Lizzy Jeff is the Cannabis Industry’s Spiritual Hip-Hop Warrior

August 12-13 marked the fourth installment of the Emerald Exchange—a high-class cannabis farmers market comprised of brands, groups and people who share a similar ethos: to counter the stigma with passion and elegance. But to simply label the event a “farmer’s market” doesn’t do it justice. It’s a sun-grown clean cannabis wellness festival, resembling a very mellow and (significantly less drugged-out) Lightning In a Bottle. Art installations, live cannabis plants and nooks to smoke in were sprea

Montel Williams Launches New Medical Cannabis Line at Bud & Bloom TODAY

“About 55 percent of this nation currently has one chronic illness, and of that 55 percent, 80 percent have two,” Montel Williams says, prefacing his prediction that in years to come, chronic illness will be one of the leading causes of death in the United States. “According to the American Medical Association, by 2020 the percentage of people who have chronic illness will rise by 10 percent… That means 157 million people in the United States will be suffering, and many of them will be prescribe

UCI’s Leading Endocannabinoid Researcher Talks Cannabis, Medicine and Society

This Friday C.A.R.E— a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis awareness, research and events– and UC Irvine are hosting Understanding Cannabis: Medicine and Society, a panel discussion focusing on different areas of the cannabis industry. The panel will include Lori Ajax, the Chief of the Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) who’ll address the complex regulatory issues surrounding medical marijuana. Last Friday, April 28th, the BMCR posted its licensing regulations for medical can
OC Weekly

Weed Warrior Kris Lewandowski No Longer Faces Life In Prison

After three years and several rescheduled court dates, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Kristoffer Lewandowski, who faced life in prison for growing six pot plants, can finally breathe easy. On May 26, the San Juan Capistrano resident reached a plea agreement with the Comanche County district attorney's office in the notoriously canna-phobic state of Oklahoma that allows him to avoid any further jail time. According to Thomas Hurley, Lewandowski's Oklahoma-based attorney, his client pleaded guilty to

Santa Ana Cracks Down on Four Rogue Dispensary Owners

On September 5th, the Santa Ana City Council authorized the filing and prosecution of receivership actions–the legal process of temporarily taking property from a landlord and placing it with a court-appointed receiver–against four owners of six unlicensed dispensary locations. The collectives the city is targeting are: Herbology 35 Cap, 20 Cap Collective, Sky High Holistic Collective, Elevated Dreams Collective, LOL and Wax On Wax. Since 2015, Santa Ana’s targeted enforcement has shut down ove
OC Weekly

OC Cities Celebrate International Cannabis Day by Banning Pot Clubs

California is gearing up for legalized recreational marijuana come New Year's Day 2018, but for most Orange County municipalities, that deadline is hardly being celebrated. Instead, many cities have either already banned cannabis dispensaries or are in the process of doing so. As of now, Santa Ana and Long Beach are the only local places to permit medical-cannabis dispensaries to operate, but they are likely to implement regulations allowing for the sale of recreational cannabis. Meanwhile, citi

Green Tree Remedy Dispensary Demonstration Hits Stanton City Council

Yesterday at 4:20 p.m. nearly 60 demonstrators gathered just south of Magnolia on Katella Ave. in front of Green Tree Remedy (GTR)—a dispensary the city of Stanton shut down on April 20th, the international day of weed. Those involved in the demonstration were mostly patients and employees of the dispensary. They held up colorful picket signs that read “Dispensaries Are Not Dealers” and “Cannabis Treats My PTSD.” Cars driving north and south on Katella honked in support of the demonstrators, as
OC Weekly

The Weed Parties Around Coachella 2017 Offer a Happy High For Weekend 2

Orange County and Long Beach brought the party to the desert this year in terms of weed. Last weekend Irvine-based ganja-monolith, Weedmaps, held their private Marijuana-Oasis party where flower-crowns strewn with nugs and pre-packed joints were given away. This weekend Irvine-based Culinary & Cannabis threw CannaSpa, a cannabis infused dining and spa experience, in a mansion seven miles away from the festival. Around the corner from CannaSpa, Long Beach’s Susan Soares threw her third-annual pri

We Got Weedmaps’d at the Ganja Giant’s Coachella Marijuana Oasis Party

You either think Weedmaps is the Great Green God or the digital Jeff Sessions of the cannabis industry. Regardless of your thoughts, one thing’s certain: they have a lot of money. So much money that their bashes could easily make Playboy Mansion soirees seem like a 10-year-old’s birthday party, shitty balloon maker and all. Weedmaps threw one of Coachella’s pioneering cannabis parties at a Bermuda Dunes mansion last weekend. On one hand, the private event was amazing. There was a DJ, places to

Here’s the Low-Down on Coachella’s Weed Parties

For the first time since Coachella’s inception, the surrounding festival parties aren’t limited to fashion and alcohol-brand sponsored events anymore. Starting this weekend and going into next, the desert will host four large cannabis soirees in celebration of legalization and the world’s trendiest music festival. What makes these pioneering music-festival-cannabis-parties fascinating is that “adult-use” cannabis still technically doesn’t exist yet. Only medical marijuana does, and the state wo
OC Weekly

Gianna Dragotto: The 12-Year-Old that Inspired Costa Mesa's Medical Marijuana Measure X

Gianna Dragotto sits in her wheelchair as she eyeballs the surroundings of the 420 Central lobby, one of SanTana's handful of legal dispensaries. Signs with green X’s are scattered around the dispensary that read “Vote Yes on Measure X,” the medical marijuana measure in Costa Mesa backed by the city. Natalie and David Dragotto, Gianna’s parents, sit on a couch as David sets up an iPad game for Gianna to play. Her eyes light up and David leans in to give Gianna a kiss on the cheek. “Gianna’s sei
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