Mary Carreon

About Me

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. Drop me a line if you have any questions or are interested in a collab.


EXCLUSIVE: We Spent 4/20 With Damian Marley Talking About Injustice, Consciousness And The Power Of Herb

It was the wee hours of Wednesday morning, April 18, and the sun had yet to rise. I was adrift in my subconscious, scrolling through the feelings and disjointed thoughts that never make it to the surface. I hardly remember anything I dreamt about, except that I was in Jamaica and watching a young, short-haired Bob Marley perform in an outdoor venue to a massive crowd of thrilled, reggae-loving fans. The scenery was lush and green, and voluminous white clouds filled the sky. Nothing was out of t

In Full Blüm: Derek Peterson’s Plans For OC’s Cannabis Industry

What’s fascinating about California’s legal cannabis industry is that nearly 80 percent of municipalities still prohibit cannabis. So, although cannabis is de-criminalized and therefore quasi-legal, much work remains to be done in terms of acceptance. Somehow, though, Orange County is represented in the other 20 percent. Thanks to Santa Ana, a healthy cannabis industry exists behind the Orange Curtain. There’s an abundance of cannapreneurs and industry people pursuing revolutionary projects in o

Stigma Check: Kitchen Toke Magazine Is A Sign Of Acceptance

There are pros and cons to shopping at Whole Foods. In terms of buying groceries, you’ll likely spend $100-$200 more dollars than you would at a different grocery store, like Mothers, Sprouts or Ralph’s. But when it comes to finding niche health food items such as organic grass-fed Bison meat, local wildflower honey, an array of Reishi mushroom powders or South American vegan cuisine cookbooks– the “Whole” can be a great resource. While waiting in the check out line last week, I scanned the mag

ShowGrow’s ‘Cozy Sesh’ Proves Dispensaries Can Do More Than Sell Cannabis

For as long as dispensaries have existed in California, they’ve served one purpose: selling cannabis. Rigid laws created an environment that forced cannabis storefronts to fly under the radar, and essentially, blend in with their surroundings. But with commercial and adult-use cannabis, and a brand new regulatory framework in place, California’s cannabis culture is finally allowed to blossom– with much fewer restrictions. ShowGrow, one of Orange County’s few licensed dispensaries, is taking adva

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
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