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 work 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.

 marycarreonwrites@gmail.com

OC Weekly

Thanks to Dr. Daniele Piomelli, Big Things Are Happening at UC Irvine’s New Center for the Study of Cannabis

Irvine is mostly known for its pristinely manicured lawns, cookie-cutter houses, and a 10 p.m. nightlife curfew. In other words: surburbia at its dullest. But as of a month ago, the city will also be known for something else: UC Irvine’s Center for the Study of Cannabis, a multidisciplinary program that blends the schools of law, medicine, science, business, public health and engineering.
PotPlus

More Than A Lab: BelCosta Defines Cannabis Testing Standards

January 1, 2018, was the day commercial, and adult-use cannabis became legal in California. On the consumer side of regulation, the last seven months have been peachy—what’s not great about walking into any (legal) dispensary and waltzing out with a party bag of flower, edibles, concentrates and more? On the business side of the law, Jan. 1 also signified the start of a massive transition: shifting from an unregulated, black market to a legitimate industry. Part of this evolution involves cultiv
PotPlus

Cannabis (R)Evolution: Why We Observe The Day Of Oil

July 10 is officially here! Hallelujah! For those of you who didn’t pick up our inaugural 7/10 Guide issue last year, here’s the rundown: July 10, or 7/10, is holiday-cousins with April 20, the day cannabis-flower lovers pack bowls, roll-joints and pass blunts at 4:20 a.m. and p.m. But the cannabis revolution of the past decade has led to the plants inevitable evolution. Smoking flower is no longer the only way to consume cannabis. Cannabis-oil has changed the way people use and interact with th
PotPlus

World Cup Weekend One Round Up, Who’s Playing Next & What To Smoke

The first round of the 2018 World Cup kicked off last Thursday, giving football fans around the globe a reason to celebrate like Prince in 1999. For those who haven’t been watching, Russia is hosting the tournament. Of course, Putin made a cameo at the Russia versus Saudi Arabia game and was shown clapping and cheering for his team, which is obviously a sign that he’s calling the plays and substitutions from the stands. Duh.
Forbes

Cannabis Industry And Insurance: California's Next Trend

While cannabis businesses need access to banking, the industry lacks financial services and support, including insurance options. No other line of businesses in America operates without insurance except cannabis, which is one of the elements hindering the industry from operating to its fullest potential. California is on the road to providing insurance support, but there's still a lot of gaps that need to be filled, particularly with regards to crop insurance.
PotPlus

Traverse The Realms Of Consciousness With “The Book Of Highs”

They say humans are like snowflakes because no two are the same--and on a cellular level, that's true. On a non-physiological level, however,  humans are very similar; especially regarding our innate fascination with the intangible elements of life. More specifically, people have been obsessed with consciousness-- and exploring altered states of consciousness-- since the beginning of time. So although no two DNA's are the same, there are long-standing psychological/spiritual threads that not only connect us to each other, they also act as a link to the ancient civilizations we came from.
PotPlus

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
OC Weekly

Despite the Movies, Godfather of Ganja Cheech Marin Defies What It Means to be a Stoner

The camera pulls back to show a 1964 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport driving along the coast. “I’ve got a joint here that I’ve been saving for a special occasion.” The next shot shows the infamous godfathers of cannabis: Richard “Cheech” Marin, with a majestic handlebar mustache, is driving the car and singing, “I’m nothing but a love machine.” He has guacamole in his shoe. In the passenger seat, Tommy Chong lights up a Maui-wowie doobie the size of a cardboard toilet-paper tube (and laced with “
PotPlus

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
PotPlus

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
PotPlus

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
PotPlus

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
PotPlus

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
PotPlus

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
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