Medical Cannabis Scholar, Advocate and Entrepreneur
Viridiana is a born and raised El Paso Texas native. At the age of 17 she joined the U.S. Army and left for South Carolina for basic training. A few years later in 2009, she received orders to deploy to Kandahar, Afghanistan. In June of 2015, Viridiana received a medical retirement from the U.S. Army after 10 years of service due to injuries that were sustained while serving in Afghanistan from 2009-2010.
Viridiana sought treatment for her injuries with Department of Veterans Affairs. Unfortunately, she was prescribed pharmaceutical medications that ended up harming her instead of helping her. Her curiosity led her to find more veterans that were also being harmed by treatment. As a result, she developed a national study on why U.S. veterans were electing to treat their maladies with cannabis in lieu of, or in conjunction with pharmaceutical medication. In 2019 her thesis study titled “The Battle Off the Battlefield: Exploring Medical Cannabis Use Among US Veterans Looking for Relief”, was published with The University of Texas at El Paso as part of her M.A. in Sociology. That same year Viridiana was accepted into the first class, in the nation’s first, Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics with the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She expects to graduate in May 2021.
Since the treatments from the VA were unsuccessful, Viridiana began making her own CBD Hemp oil, honey, sugar, and sublingual drops for personal use. She realized that she may be able help other people with their maladies after receiving great feedback from family and friends about her products. This led to the founding of her company CannaVi Hemp.
On August 17, 2020 Viridiana and Foundation for an Informed Texas (FIT) launched a study on Texas patients and medical cannabis. This study will provide accurate data on patient needs, why they use cannabis, the conditions that cannabis helps them with, the effects of cannabis on these conditions, and other important information. The results will be shared with Legislators to empower them to make educated and compassionate decisions regarding medical cannabis access in Texas during the 87th Legislative Session.