Kevin Ford Jr. is a serial entrepreneur currently focusing on the medical cannabis industry. In 2018, Kevin founded Uplift Maryland after he received a grant to help train minorities on the medical cannabis licensing process in Maryland. The six week program launched in early 2019 and attracted over 1,000 people within a month of launching.
What inspired you to start Uplift Maryland?
As I went through the process of becoming a medical cannabis patient myself. I realized there was a void for not only the exposure of this information, but also navigating the registration process at all levels. While starting Uplift, I realized how wide the gap remained for the African American community who yearns to be an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry. For that reason, I applied for and won a grant from the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission. To develop and implement a training program for minorities and women who were interested in applying for growers and processor licenses in the State. This experience has now fully pushed us into the education space.
What is one thing you think customers should know about your business that they may not be aware of?
Many people believe you have to be terminally ill to become a medical patient, this is a myth. Medical cannabis helps with many things. If you’re interested in becoming a patient and would like more information, no matter what state you live in, please email us at email@example.com. For those interested in working in the cannabis industry, cannabis is one of the fastest growing jobs sectors right now. Most professional experience or job experience can be transferred into the cannabis industry. Please look out for our upcoming digital and in-person classes. Stay tuned for changes to the website with information for the next set of classes.
What helped you get where you are today and what steps did you take?
I would have to attribute a lot of where I am to my parents for affording me the resources I needed to learn and my wife for supporting me throughout this intensive process. Not only did I go to school, but I used that time to attempt as many projects as possible, many of them failures. Shoot your shot: You have to shoot shots to drop buckets. If you’re scared to shoot the ball, you’ll never score. T.E.A.M. Together everyone achieves more. Find people with similar interests and work together. Don’t take anything personal. Be able to separate personal and business. Perseverance is the key. If you fail, KEEP PUSHING!! You’re one step closer than the thinker who never tried.
What are some of your goals for the future of Uplift Maryland?
Uplift’s overall goal is to own, operate growing and processing facilities as hubs. For education and training of communities most affected by the war on drugs and duplicate this model throughout the country near these areas. In the meantime of becoming licensed, we will continue to end the stigma by educating our community.
What do you want your supporters to know about you?
I’m fully committed to the charge of ensuring African Americans have a fair chance at participating in the economy of the future.
What’s one small thing you could do each day that would greatly improve your life?
Put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others.
Arctic or the tropics?
Disney World or the beach?
Favorite food and restaurant?
Bread, any place with a good craft beer selection.
What’s one thing that defines who you are?
Who is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party?
What do you want to be remembered for?
Being able to lift others up as I climb.
How can everyone keep in contact with you on social media?
Please follow us on Instagram @uplift.maryland and you can follow me @kfordjr .