Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Miller.
Ashley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was exposed to the medical scene at an early age when my father, Greg Ferrata, was diagnosed with Scleroderma in October of 1997. I was nine. He was on an enormous amount of pharmaceuticals and later was a single lung transplant recipient in July of 2000. At 12 years old, seeing my father who was a scholarship linebacker for the University of Texas back in the Earl Campbell days was horrifying. I watched the strongest man I knew turn so weak, so fast. A few years later, my older brother, Frank was sworn into the United States Marine Corps and soon was off to fight overseas. Little did I know that the war would not be left overseas. I experienced years of the “War at Home” trying so hard to help my brother overcome the battle of PTSD. I watched yet another man turn to the “help” of pharmaceuticals as recommended by their doctors. While helping my brother over the years, I came in contact with many veterans suffering from the same war and yet the only way they could receive “help” was through the infamous cocktail of pills provided by the VA.
I slowly counted the numbers of veterans around me dying. It was a painful thing to watch. Offering help, yet there was no way I could possibly do it alone. I was dealing with an army of zombies.
In March of 2011, I held my dad’s hand while he left this Earth. Two short months after, May of 2011, my brother’s dear friend/brother of 20 years, USMC vet, Nick Trevino passed away. Nick, too, suffered from severe PTSD and was being “treated” by the VA.
In July of 2011, Amber, the mother of my niece was murdered. My brother and teams of volunteers spent weeks searching for Amber. She had gotten involved in meth. Meth is an AWFUL drug, and it takes the lives of thousands daily.
I hate drugs. REAL drugs.
My brother and I, along with our mom and younger sister spent years trying to recover for the series of events that hit us in 2011. By 2015 we were full-time caregivers to our Nana. My grandmother was suffering from Parkinson’s. Very few people talk about this disease and it just amazes me. Parkinson’s is a very painful thing to witness. It is very little you can do for someone that is diagnosed and progressing with Parkinson’s.
Long story short, we lost everything trying to keep her out of a home. She did not want to go to these mediocre facilities that seemed to lack greatly in compassion and comfort. Our promise was more important and so was my grandmother’s happiness. We saw firsthand where our medical industry puts its priorities. And that is MONEY.
After my grandmother passed in April of 2016, my family was for sure that we would have a break, but the depression and anxiety started to get to me. Since 2011, I had several trials with different anti-depressants and never seemed to find one that worked, or at least one that didn’t have 100 side effects causing me to be in worse shape than before.
Being the adventurous soul that I am, and after experiences so much loss, I started trying Cannabis. My brother and I both. And it worked! Very well!
Right then, a new passion was found, and I started researching. I was addicted. Not to the Cannabis, but to the never-ending tunnel of information that was somehow not being relayed to the general public. I soon found the way it could contribute to treating many things, especially Parkinson’s, Depression, Drug Addiction, and PTSD. And that’s not even NEAR the number of conditions it can treat and/or cure. I soon learned about CBD and the Endocannabinoid System. The entire science behind the Cannabis plant truly fascinates me. And out of everything that we see in the news, but NOBODY IS RANTING ABOUT this miracle plant that we as a nation wrongfully classified as “a drug.” Why are we allowing this to continue?
I couldn’t believe the difference Cannabis made with my brother who was battling PTSD, chronic pain, traumatic brain injury (TBI), etc. He would always tell me how much he would wish that the VA would give veterans access to the natural medicine, instead of cramming a fist full of pills down their throats. He truly hated that everyone was falling victim to the system. In my opinion, I truly think of this method as population control. It’s sickening. And I wouldn’t doubt that it’s exactly that way for a reason.
I experienced Hell on Earth on the early morning of November 2, 2016, when I received a frantic phone call that my brother, Frank, was dead. The truth is still unclear of what exactly happened. Regardless, it doesn’t change the fact that he is gone. I hate to even discuss it. It kills me to the core every single day. It truly disturbs me that this type of loss is happening throughout the country EVERY SINGLE DAY… at LEAST 22 times a day.
“Push-Ups and Pills Aren’t Working.”
I had already found a passion for Cannabis and its many medical benefits. But this was way different. This was pretty much the game changer. I no longer wanted to be a victim. I was tired of hurting, crying, and losing. I didn’t want ANYONE to experience the pain that I had witnessed or the pain that I was feeling. The loss of my brother literally fueled my fire. I was going to fight for the other veterans out there. I was going to continue in honor of my brother, Frankie. I was going to be an example to my niece, Ava, and show her that a Queen turns her pain into power.
One study leads to another, and soon enough, I found myself involved in the Texas legalization movement. I partnered up with Kory Watkins of Free the Weed in Texas, and he taught me so much about Texas politics and how to make my voice heard. Kory and I decided to tag team this movement, as we figured the more the merrier, or the “1+1=3” method. While sitting around with my husband, Olon, and a group of friends the company Texas Cannabis Queen was born.
I started attending events all over the state of Texas and documenting my journey as I went. I would start writing social media posts, capturing moments with pictures, and an occasional blog post on the Texas Cannabis Queen website. It seemed to be growing, and FAST!
I was blessed to gain sponsorship by the wonderful, Brad McLaughlin, founder, and CEO of BudTrader, a California based online Cannabis company. BudTrader sent me to Las Vegas several times to help me attend all of the necessary conventions and conferences that quickly lead to trips for personal business meetings. I needed to hurry up and validate my credentials!
In order to add legitimacy to my resume and gain more knowledge on the industry, I reached out to the amazing Holly Law with the DFW Academy of Cannabis Science. I lived in Houston and was so worried that I would not be able to attend due to location. Thankfully, that was NOT the case. I asked Holly and Billie if they would possibly consider integrating zoom technology to allow remote access to the classes, and surprisingly enough, JR (the IT guru) was able to set it up just in time for me to start the course that started that same weekend!
It has been an amazing learning curve, and adventurous to say the least, but I plan on holding seminars here soon in my home city of Houston, to make the jump into the Cannabis industry a little less painful for other women entrepreneurs. Houston has a LOT to offer, and I can’t wait to “watch it grow.” (pun intended).
I have now joined a company in Oregon, Las Vegas, and Dallas. I work with an extraction lab, a hemp farm, a manufacturing facility, a physician, and several media influences. I am working currently on several projects, including a reality TV show, and a culinary Texas Tour. Details to be released soon.
I never thought I would see Texas even close to where we are this Legislative session, but the fight is far from over. Please continue to contact your reps and ask for them to either support HB1365 or reintroduce 2015’s HB2165. True healing will be in our state soon.
To follow my journey, you can always subscribe to my website www.TexasCannabisQueen.com, through FB @theweedqueen, or on Insta @texascannabisqueen.
Any inquiries on the industry, education, product manufacturing, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Loss of loved ones, definitely.
Also, I experienced that gaining the support of women was initially a struggle. It seemed that I didn’t start noticing female supporters until just recently. I always hated the fact that I had squads of haters and only a team of supporters. I found that my best support came from legal states, or from females already employed in the industry, or even females that were truly interested in getting involved and wanted to learn.
If I could have changed anything, it would have been to let other females know that “I come in peace,” haha.
Texas Cannabis Queen – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am part of multiple businesses which include:
Social Media Design/Management
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
So far, the proudest moments continue. Each and every email I get telling me that I have inspired someone, or contributed education, that leads to healing, etc. Those moments make me proud.
- Website: www.TexasCannabisQueen.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/texascannabisqueen/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theweedqueen
- Other: https://www.dfwacademyofcannabisscience.com/