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"Passion Rules": Ray Mirzabegian, the Driven Dad and the Cannabis Medicine Revolution

In today's podcast, Jason and Elizabeth have a great discussion with Ray Mirzabegian, husband to Arsinah and father to two girls, 14-year-old Emily and 18-month-old Ileana. Ray's daughter Emily was diagnosed as an infant with Dravet Syndrome, a rare and debilitating epilepsy marked by brutal seizures resistant to pharmaceuticals.

But first there's Ray's beginning...

After graduating from the American College of Optics in 1996, Ray Mirzabegian spent 15 years managing medical offices while concurrently spending the last four years as a professor at his alma mater. Around the same time as he was promoted to being the director of that program, Ray's career took a dramatic turn. Emily was suffering from literally hundreds of seizures a day when Ray and his wife Arsinah began treating Emily with medical cannabis, and for the first time in her life, their daughter's seizures dramatically improved. The rest is history, as they say!

Ray's involvement with the cannabis industry began in 2013, following a showing of the well-known Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN documentary Weed, about a component of the cannabis/hemp plant called cannabidiol (CBD) and its use in epilepsy patients. Ray started researching, testing, growing and extracting different strains that were high in CBD to help Emily. Those countless hours of research and the documentary led Ray to Colorado where he met the Stanley Brothers and discovered Charlotte's Web™. Frustrated by legal limitations and restrictions for safe CBD access, and inspired by the success of the pediatric patients and families, he quit his career and got to work.

On the podcast, Jason, Elizabeth and Ray discuss Ray's career change, his drive to help Emily and the countless other children like her. It's an amazing story of a man quite literally obsessed, who works tirelessly now, with his brothers, in charge of the California distribution of Charlotte's Web.™ He founded the California Chapter of the Realm of Caring™ Foundation and launched an organic THC products company called Canniatric™, which caters strictly to the medical cannabis pediatric patients suffering from neurological disorders and childhood cancers. Canniatric Inc. offers free consultations to patients, families and organizations who want to learn more about cannabinoid therapies for pediatric conditions. Ray spoke about all of the challenges and obstacles that come in the industry, the "cat and mouse" game that it entails and, as always, the stories of the children and families that keep him going.

How did he do this and continue to keep up what seems impossible? Jason and Elizabeth discussed what drives Ray, his self-diagnosis of "workaholism," but also what his passions were, how he keeps up this pace and maintains balance with his family and friends. The theme of self-care came up -- again -- with the three discussing their own goals and challenges.

Ray said, "And, you know, this is what what makes you live. And this is it for me. And I don't, I can't imagine, you know, walking away from it."

Lightning Round

Purchase < $100

Transport Chair

Japanese Whiskey

Inspiring/Favorite Book

This is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by David Foster Wallace

Inspiring Person/Group

All the kids and families I help

Links: The Realm of Caring FoundationTM website Charlotte's WebTM CBD Products site A Pediatric Cannabis Company



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