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About | The Medical Cannabis Community

Our Story

Struggling to find information with no other place to turn to, our story is similar to yours. Realizing the problem, we concluded we were not alone. In wanting to be a part of something bigger, we decided it was time to stand up for our beliefs, and started working to expand legal access to cannabis in July of 2015.

Our Philosophy

As a media based organization focused on advancing the education, awareness and legal access for medical cannabis, we believe people should have the opportunity to live a better quality of life. Our mission is to shape a new perception of cannabis where it can be respectably viewed as a first option, rather than a last resort.

What We Do

We help thousands of people connect and navigate their way through state legal access by developing hyper-targeted communities, facilitating market research initiatives, and producing multi-media content that captures the interests and experiences of our highly engaged audiences.


We partner with advocacy groups, companies, and organizations across multiple industries who share our goals and values. From awareness campaigns and outreach events, to research and content creation projects, our team is focused on generating the most value possible for our communities. Interested in partnering with us? Get in touch!

  • Abraham Villegas
    Abraham Villegas Founder

    As a husband, father, digital marketer, and lifelong advocate, Abraham has dedicated the last 10+ years to helping people learn about the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, and how to obtain safe access. With a background in Justice Administration, and a Master’s in Business Administration, Abraham operates The Medical Cannabis Community, and a digital agency where he leverages his expertise to connect people together in meaningful ways. Outside of work, Abraham volunteers as a Board Member for the non-profit, Illinois Chapter of NORML, and enjoys exercising, listening to audiobooks, and traveling with his wife and two boys.

  • Sandy Champion
    Sandy Champion Illinois Community Administrator

    Long time patient advocate and caregiver, Sandy helped craft the veterans clause and pass the medical cannabis pilot program in Illinois.

    Engaged at the state capital, she and her husband Jim have worked with legislators in Illinois for years to craft and represent caregivers, veterans and patients alike for safe and equal access. Truly a champion of medical cannabis, Sandy has been involved with the Illinois cannabis industry from the start.

    She lives in LaSalle county with her spouse Jim, and is a mom to two grown sons. In her spare time she is a photographer, DIY guru and graphic designer.

  • Kelvin McCabe
    Kelvin McCabe Illinois Community Administrator

    Kelvin McCabe is a practicing criminal defense attorney in Macomb, IL who has been practicing law since 2005. Kelvin is an IL medical cannabis patient, volunteer administrator and cannabis activist who presently holds a position on the board of directors for the IL chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and is a member of NORML’s national legal committee. Kelvin lives in west-central IL with his wife and two children.

  • Raul (Roo) Nieto
    Raul (Roo) Nieto Illinois Community Administrator & Creative Manager

    Raul, or Roo as most people call him, is an advocate who goes above and beyond to help people in need. Using his skills in graphic design, Roo has helped bring many ideas to life through his creative work and expressions. Having been on the front lines of cannabis patient care, Roo understands the journey patients go through every day, and is keen to the creativity required to empower others to succeed. Raul keeps things running smoothly and provides educational graphic content for our audiences.

  • Amy Mellen
    Amy Mellen Maryland Community Moderator

    Amy Mellen is a Cannabis Patient/Caregiver/Advocate & Coach from Portland, OR, living in Waldorf MD. After getting herself off of 40+ pills a day, reversing her type 2 diabetes, and dropping over 200 lbs, Amy now draws on her personal experiences with pharmaceuticals, detoxing and healing with cannabis/plant alternatives, to help others begin their own healing journey.

  • Gaurav Dubey
    Gaurav Dubey Content Developer

    Gaurav Dubey is a published clinical and molecular biologist with an active passion for creating scientific content and media. As co-founder of Karmik, he aims to raise the standard through quality content aimed at empowering consumers. He is the lead staff writer for The Medical Cannabis Community and has an avid passion for yoga, hiking, his dog and playing the alto saxophone.

  • Heather McMeekan
    Heather McMeekan Website Administrator

    Heather McMeekan is a Cannabis Health Educator in West Central Illinois. A professional webmaster and digital media specialist by trade, Heather is also former paramedic, Emergency Room Technician, and Illinois State EMS Instructor.  As activist and advocate, Heather holds her M.S. in Community Health Education and uses her skills and expertise to help patients and caregivers access accurate, timely information regarding medical cannabis. An avid sport kite enthusiast, Heather lives in West Central Illinois with her two teens and her dog, Joey.

  • Kevin Mahoney
    Kevin Mahoney Search Engine Optimization Manager

    Kevin is an SEO Consultant helping businesses and entrepreneurs communicate their message effectively to their audiences. Kevin has an extensive background in domestic and international sales and marketing with specific strengths in cannabis and search engine optimization (SEO).

    • Penelope Crescibene
      Penelope Crescibene New York Community Administrator

      Penelope is a certified Holistic Health, Wellness and Cannabis Coach striving to empower clients to reach their goals, educate everyone willing to learn and prepare fellow New Yorker’s for legalization. As a medical cannabis patient, caregiver and advocate (NORML) located in WNY state her personal battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis and related health issues led to a passion to help others thrive. lifelong learner, entrepreneur, eccentric at times, and excited about the future!

      • Jordan Asquith
        Jordan Asquith Illinois Community Moderator

        Jordan is an active drug advocate, battling Crohn’s disease. As an active member of Chicago Norml he is frequently involved in advancing the legislative process through attendance of meetups, town halls and more. He also runs witness slips ASAP, a group dedicated to filing witness slips for legislative bills in Illinois. In his spare time, he works on cars, music, and helping others get to their destination via Uber.

        • Aaron Shepard
          Aaron Shepard Maryland Community Moderator

          Aaron Shepherd is a medical cannabis patient, and patient advocate. He lives in Southern Maryland on the shores of the Patuxent River, where he dedicates any free time, after his full time job as a senior security technician, to his passion with helping the cannabis community. His belief is that this program in place may not be perfect, but it’s ours. If we want it to work, we must be active in any way possible to fix it. Aaron has formed a professional relationship with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, where he takes patient, and industry concerns to be discussed.

          • Jesse Williams
            Jesse Williams Pennsylvania Community Moderator

            Jesse is a freelance contractor from the northeastern region of Pennsylvania by day, and a passionate advocate of cannabis by night. When he is not working, he is off roading and camping with the family, as well as other various outdoor activities. As a cannabis patient combating chronic pain stemming from a bad automobile accident, he looks forward to sharing his knowledge and experience with the benefits of cannabis.

            • Mark Peysakhovich
              Mark Peysakhovich Podcast Host

              Mark Peysakhovich is the Managing Partner of MBM Advantage LLC, a firm that provides legislative and public affairs consulting as well as community outreach, alliance building and networking services for the healthcare sector. Transparently, one of his clients is a medical cannabis company where he serves as a lobbyist and public affairs advisor.

              Believing in fairness, his experience as an industry lobbyist and insider gives him a unique perspective on major issues, and direct access to key individuals shaping the cannabis landscape today.  He and his family, including his wife, daughter, one dog, and two cats, live in Oak Park, IL.

              • Jani Anderson
                Jani Anderson User Experience Designer

                Jani Anderson is a seasoned User Experience Designer and UI Developer. He knows UX & UI, web design, graphic design, mobile app design, UX research, JavaScript, HTML & CSS development. His formal education in Fine Arts, steeped in years of practical work experience, makes him uniquely qualified to design exceptional user experiences. Jani will be responsible for crafting a new vision of this website in accordance with you, our users, and the wonderful team at The Medical Cannabis Community.

                • Amna Shamim
                  Amna Shamim Writer

                  Amna Shamim is a writer, nomad, and visibility consultant. She has been traveling the world since 2014, learning about cannabis culture and legal progress in places as far-flung as Thailand, Uruguay, Portugal, Colombia, and Canada.


                  You can follow her adventures through her “Around the World in 80 Puffs” series on TMCC or on her Instagram @amnashamimnyc

                  • Marcus Patrick
                    Marcus Patrick Senior Copywriter

                    Marcus Patrick is the Senior Copywriter for TMCC and the Founder & CEO of Palmary Writing Services, LLC. Formally trained and certified, he started his career in the corporate space. Wanting to spend more time with his family, he has been working as a freelance creator of digital content and composer of articles and blogs (all using SEO strategies) for the last seven years. When not creating outstanding web copy, he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, and hiking in Canada.

                    • Phil Cagen
                      Phil Cagen Senior Video Producer

                      Phil is a filmmaker with nearly 20 years of experience, ranging in work from live events, music, corporate work, and documentary form. Growing up in Indiana, it was tough for him to be an activist of legalization, but it never deterred him.

                      As a city native, he has resided in Chicago for the last 10 years, where he is married and has two rescue dogs he loves immensely. Phil is also extremely knowledgable about the benefits of medical cannabis, as well as the counter culture reflective of various communities.