How JM Balbuena Is Changing the Wellness Industry with Her Cannabis Empire 

Cannabis is now legal in 18 states, but entrepreneur JM Balbuena knows that the industry still has a lot of room for improvement. The navy veteran turned cannabis pioneer is paving the way for other female entrepreneurs within the industry with her 6 successful businesses. 

Balbuena turned to the wonder herb as a form of medicine after suffering a traumatic brain injury while serving in the navy. The accident ruptured Balbuena’s life, altering her sleeping and eating patterns in addition to causing chronic headaches and back pain. These after-effects led to anxiety and depression, making Balbuena a prime candidate for medicinal marijuana.  

Cannabis changed her life for the better. She was able to return to healthy sleeping and eating habits while managing both physical and mental pain. Although Balbuena still suffers from post-military PTSD and ramifications from her injury, she is a firm believer that cannabis is a healing plant. 

After leaving the military and discovering the magic of cannabis, Balbuena decided that she wanted to launch a business to help fellow veterans and anyone else that might be suffering. Inspired by her mother, a fellow entrepreneur, Balbuena also wanted to create opportunities for other women and POC. The entrepreneur noticed early on that the cannabis industry was often dominated by white men and wanted to ensure that other women like her felt represented.  

 Since entering the cannabis industry 7 years ago, Balbuena’s journey has been nothing short of amazing. She’s launched 4 cannabis-related businesses and wrote an Amazon bestselling book called ‘The Successful Cannapreneur, all while being a part-owner of her family’s Latinx food production business. Balbuena wears many hats as the CEO of Synergy Studios, a full-service cannabis consultancy firm; Chief Marketing Officer of Jaxx Cannabis, a black-owned and operated dispensary in San Diego; Creator of Boycott Shitty Weed, a cannabis advocacy lifestyle brand; co-founding member of Prime Harvest Inc, a cannabis company focused on D2C operations and tech; and co-founder of Divana Mushrooms, a medicinal mushrooms ecommerce site. Combined, her businesses have already earned millions of dollars in revenue.  

Balbuena’s success makes a career in the cannabis industry look easy, but she knows that the growing industry has its share of challenges. Cannabis is currently illegal on a federal level, which creates a social stigma around the plant. Still, Balbuena is passionate about her cause and is dedicated to normalizing cannabis use in the wellness and lifestyle spheres. She knows that cannabis has the power to help a lot of people, and that the hemp plant is a viable solution for many sustainability issues.   

One could say that entrepreneurship is in Balbuena’s blood. Born in the Dominican Republic to two business owners, Balbuena constantly witnessed hard work, risk-taking, and resilience while growing up. Her parents always encouraged her to develop her intellect and maximize her potential, advice that definitely paid off in her adult life.  

Whether or not her upbringing led Balbuena towards the entrepreneurial path, she couldn’t be happier about her career choices. The business owner and CMO wakes up every morning feeling motivated to follow her passion knowing that she has a purpose and is solving real-life problems for millions of people. As the cannabis industry continues to expand, we’re sure that Balbuena’s businesses will come out on top.  

LA Weekly