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“2020 forced me to really acknowledge my trauma as an African-American man from Chicago. My grandfather was a U.S. Navy veteran who served his country. For him to have been jailed for possession of cannabis while self-medicating during cancer treatment is something that I take very personally. It interfered with his ability to get chemotherapy. I think it is disrespectful to my DNA to not become involved in the cannabis industry and I think more black millennials are starting to feel that way!”- Steven Philpott, Jr.


Steven Christopher Philpott Jr. is currently a Biological Science Graduate Research Student at Chicago State University (CSU). He is also a Certified Cannabis Consultant for the Trichome Institute, a co-lead of the hemp and research subcommittee through the Cannabis Advisory Council at Olive-Harvey College, an IDPH Medical Cannabis Patient, and a United States Marine Corps veteran. 

During his tenure as an active-duty U.S. Marine, Steve unknowingly suffered an ankle fracture while deployed 2011-2012. The injury required multiple surgeries upon returning home and subsequently, multiple opioid prescriptions. At the time, more and more information was being published about the detrimental consequences of opioid dependency and this made Steve uneasy. A childhood friend who had multiple battles with cancer recommended Steve try cannabis as an alternative to his prescription opioids, however, because cannabis use is/was prohibited in the Marines he declined the suggestion and chose to follow doctors’ orders. These experiences planted the seed for his increasing appetite for knowledge in cannabis legislation, the human body, and the science behind the cannabis plant.


After leaving the U.S. Marines, Steve prioritized his education. He obtained his Associates of Applied Science in Fitness and Exercise, ACSM Personal Trainer certification, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, and NSCA Strength and Conditioning Coach certification. After 6+ years of working in the sports industry, most recently as a sports scientist with one of the largest sports performance tech companies in the world, Steve, like so many other Americans was forced to make tough career decisions due to Covid-19. This led him to answer his true calling by  returning to school as a graduate student, with a focus and concentration on Cannabis based research.


Ultimately, through his cannabis research, Steve is positioning himself to be able to combine his experience in the sports world and work as a research liaison with the military and professional sports leagues. His goal is to be at the forefront of innovation as it relates to cannabis in these traditionally unsupported environments. He understands, in depth, that some of the most limiting factors to the career lifespan of those extremely active populations are things like  insomnia, ptsd, anxiety, depression, and chronic inflammation. Steve aspires to one day be able to use cannabis in those spaces to combat those issues. 

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