Anthony Cruz, popularly known by his stage name AZ earned his title as one of Brooklyn’s most acclaimed lyricist to date. AZ is an American rapper commonly known to hold his own and with the original “Firm” lineup Nas, Foxy Brown, and Cormega.

  • Newly released on Nas’s King's Disease Album, the quartet dropped “Full Circle” and brought the “soul” of hip hop back to the streets.
  • Rapper AZ is also very much active on his social media like Instagram and Twitter. He has more than 157K followers on Twitter and 312K followers on Instagram.

Mieko Perez: After months of speaking with AZ about analytics, consumer safety and protection in the cannabis/CBD industry and our community responsibility, I realized how important his input was…being from the “New Jack City” Sugar Hill 90’s and how the face of “weed” is now science, medical and technology.

Let’s talk about cannabis/CBD with AZ.

1.Why is it important for you as a father, and Brooklyn icon to educate consumers on the importance of cannabis/CBD lab testing?

I feel it is important to educate consumers on the importance of CBD lab testing because our bodies are our temples and we must treat them as such. The Internal and external consumption of any chemical compound can either help or harm the body.

Being an avid smoker in my early 20’s, I had no idea of what I was inhaling. Though I knew the street terminology of the product like the name, I never took the time to explore its origins.

The idea of cannabis being harmful or helpful to my own endocannabinoid system was never a thought, until I started researching the benefits and watching the cannabis industry evolve with medical professionals in support of educating consumers in California and Colorado.

Lab testing of any product is a necessity when it deals with life and death. Safe testing identifies harmful contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals (like lead and mycotoxins) that can lead to serious health problems. Most people do not worry as much if it is not contributing to a quick death but in reality, a slow death is the worst kind.

2. How has seeking information about cannabis analytics labs encouraged you to educate yourself about consumer safety and share that knowledge with your family and community?

To be educated on CBD analytics and lab testing has been a blessing. The saying goes, if you knew better you would do better. I now know enough that I can communicate and steer others in the proper direction of deciding their next purchase of CBD products or better yet, for those that are contemplating on using CBD. For example, knowing the difference between the illegal market and licensed dispensaries and the importance of lab testing to avoid dangerous contaminants. Also, understanding [cannabis] potency and the various unique strains and most importantly, being aware of the safety of the product from information found on the packaging.

3. Do you see yourself working with cannabis/CBD companies in the future to empower communities to make informed decisions on their purchases? And why?

I can see myself in the near future working with cannabis/CBD companies to empower communities on their decision to purchase CBD. I feel that we as a people need to have a clear understanding of what we are buying, to be knowledgeable as to how it affects our health and well-being.

My voice has been a guiding light since my days of being an entertainer, over 25 years. I was always a voice for the voiceless. Knowledge is the foundation of all things in existence and I live by the law that each one teaches one.

4. Did you ever think you would be discussing cannabis/CBD analytics lab reports in 2020?

Never in my wildest would I have ever thought I would be discussing CBD analytics in 2020 but life always finds a way to lead one to the path where they are most needed or better yet to be able to be used in a necessary manner.

I accept the challenge, anything for the betterment of my people, knowing that we play a big part in the consumption and economic side of things.