We have a diverse team with skills that have proven to be invaluable to our patients. Educated Alternative came first to help address the most pressing issues for the new medical cannabis patients, education and funding. The education portion is still realized daily through calls, emails and Zoom meetings with our patients to make sure they understand what they're doing before they do it. When it made sense we created our own cannabis clinic, Primero Cannabis Clinics, with physical locations in Illinois and Missouri. Our approach with all of our patients is hands on, and even with a small staff we are still able to meet their needs. Our financial assistance dream was realized with the help of Bedford Grow, an Illinois cultivator that took a chance on us when others didn't. For close to 2yrs Bedford Grow provided us vouchers for free cannabis to pass out to those on our programs, close to 200 patients. Unfortunately, when the Illinois recreational program was rolled out too quickly in January 2020 Bedford Grow no longer had enough product to donate. We still have discounts to benefit patients on SSI/SSDI or that are Veterans, but we are always looking to create new initiatives in Illinois and Missouri and we welcome any inquiries about possible collaborations. Allow us to do the legwork to help you fulfill the social equity portion of your licenses so you can focus on you day to day business.


Please take some time to read about our team and get to know us. I've never seen a harder working group of people as dedicated to doing the right thing for cannabis patients. We hope to get a chance to talk to you soon!



Jose L Gonzalez Jr.

Executive Director, Educated Alternative - CEO, Primero Cannabis Clinics

I'm truly a life long cannabis advocate and have been a part of the cannabis culture for 30+ years. The times have changed and while in the past cannabis was a taboo subject, now I'm invited to speak to groups ranging from inquisitive housewives, elderly people who've avoided it their whole lives all the way to doctors groups. I try to share my passion with others everyday, and I try to share the good fortune that cannabis has brought to me with those who need it most.  For certain the true inspiration for opening both Educated Alternative and Primero Cannabis Clinics was my parents, both lost too early to cancer and both could have had a much better quality end of life. Knowing this drives me to make sure others will suffer less by helping them choose a medicine that has been proven safe and effective for thousands of years.


Molly Gonzalez

Board of Directors - Educated Alternative

I'm the mother of 3 awesome children, a make-up artist and a cannabis enthusiast. Together with my husband I've worked to help Illinois and Missouri patients with all different facets of the process of getting certified in their State and the aftercare that follows. In my own life I've been able to use cannabis instead of opiates for post surgery pain control and to help calm anxiety. I love to spend time with my family, cook with my husband and have long afternoons in the sun with music always in the background.


Robert M Boyd IV

Board of Directors - Edcuated Alternative

I'm a graduate of Iowa Wesleyan College and have worked as Director of Professional services for Activant since graduating, as well as working for Epicor. I live in Austin TX with my beautiful wife, Hook'em Horns, and our kids are successful and happy young adults out on their own.  Jose is my little brother and I've always tried do anything and everything I can to support him in his professional life. I bring any IT support needed to the team to allow them to continue to serve our patients.

A perfect weekend is coming to Chicago to be with my family, going to see the White Sox at Comiskey and definitely having some Home Run Inn pizza and White Castle before heading home.


Dr. Luis Mertins, M.D.

Certified Medical Cannabis Provider, Illinois and Missouri, Primero Cannabis Clinics

Dr. Mertins is a certified medical cannabis provider and a board certified OB/GYN. He attended Universidad Francisco Marroquín Facultad de Medicina, where he received his medical degree, and completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Washington University, St. Louis. He also completed another residency in obstetrics and gynecology at Hospital General San Juan de Dios, and he also completed an internship in internal medicine at Berkshire Medical Center. He is board certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and is a member of the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. Dr. Mertins is devoted to ensuring the longevity of his patients’ health and developing long-lasting relationships with them. He takes his time to understand symptoms and give correct diagnoses to ensure the continued health of all his patients.

Amanda pB labs

Amanda Ryan, N.P.

Certified Medical Cannabis Provider, Illinois and Iowa, Primero Cannabis Clinics

My name is Amanda Ryan. I am the mother of four beautiful children. I am a dog person – we have a golden retriever and two dachshunds. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, listening to all different kinds of music, spending time outdoors, gardening, and cooking.

I am a board-certified Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years’ experience working in health care. I have worked in a variety of settings including ICU, ER, internal medicine, family practice, urgent care, and hospice. Although conventional medication is helpful and necessary in certain situations, it does not account for the uniqueness of individuals. The "one-size-fits-all" approach to healthcare does not fulfill the needs of most people. I like to look outside of the box and tailor my care to meet each person's individual health needs and goals.


Nicole Gonzalez

Patient Advocate

Hi I'm Nicole, I'm 27 years old and I have been working in the Medical Cannabis Industry since 2018. While with Educated Alternative I've learned and experienced that cannabis is a medicine used to help cope with a variety of personal and medical conditions such as Chronic Pain, Migraines, Autism, and even Cancer. I have had the pleasure of working with many patients over the years and watched them overcome their challenges through responsible cannabis use. I've been suffering with arthritis in my knees since I was a child, and I was taking trips to the hospital twice every two weeks to have the water in my knees drained. The pain was unbearable, so I started researching other options. I was hesitant at first but has changed my life. Using medical cannabis to help me tackle routine tasks is now something I have in common with my patients. You’re not in this alone and together we can make a difference in all of our lives with the use of medical cannabis. 


Kristen Pirelli

Patient Advocate

Bio coming soon!


Telisha Maholmes


I've been dealing with multiple sclerosis since May 25, 1998 and been prescribed many pharmaceutical drugs, but cannabis was the only medicine that help get rid of 18 years of pain. Cannabis has also helped deal with other parts of my body that were effected due to ms. 
Follow me @420asakite on all FB, IG, GenPop, Clapper, YT, Threads

Joe Romando

Joe Romando


I am a life-long cannabis enthusiasts, was preaching the “good word” before it was even considered medically viable! Currently working in the Electrical Construction industry with an expertise in troubleshooting residential, commercial and industrial problems! I’m my spare time, I enjoy creating music and playing guitar. Also, I am an active member of the National MOOSE Charities and a current member of the #1557 Lockport Moose Lodge.


Would you like to be part of the team as an affiliate?

Get paid to refer patients full or part time!