She was supposed to be the next Weijia Jiang. But along the way to TV stardom, she found contentment in being who she’d always been: Erin Tyszko from Kingsville, Maryland.
A graduate of Towson University, Erin was hired for her dream job in 2017, reporting for WBOC-TV. She recalls her team saying she possessed Jiang-like talent – a reference to the renowned CBS Senior White House Correspondent. While the honeymoon phase was flattering, it didn’t take long for the bloom to come off the rose.
“I didn’t like how superficial it all became,” the 28-year-old said. “Being on TV, doing live shots and following teleprompters, you lose the truth in a lot of those news stories. If your beliefs weren’t in line with what was being typed, you just couldn’t stay true to who you were.”
Erin spent her senior year at Towson completing a year-long internship with WJZ-TV Baltimore. There, she received a “look at real world reporting” – being placed on a “controversial and dangerous” beat that made her question whether the industry was a good fit for her future. At WBOC, the constant pressure to perform nightly in front of thousands of viewers caught up to Erin.
“There was a moment on-camera, on a live shoot where I froze,” she said. “I just walked off the camera and said, ‘This is not for me.’”
And that was the end of her reporting career.
With six years of introspection, Erin looks back and believes she’s “too high-strung of a person” to have made a lengthy career in the news. And she’s at peace with that – having returned to her roots and opening up a dialogue about her appreciation for the medical benefits of Cannabis.
“I think I’ve always been an anxious person,” she said. “But now I can do what I love and treat my symptoms in a healthy way. I’m able to be my true self.”
Erin began self-medicating with Cannabis in high school to overcome struggles with attention and anxiety. Cannabis had a way of leveling her out, allowing Erin to focus on stressful tasks.
“I relied on it in high school,” she said. “Cannabis helped ground me.”
After bartending for a year following her departure from the news world, Erin joined Nature’s Care and Wellness in Perryville as a receptionist in 2018. Her talents quickly elevated her to patient care specialist, and eventually dispensary manager.
“I was doing what I loved, talking about what I love, and meeting a lot of new people,” she said. “I guess maybe it was the reporter in me – I got so excited about the patients’ interactions. I loved hearing their stories and helping them find helpful ways to medicate. That interaction was big for me.”
By 2020, Erin was hired by Melting Point Extracts (MPX) – serving as a statewide brand representative and traveling across Maryland for a variety of events.
Today, she is the Business Development Director for SunMed Growers in Warwick – a job she has held since 2021. At SunMed, Erin believes she found a familial-like love that was missing in the television industry.
“SunMed gave me the keys to the castle and allowed me to live out my vision,” she said. “I’ve never been with such a wholesome team. They are there for me every step of the way.”
Erin has also dialed in on a consistent routine, preferring live Cannabis resin vaporizers to support focus and calm.
“It has done wonders for my body and mind,” she said, noting she looks for strains with a terpene profile of limonene and terpinolene. “They’ve helped me drastically.”
Her stress levels were surprisingly minimized as her and her team encountered a new wave of clientele following the opening of recreational sales in Maryland.
“It was ‘Show Time’ and we showed up!” Erin exclaimed.
She maintains that enthusiasm as she talks about a future in her newfound profession.
“I want to continue riding this wave with SunMed,” Erin said. “I wear a lot of hats here, but so does everyone else. And there’s so much possibility in Maryland. I want to be a part of that every step of the way.”