Monday, 28 March 2022 12:52

Cannabis Q&As

Written by  Revue Staff
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We talked with people in the local cannabis industry — from budtenders to managers and the C-suite — about their favorite products, how cannabis has helped them, and the future of cannabis.

ERIN WILKINSON
Store Manager/Team Member, New Standard Saugatuck

What makes your company stand out?

At New Standard Saugatuck we operate like a family and take great pride in our exceptional guest experience. If you’re a novice feeling a little intimidated by it all or a seasoned consumer wanting to dive into complex terp profiles, we got you!

What’s your favorite product you carry right now?

We have a lot of people looking for relief from pain and Michigan Organic Rub has really impressed me with how well it works. 

Favorite strain at the moment?

I really enjoy anything Lemonati Farms puts out, but they have a line called Defiance that I love. A portion of the proceeds supports Freedom Grow, a 501c3 that helps cannabis prisoners regain freedom. I see it as a way to put your money where your mouth is! 

How has cannabis helped you?

I was a full-time caregiver for my grandmother for 7 years, who suffered from horrible bouts of “Alzheimer’s Rage.” When I discovered how much edibles helped her, it was truly life-changing. She was happier, ate more, stayed hydrated, was obviously more comfortable, and had considerably less anxiety and rage. I never thought I’d be consuming cannabis with my grandmother, but looking back on it now, it’s hard to imagine getting through it without the cannabis.

PETER MARCUS
VP of Communications, Terrapin

What makes your company stand out?

We work vigorously from before a seed is planted to a customer making a purchase to ensure we can deliver a great total experience. We believe the tortoise beats the hare. Unlike other cannabis companies focused on having the largest footprint, we’re focused on deliberate growth. That allows us to focus more precisely on the needs of our customers, as well as the needs of the community. Terrapin has donated more than $1 million to about 40 nonprofits in an effort to leave a positive community impact. 

Favorite strain at the moment?

White Poison and Terpwin Station have been doing very well and are some of our most potent and flavorful strains on the market. These have been causing people’s heads to turn. We’re also excited about a few new ones recently launched by Terrapin. Grape Cream Cake and Blueberry Baller have been getting our people talking around the grow. 

How has cannabis helped you?

Cannabis has been life for me. My background is unique for this position. My father was an NYPD narcotics and homicide officer; my mom was a prosecutor for a time. My parents never understood cannabis and the community surrounding it. As a political reporter in Colorado for over a decade, my life would intersect even more closely with this amazing plant. 

From my personal connection to my professional connection with cannabis, it was amazing to watch the evolution take place from the inside. Working as a communications professional in the cannabis industry these days is a dream for me. 

What’s the future of cannabis?

Balancing legacy cannabis players who have been at it for over a decade with publicly traded interests and a federal lobby that is looking at national consolidation and conglomeration. 

BRANDY PALMER
Owner, Green Wellness

What makes your company stand out?

We know that CBD isn’t all things to all people, but we work really hard to carry brands that are affordable and safe. We want to make sure that our community has the option to learn for themselves if they can see benefit from the hemp plant. Additionally, we like to focus on the benefits of those smaller, lesser-known cannabinoids in the hemp plant. They can offer specific benefits in areas like calm and sleep. We’re learning something new about hemp every day!

What’s your favorite unique product that you carry right now?

We’re loving the Lazarus fruit tarts right now. They’re each 25mg of isolated CBD. That CBD is absorbed through your cheek so they are able to get to work super quickly. When we are hurting or stressed, we don’t have time to wait for our digestive system to do its thing. Fast acting products like these can really be lifesavers. 

Why hemp instead of marijuana?

There’s absolutely room for both in this market. Many people are looking for the medical benefits from marijuana without the high. That’s where we can help. You don’t always need the THC to find relief. Hemp can be an introduction to those benefits without the intimidation factor or a dispensary. Some customers stay here while others need the benefits that come with higher THC. We can educate them and point them in the right direction. 

NARMIN JARROUS
Chief Development Officer, Exclusive Brands

What makes your company stand out?

I think Exclusive Brands’ overall dedication to cannabis accessibility sets us apart. We’ve made it a mission to create products that complement as many lifestyles as possible. To us, cannabis accessibility means making sure people of all backgrounds have equal access to cannabis. This means making sure product formulations, price points, and marketing campaigns are all created with inclusivity in mind. 

What’s your favorite unique product that you carry right now? 

At the moment, it’s our Neno’s Naturals 3:1 CBD: THC transdermal patch. I love our Neno’s transdermal patches because they have such a dynamic use — I can use it for pain, anxiety or just for days I feel a little foggy and need a pick-me-up. I’m so happy when I can integrate products into so many aspects of my life.

Favorite strain at the moment and why?

It changes so often, but the Strain Kings Mac 1 is my favorite right now. We’re very fortunate to have the real Mac 1 genetics from Capulator and it’s made a world of a difference. It smokes like a heavy indica but has a nice citrusy flavor. 

How has cannabis helped you personally?

Cannabis changed my life. I’ve dealt with chronic pain for over a decade and tried every remedy and lifestyle change you can think of, and nothing helped. Cannabis gave me my life back — I’m not dragged down by debilitating pain anymore. I’m not constantly in survival mode and just trying to make it through the day. I think that’s why I’m so passionate about the industry. The plant changed my life. 

What’s the future of cannabis?

Decriminalization and descheduling. 

BLAKE WILKINS
General Manager, Green Koi

What makes your company stand out, in your opinion?

The founders, David and Ethan, built a brand around their impact, philanthropy and passion for holistic healing. For two years, they have served medical and recreational customers with a single store. Now, Green Koi is preparing to open additional locations to better serve Michigan’s growing cannabis community. We focus on education, and keeping true to the plant when it comes to products we offer to the community.  

What’s your favorite unique product that you carry right now? 

We carry an Ardent Precision Decarboxylator. It’s a super convenient herb decarb and infusion machine; but it doesn’t just stop there! It also bakes! 

Favorite strain at the moment and why? 

Glorious Cannabis’s Mai Tai. I was introduced to Mai Tai in Maryland Medical program from GLeaf LLC as a pre-roll. The first inhale took me on a journey to the tropics, I was instantly in a bliss. Glorious Cannabis version was a great take on this notable strain! 

THC% vs. Terpenes — what really matters? 

Terpene science came way before Cannabis science. The two synergistically work together in the plant, and also in our endocannabinoid system. Using terpenes is vital to cannabis consumption, and can make a big difference in how we manufacture products in the cannabis industry  

What’s your favorite cannabinoid/terpene, and why? 

CBC because of its neuroprotectant effects on neurodegenerative diseases. CBC helps encourage the human brain to grow by increasing the viability of developing brain cells. And Pinene, because it can reduce memory loss and effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.  

NIC HERNANDEZ
Provisioning Center Manager, Fluresh

What makes your company stand out?

Overall, we believe in creating the ultimate cannabis experience. We believe through education and communication we can recommend the best possible products for every customer. Whether you are a novice consumer or a seasoned veteran, we make sure you are paired with the right products in a relaxed and professional environment.

What’s your favorite unique product that you carry right now?

Our Carbon & Fluresh concentrates are definitely the most unique products on our shelves right now. With a wide variety of types and strains, there is something for everyone. My favorite specifically would be the GG4 Badder.

Favorite strain at the moment and why?

Our West Coast Sour Diesel has been one of our most popular strains to date. This unique strain is perfect for daytime use and creativity. The perfect strain for anyone on the go. 

How has cannabis helped you?

Cannabis has helped me personally in many ways. I started growing for my parents who were looking for alternatives to pharmaceuticals. Since then, I have been able to help not only myself but many of my family members and friends. Being able to work in the industry has been a blessing as I am able to educate and provide others with the tools they need to navigate their own personal journey’s with cannabis and that has been by far the most rewarding thing. 

What’s the future of cannabis?

Exploration into the benefits of cannabis have barely scratched the surface. This is only the beginning of something extremely profound.

RYAN HOLSER
Director of Retail Operations, Pure Options

What makes your company stand out, in your opinion?

Pure Options stands out over others in that we truly try to offer and carry as many vendors/brands as possible. Giving our patients and customers a wide array of options in each category is our goal. 

What’s your favorite product you carry right now?

The Select Squeeze Beverage Enhancer is currently our most unique product at our Pure Options Muskegon location on Holton Rd. It is pocked-sized and gives precise 5mg servings every time!

Favorite strain at the moment and why?

Our own Pro Gro Moonbow #112 is my favorite strain currently. It won a Cannabis Cup award in 2021 and easily our top seller in retail across all 6 of our locations. 

In one sentence or less, what’s the future of cannabis?

The future of cannabis is endless, we’re all looking forward to the continued growth of acceptance medically and recreationally in the years to come. 

JACQUIE LUCAS
Vice President, Michiganja

What makes your company stand out, in your opinion?

For us, it’s all about staying true to our name, Michiganja. When we chose it, we wanted to reflect that we were a home-grown company founded by two local guys because so many other dispensaries, growers and processors are simply Michigan divisions of some California or Colorado and even Canadian companies. We tried to achieve a “Michigan” feel using log siding and live edge counters in our interior and exterior designs, and we were able to save the majority of the trees at our grow facility construction site in White Cloud. 

We also believe that customers like the experience of inspecting our flower up-close, so we sell deli-style, in addition to pre-packed flower and preroll. 

What’s your favorite unique product that you carry right now?

It amazes us the number of ways a person can get cannabis into their systems. We have some drink enhancers that are pretty interesting. We even have THC infused toothpicks. But flower is king, so we try to stock more than 25 indica, sativa and hybrid strains which customers can see and smell, and get their orders filled straight from the bud jars. 

How has cannabis helped you?

So many members of our team experience the benefits of cannabis all the time. They use it to manage pain and anxiety and sleeplessness. Frankly, Michiganja was founded on our belief that cannabis is a healthy alternative medicine, and an alternative to alcohol for fun and relaxation.

What’s the future of cannabis?

We’d like to see people overcome preconceived notions about cannabis. The more people who try it, especially as an alternative to certain medicines and alcohol, the larger the industry will become.

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