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Peace, Love, Cannabis, & Pride

The history of Pride and Cannabis share a deep overlap when it comes to stigmatization by society. Cannabis users and the LGBTQ+ community have both suffered from discrimination in workplace and social contexts, judgments from family and friends, and false negative stereotypes. In honor of the 51st anniversary of the Pride Parade, also the anniversary date of the Stonewall riots, it is important to reflect and appreciate the progressive movements that have formed the society we live in today.  

Both emerging from the countercultural movement of the late 1960s, Pride activists played a crucial role in the legalization of medical cannabis. During the late 1980s, people sought alternatives to conventional treatment options due to the cost and ineffectiveness of conventional medicine. Proposition P, drafted by Dennis Peron, calls on the CA Medical Association and State of California to implement a medical cannabis program for anyone with HIV/AIDS. Cannabis treatments were proven to help treat nausea, wasting syndrome, and other AIDS symptoms. Peron also created the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club, the first public dispensary in San Francisco. 

In addition to being historically and culturally significant, Stonewall highlights the necessity for intersectionality among marginalized groups, and for a diverse range of representation.  

Stonewall Inn Neon

Brief History Timeline of Stonewall Movement

Before the 1960s- the LGBTQ+ community was not widely accepted. New York City enacted a law that prohibits solicitation of same-sex relationships. As a result of such neglect, LGBTQ+ individuals gathered in gay bars and clubs where they could express themselves freely and socialize without fear. They became a refuge for those in need. 

1920 – The Stonewall Inn was purchased by the Genovese family, also members of the New York Mafia. It was originally registered as a “straight” bar, however reopened a year later as a gay bar in Greenwich Village, NY. The club was considered a private “bottle bar” which did not require a liquor license, as customers were expected to bring their own. However, the Stonewall Inn had a history of breaking the rules. The Genovese family bribed New York’s Sixth Police Precinct to ignore the activities occurring within the club. The establishment violated multiple health and safety codes including no fire exit, running water behind the bar, dirty toilets, and watered-down drinks. Wealthier club patrons who wanted to hide their sexuality were blackmailed by the New York Mafia. 

1924- The first documented U.S. gay rights organization, The Society for Human Rights (SHR) was founded by Henry Gerber, a German immigrant. 

1925- Police raids forced SHR to disband, but not before they published several issues of their, and first ever, gay-interest newsletter, “Friendship and Freedom”.

1955- San Francisco’s Daughters of Bilitis formed the first lesbian rights organization. 

1966- members of The Mattachine Society (an organization dedicated to gay rights), organized a “sip-in” during which they openly displayed their sexuality in bars, daring staff to turn them away and suing those who did so. 

1966- New York State’s Liquor Authority penalized and shut down establishments that served alcohol to LGBTQ+ individuals. The gathering of homosexuals was deemed “disorderly”. Activist efforts led to the overturn of these regulations, but public displays of affection (holding hands, kissing, indecent dancing, etc.) between individuals of the same sex were still prohibited. 

1969- Stonewall Uprising began on June 28 when New York City police raided the bar armed with a warrant. The raid caused a riot between bar patrons and neighborhood residents due to the aggressive police actions. 13 people were arrested, including employees and patrons violating the state’s gender-appropriate clothing statute. Cross-dressing patrons were taken to the bathroom to be checked for their sexual orientation by female officers.  

  • At one point during the riots, a lesbian woman was hit over the head by an officer as he forced her into his police van. She then shouted for those watching to act, causing a large crowd to throw change, bottles, cobble stones, etc. at the police. Police escaped the streets and barricaded themselves inside the Stonewall Inn for protection. Following repeated breaches of the barricade, the mob tried to set fire to the building. 
  • Five days after the original raid, protests continued in the area, sometimes reaching thousands of people 

1970- On June 28, gay activist groups in New York gathered on Christopher Street to honor the events of the Stonewall riots the previous year. The gathering was originally referred to as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, named after the street on which Stonewall is located. We now refer to his celebration as the Pride Parade, hosted annually in the month of June. 

1973- PFLAG (formerly Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) was formed in support of the LGBTQ+ community. It is the country’s first and largest organization uniting families and supporters of the community. 

1985- The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) was formed in protest of the New York Post’s defamatory and sensationalized AIDS coverage. A report deemed homophobic by GLAAD prompted media organizations to cease reporting. 

2016- In recognition of the riot’s impact on gay rights, then-President Obama designated the riot site and surrounding streets as a national monument. 

2021- Swade Cannabis joins counterculture movements to show support to the LGBTQ+ community. Swade Cannabis will donate $1 from each Swade Pride Prepack sold in June to Pride STL. Bring your support to the Grove on Sunday, June 6 to show solidarity with St. Louis’  LGBTQ+ community! 

Pride Parade at SWADE Grove

 

Sources: 

https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots 

https://ponderseattle.com/learn/stonewall-and-the-pro-cannabis-movement/  

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Feature News

Introducing House Of Happy’s Kasey Boggs

Hi, I’m Kasey…I live in New Melle with my husband and big crazy family. I am a mom to 3 beautiful kids, 4 dogs, 2 ducks, and 2 chickens. My main motivator in life is my family and the outdoorsy lifestyle we indulge in. On most days you will find us biking, hiking, or swimming in our creek. I grew up in Wildwood, MO, and after graduating college from UMSL decided to follow my heart and move out to the country where I could further my passion for rescuing animals and wildlife. I started my family and never looked back.

 

I have a background in media marketing, branding, advertising and sales. I have always pursued and maintained jobs that allow creativity. I tend to gravitate towards challenging situations that require brainstorming and collecting different perspectives to find a solution. I left the pharmaceutical world in 2016 to raise my children and most importantly to find myself. I knew this career wasn’t for me anymore and it was time to find out what was. I now work as a marketing director for House of Pain Gyms and Apparel. I have always lived a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and exercise. After college, I got a little more serious with it and competed in 4 bodybuilding shows in the figure category. This job allows me to support and encourage this lifestyle for a variety of others and provide an environment with the resources to do so. After leaving pharmaceuticals I promised myself that my next journey would be something I believe in and brings me happiness.

 

When I was asked to join the SWADE team I was ecstatic. Cannabis is something that has been a part of my lifestyle for more than a decade and has given me more confidence as a working mother and wife. I have always wanted to share my perspective and own personal experience with other women that are struggling or simply want to learn more about it. With all of the negative stigmatism it is hard to find the right space to tap into this controversial subject. My goal is to open up conversations, educate, and most importantly, help. I want to lift others up so they can be their best self. Cannabis is holistic medicine that can benefit a whole range of health issues physically, emotionally, and mentally. It is nothing more and nothing less. It is a natural way to medicate yourself, bypassing all of the lab-made chemicals that often get pushed on you.

 

My goal here is to unite our community and bring down the walls of judgement and shame. I want to eliminate stereotypes that discourage people from medicating with cannabis. I want women to feel empowered to be who they are without feelings of guilt caused by societal norms. When people see me, or are reading along, I want them to feel understood, seen and safe. You are not alone!

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SWADE School Feature

Microdosing: Control your way with cannabis.

A beginners guide on how to microdose THC

So, you’re ready to start microdosing. Or, maybe you’re just curious and want to learn more about how it works.  Either way, this is the perfect introduction to the world of microdosing THC. Microdosing cannabis is an amazing way to feel your best with full control.

What is microdosing?

Whether you heard about microdosing from a friend, the news, or Gweneth Paltrow, there’s no doubt that this new way of consuming THC is growing in popularity.  Microdosing is exactly what it sounds like – taking microdoses of THC throughout the day. The beauty of microdosing is that you can control the way you feel while reaping all the natural benefits of THC and CBD.   

Just like with anything, too much of a good thing can still be too much.  Have you ever had the experience of taking too big a pull or eating an edible only to be knocked off your feet for a few hours? It’s no fun. That’s where microdosing comes in. It’s the ideal way to find your perfect balance for your day, taking it little by little until you reach your sweet spot. No more worrying about how much or how little cannabis to consume or trying to interpret THC to CBD ratios. You can take control of your doses and truly enjoy the journey to feeling your best. 

Wait, will I feel “high” all day?

No, you won’t feel high all day (unless you want to).  The beautiful thing about microdosing is that it gives you all the medicinal benefits of THC without having to worry about the “high” feeling.  You can create a dosing ritual that fits your routine and daily needs.  Cannabis products with specifically designed technology that help you microdose small amounts of cannabis, allow you to be in control.  Begin with a small amount and slowly build until you find the amount that works best. (Shout out to all my fellow control freaks.)

So you’re saying I have control? Yes. The more technical term for microdosing is “titration,” or as I like to call it “the dating phase.” Titration is the fancy-schmancy way of saying finding the best result from taking the least amount of (in this case) cannabis. It’s all about balance. After all, every house plant needs water, but sometimes too much water does more harm than good. 

What are the benefits of microdosing?

The benefit to Microdosing is that you can more precisely tailor/calibrate your cannabis intake to your body, your mood, and your needs.  It’s like going to a salad bar – you get to curate the perfect experience. Way better than a pre-made salad from the grocery store, right? 

THC and its sister cannabinoid CBD can do wonders for easing stress and anxiety.  Low-dose products designed for microdosing are especially helpful in managing anxiety or chronic pain because you can still go about your daily life without the “high” side effect. Many cannabis products start at 10 milligrams of THC. But even 10mg may be more than what you actually need to feel calm, focused, or relieve pain.  You may only need 5mg or less to get the same therapeutic effects. The goal of microdosing is to find the sweet spot where you are getting the best benefits from the least amount. 

How do I get started with microdosing?

I know this will sound hippy-dippy, but the best place to start is with a little self-reflection. Seriously.  Make an intention for how you would like to feel. How does cannabis improve your day?  Are you trying to get into the zone at work or the gym?  Does cannabis help relieve anxiety?  Or maybe you are having trouble falling asleep.   

Once you know your microdosing goals, find a cannabis product with a THC to CBD ratio that correlates with your needs.  This may be a little trial and error if you’re new to cannabis. That’s okay, just remember you can go at your own pace. Talk to someone at your local dispensary to get a sense of what products could work for you.  What? I have to go into a store and talk to people? I thought this was the 21st century. Don’t worry, you can still start your microdosing journey safely and effectively with the help of vape pens or quick dissolve tablets specifically designed for microdosing. These products are a great place to start because they help you control the dosage. Brands like midose. tell you how many milligrams are in a 3-second pull or a single quick dissolve tablet, so you know exactly how much THC you are consuming each time. 

Microdose with confidence

Hopefully, this roadmap gave you the knowledge and tools to discover how microdosing cannabis can enrich your daily life. Cannabis shouldn’t ever feel scary or overwhelming.  Nature has provided a powerful remedy to support your body and mind as you navigate through life.  Microdosing gives you control.  

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Feature News

SWADE Cannabis Debuts Flagship Dispensary in The Grove

Local Flair and Stunning Contemporary Design

SWADE cannabis, a St. Louis-based medical marijuana dispensary, announced the grand opening of its third location on April 16, 2021, a gem etched on the bustling street of Manchester Avenue in The Grove. The long-vacant location has since undergone extensive renovations resulting in a 7,500 square foot storefront which includes contemporary fabrication and finishes plus state-of-the-art systems and security.

“Being the largest SWADE Dispensary to date, special attention was paid to all aspects of the design to highlight The Grove location as our flagship store and hiring local talent from beginning to end, only solidified our goal of creating a destination admired for heavy doses of nostalgia.” Said Tom Muzzey CEO of BeLeaf Medical, “This store is a dedication to the creative, vibrant spirit of St. Louis encapsulating a strong collaboration of local talent.”

MIN+ Architecture was hired when the SWADE partners saw this once-empty warehouse as a prime opportunity to create a statement space. The design team embraced the industrial character of the building shell by exposing the steel roof framing and portions of the interior masonry. New steel beams were installed to maintain the expansive ceiling height and to allow natural light deep into the space. Two new custom cantilevered canopies highlight the new entry and exit.

While the majority of the brick and block front façade was maintained, it was critical to the SWADE Team to find a way to activate this solid wall and contribute to the lively commercial streetscape on Manchester. A local street artist, Jayvn Soloman, was tapped to design and install a custom mural. He was tasked with artistically interpreting the SWADE Brand and creating a colorful destination that would stand-out amongst other notable murals throughout the neighborhood and the results are phenomenal.

“In keeping with the eclectic and colorful vibes of the neighborhood, The Grove location boasts numerous artistic collaborations including a branded luminous ceiling print by Dave Bour at SuperDog Content, custom designed vinyl graphics by Donald J Fedorko at ImprovEyes, a colorful floral wall installation by the SWADE marketing team, interior benches made from reclaimed Douglas fir by local furniture designer, Jermain Todd with Mwanzico and open space for showcasing a rotation of local artists’ work.” Meg Holmes, Principal at MIN+ Architecture said, “all of which adds up to a unique, must-see space for reasons beyond just medical marijuana.”

Cissell Mueller Construction Inc. focused their efforts on making the building structurally sound and bringing it up to current codes as MIN+ focused their efforts on the design and finishes. The other dispensaries have earthy tones and finishes, while the Grove has much more color, light and movement. Cissell Mueller and MIN+ always wanted to maintain the building’s history.

“During demolition, we got a glimpse into the buildings history when we discovered a hidden whiskey barrel that could be accessed by removing a few bricks to draw the whiskey out. It was exciting to find this piece of history, possibly hidden during the Prohibition era, and to envision the evolution into a modern dispensary.” Said Morgan Stearn, Project Administrator for Cissell Mueller. Another special feature at the Grove location is the rear indoor parking and overhead door access at the front and rear of the building. The rear parking allows for more security and storage while the front overhead door allows SWADE to open up to the outside for community events.

“Legalized, medical marijuana sales along with thriving, plant-based medical marijuana use, is proving to be a strong economic force,” says Kevin Riggs, Co-founder at BeLeaf Medical. “We are thrilled to continue to grow and expand our operations into Downtown St. Louis

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Feature News

SWADE Announces Collaboration with Arch Apparel

New cannabis inspired merchandise to premiere 4/3

Swade Cannabis is pleased to announce a partnership with Arch Apparel, unveiling a line of cannabis inspired t-shirts, sweatshirts, and accessories designed in the clothing retailer’s signature modern style now available for purchase.

“Swade and Arch Apparel both celebrate St. Louis, so we’ve teamed up to offer unique merchandise to honor the cannabis industry and our fabulous city,” said Jack Haddox, Directory of Dispensary Operations. “We find that bringing St. Louis inspired merchandise to our dispensaries help St. Louisans express their love of the Lou and cannabis by supporting local.”

“Arch Apparel is excited to collaborate with SWADE on our new collection of wearables and accessories,” said Aaron Park, Owner and CEO of Arch Apparel. “SWADE continues to be at the forefront of bringing high quality, medical cannabis to our community. We’re thrilled to be working with such a strong, industry leader.”

The new collection includes sweatshirts, hoodies, t-shirts, rolling trays, glass joint tubes, herbal grinders, and smell proof locking bags for safety all with a Midwestern twist. The designs are a perfect marriage between Arch Apparel’s iconic STL look paired with cannabis to help bring awareness to plant-based medicine and open up the conversation about Missouri’s Medical Marijuana Program.

 

All merchandise is exclusively available for purchase at Arch Apparel stores, or if you are a medical card holder, at SWADE Dispensary locations. On April 3, 2021 from 11:00am- 2:00pm Arch Apparel and SWADE are hosting an event to kick off the new collection at Arch Apparel’s flagship store, located at 2335 S. Hanley Road, St. Louis, MO 63144. Come and learn all about medical cannabis, how to get your Missouri Medical Marijuana Patient card, and enter for a chance to win a gift basket compliments of SWADE Dispensaries.