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Marriage & Marijuana

It Takes Two

Guest Blog

Kasey Boggs

House of Happy

Last night…

It’s 7:00 PM and I’m standing at our sink filled with dishes. To be honest, not just dinner dishes, but lunch and breakfast as well. I have a clean load in the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded. Shit. I am going to be here a while. I close my eyes and my mind rushes to a million things I’d rather be doing. And it’s not what you expect, for me, it’s not about the glamour. I relish in the small moments, the little things. Those are everything. As I’m scrubbing the dishes, I try my best to fade out background noise that consists of the new Cruella on Disney Plus, and 3 very tired, crabby kids. Because, well, it’s summer, the days are longer and we tire easily from all the magic that this season brings. The sunshine, the pool days, the smell of bar-b-q, fresh cut grass and wild flowers. And then into the night…the flashes of fireflies, the owls talking, the cicadas chirping. Nights gazing at the stars explaining what they are to 3 sets of wandering eyes yearning to learn more about the world. But, not tonight, because, let’s get real, not every night of our lives is Snapchat or Facebook-worthy. That is not reality. Not every day is going to feel like the best day of our lives. Today was messy, and today was really hard. I have no shame in that. This is a big step for me. I always felt admitting it was weak. But now I encourage every parent to take a deep breathe, continue reading, and know that you are not alone. It is hard. All of it. Marriage is hard, being a parent is hard, building a family is hard. But, so cliché, the absolute most beautiful part of life. Because who would we be without these beautiful mini versions of ourselves and the partner we created them with? And for that, we need to be our best selves in order to be the best for those that love and need us.

Now, back to the dishes. See where my mind goes while I’m doing chores? As I’m watching the fireflies flicker through my kitchen window, I’m really feeling the stress from the day. From work, to the kids, our house, the animals, all of it. I’m feeling rushed as the minutes pass on the clock and I just wish I could snap my fingers and have it all done to tuck the kids in and have some time to decompress for the day. As I gaze through my kitchen window wishing today wasn’t so hectic and wanting to be more engaged, I saw the reflection of my husband taking the trash out of the bin behind me. As much as I wanted to grab him, hug him, and give him the slightest bit of hope for the last of our day, I just couldn’t. In the moment I couldn’t even do that for myself. I mentally wanted to, in my mind, but nothing on my body seemed to work. I let my stress get the best of me, and I was letting it win. I was tired from not being able to stop my thoughts from the day and just relax. The day was over, but I wasn’t letting myself actually feel that. All I truly wanted to do was feel close to my husband, but my mind wouldn’t stop and I couldn’t find the off button. How can I possibly be everything? To everyone? And everything? All the time? It is so important to me to never disappoint my family. My thoughts continue, my mind babble runs on. He sees I’m struggling, and, by this point I realize the chaotic, witching hour background noise has settled. The kids have full bellies, are freshly bathed, lotioned and now all cuddled up with their stuffies, drifting asleep to Cruella, because some days, like today, story time, books and nursery rhymes just don’t cut it.

He pushes me into a running hot shower and I strip and jump in. The hot water feels amazing and I don’t want to get out until he comes in to tell me the kids are now in bed. Sound machines on, covers pulled up, all 3 sets of wandering eyes closed and peacefully in dream land. Now, I am feeling the calm, and it’s not just due to the hot water. I dry off, wrap my towel around me and he grabs my hand to lead me somewhere. The front door opens, night sky awaiting, and I’m sitting in a rocking chair under a blanket of stars with a beautiful, pre-rolled joint in my hand. As I inhale, I can taste the earthy citrus terpenes of the Rainmaker by Sinse. This strain is one of my favorite hybrids, because while it relaxes my body and mind, it gives me the right amount of energy to enjoy the rest of my day and engage. I feel the elephant of stress move from my chest, down my arms, and exit through my fingertips. Ahhhhh, deep breathe in, deep breathe out. Is this real life? But, yes! It can be. And it should be. I’m going to sit next to my hot, so very handsome husband, smoke this joint, and let everything else go. Now that my focus is less on stress and more in the moment, I’m going to talk to him about my day, good and bad, and listen to all of his day’s endeavors. We will talk about future goals and dreams and brainstorm all the ways to make it all come true. We will cuddle, kiss, touch and love….all the things. And then I’m going to fall asleep next to him, only to wake up feeling my best self, physically, mentally, and emotionally…..It felt damn good.

Waking up the next day, I play out the prior night in my head and simply smile. I wake up a happy, healthy woman, ready to take on my day as a working mom of 3 kids, 4 dogs, 4 ducks, 2 chickens, 2 leopard geckos, and 4 opossums. BUT most importantly, above all, a wife. Because it takes two. I look forward to the end of the day with my husband and seek comfort in knowing I’m coming home to a person who understands me and supports me in all aspects of life. Marriage thrives on communication. The root of most marital problems and failures is a lack of understanding, but, most importantly, the willingness to do so. We wake up every day and choose our person all over again. Again and again, day after day. If it didn’t take work, it wouldn’t and couldn’t be so great. After 14 years together, we still belly laugh, joke like kids, and fall back in love over and over again. Finding our way through the good times and bad, and what works for us. To be stronger, together. Cannabis is something we bond over, and something special because it’s ours. Parenthood has a way of leaving us with very little privacy and not much time that is solely ours. That makes this time with him bring life to my soul. And it’s all mine….BUT don’t forget, it always takes 2, friends.

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SWADE School Feature

The Entourage Effect – The Benefits of 1:1

Why 1:1 ?

Guest blog by

Jamila Owens-Todd, Naturopathic Doctor
Research & Development Manager at PHYTOS Cannabis

As of late, I speak with more and more patients expressing interest in cannabis. People who would have never considered this as a part of their daily healing. Either a friend or family member has mentioned this as an option for anxiety or spoke of a doctor has suggested for their pain management. These patients are initially apprehensive due to the years long propaganda on the cannabis plant. Many of us drunk the kool-aid. Only to awaken to a rediscovery of its benefits. I have been working with plant medicine for decades, only to consistently ignore cannabis due to its illegality. Now, we are in a new space and we can utilize this plant as it was always intended, as one of nature’s healers.

What I am finding, however, that patients who are considering this for pain, anxiety or neurological healing, all want the benefits without feeling “too high.” I speak with my regular cannabis consumers and even with high tolerance, there is a need for a level of functionality. Consuming too much cannabis means different things to different people. For one patient 5 mg of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can feel overwhelming, while another patient requires 30 mg per day to feel the balance that is needed. What we know is, that the body is receiving a benefit of THC whether you “feel” it or not. Many people do not feel the benefits of Vitamin C, however, we know that it is working to support your immune system. When medicating with THC, in low potencies, it is important to know that it is still healing, if we are feeling the “high.”

When medicating as a daily, herbal remedy, the lower doses of THC, can ignite a healing effect, even if it falls below your normal threshold. I have been supporting regular consumers in their health and we are finding that relief with lower dose cannabis, is not only achieved, but can be optimal. To optimize this healing, the addition of CBD (cannabidiol) will create a synergy(1).

Using a low dose THC with an equal amount of CBD, is called a 1:1 ratio, also known as Chemotype II. When considering THC to CBD ratios, there a Chemotype description based upon the psychoactive cannabinoid THC vs. the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBD. Other Chemotypes include Chemotype I, which is a high THC to a low CBD ratio. There is also Chemotype III, which has a high CBD to a low THC ratio. This 1:1 ratio (Chemotype II) has been found to be relaxing with less sedation, commonly found with high THC, therefore allowing for more functionality within the day. When medicating with a 1:1 ratio of THC to CBD, you gain the benefit of relaxation, mood support, muscle relaxation, therefore helping with conditions, such fibromyalgia, peripheral neuropathy, cancer support, anxiety balance and many other physical pain imbalances. The key is the ability to function and continue with daily tasks, while medicating.

 

At Swade, we have a wide variety of low dose, 1-to-1, THC and CBD remedies. We pride ourselves on these formulations because of them providing clinical benefits in a consistent and effective manner. Not only has science shown then advantages of medicating with this combination, but patients of all cannabis levels, have reported:

• Reduction in anxiety

• Reduction in chronic pain

• Increased sleep and deeper sleep

• A slowed response to stress and stressful events

• Migraine support and a reduced onset of migraines

• Nervous system conditions have been eliminated, such as tremors, hyperhidrosis and nervous tics.

The key here is to understand that no matter your cannabis experience, we have solutions that are targeted at reducing and potentially, eliminating some of your greatest health concerns. Let’s get you balanced with our balanced formulas!

 JAMILA

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Feature News

SWADE cannabis hosts block party to open fifth dispensary on Cherokee Street

SWADE cannabis is excited to announce the opening of its fifth dispensary, July 30th in the Cherokee neighborhood of St. Louis City.

“We are pleased to be expanding our footprint in the city of St. Louis, says Tom Muzzey, CEO of BeLeaf Medical, “Cherokee Street is a center of commerce, culture and creativity in St. Louis, with galleries and antiques, music and good eats, and the best festivals and events STL has to offer and they have welcomed us with open arms.”

Working with MIN+ architecture, President Meg Holmes said this about the new location, “This contemporary twist on a dilapidated, empty building on Antique Row created a dialogue between modern and historical. Original transom windows we discovered during demolition inform the facade and provide natural light, while meeting security and privacy requirements. Further, we added a surprising intervention in the context of Antique Row: a diagonal set-back to provide weather protection for customers and a glimpse of the reception. We wanted to respect the surrounding historical context while also making a statement representative of Swade’s unique contemporary aesthetic. This is a great example of bridging old and new developments on Cherokee Street.”

Cherokee Street is cared for by the Cherokee Street Community Improvement District, which works to make the neighborhood and street even more beautiful and dynamic for neighbors and visitors alike.

Along with the Cherokee Street Community Improvement District, SWADE will be hosting a block party on Friday July 30th from 2-8pm. Food trucks, music, medical cannabis vendors, retail and art pop-up vendors and more will be present in the SWADE back parking lot. “The team and I are beyond excited to be moving into the district, and didn’t want to just celebrate our store opening, but rather, why choose this spot,” said Maxwell McAnallen, General Manager of Swade Cannabis Cherokee. “We want to celebrate the rich culture and community of Cherokee and couldn’t think of a better way to do that and to meet our new neighbors.”

SWADE Cherokee Dispensary
Photo By: Aaron Bunse & Min+ Architecture
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Feature News

Introducing 314Twenty

Launches Local Community Program

 Missouri’s premiere luxury cannabis dispensary, SWADE Cannabis, kicked off 314twenty today to support local businesses. Neighborhood businesses are the heart of the city’s most iconic communities and vibrant cultures, and as a new part of these neighborhoods, SWADE is excited to connect and amplify the work of St. Louisans (of all strains). Each month, SWADE will use their promotional channels to spotlight a local business and offer THEIR customers a discount at SWADE locations.

“In the spirit of giving and on the heels of such a long past year, SWADE is excited to join with other local businesses to elevate the community together. We all love to see the companies we patronize looking for a way to give back to their communities. It feels good to know that the money we spend is being used, in part, to benefit others,” says Jack Haddox, Director of Dispensary Operations. “For many of us, seeing some kind of local contribution is a requirement before we will become regular patrons of a business. Our dedication to being a good neighbor and supporting community has never been more important than now.”

How it works: Employees of businesses in each of our neighborhoods get an industry discount card for 20% all THC/CBD products. Workers can bring recent proof of employment (badge, business card, paycheck stub) to a SWADE Dispensary and we’ll get them a discount card if they already have a medical card, and if not, will help them get one. Business owners can opt-in to the 314twenty network via QR code or by directly going to the 314twenty landing page to sign up. We will spotlight different partners and during that “spotlighted” time, any patients that bring in a receipt from that local business, we will give 20%** off their purchase (THC/CBD products)—incentivizing the community to support and reinvest back into local businesses. These businesses will display a window cling at their locations to notify the patrons that they are participating. This is a token of SWADE Cannabis’ appreciation to our neighbors for cultivating the culture and soul of the communities we want to be a part of. The goal – simply to be a neighbor to residents, a partner to local businesses and a pillar of the community. 

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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.

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Feature News

BeLeaf Medical Hosts Cannabis Career Fair

Job-seekers in the St. Louis and surrounding region that want to work in the emerging legal cannabis industry can head to a career fair hosted by BeLeaf Medical, the largest vertically integrated cannabis company in the state, on March 13, 2021 from 10am – 5pm at Swade Dispensary located in the Grove at 4108 Manchester Avenue, St Louis, 63110. Over the next three years, it is anticipated that the cannabis industry will grow to $20 billion, creating job opportunities in various divisions such as cultivation, manufacturing, dispensaries and more.

BeLeaf Medical CEO Tom Muzzey said: “This is a solid way for hundreds and hundreds of job seekers to take their first step toward a new career in the medical cannabis industry. This industry specific career fair will represent a shift in the way people view the medical cannabis industry. We’re chipping away at the negative social stigma that exists around marijuana by helping great job candidates find a great company to work for,” said Muzzey. “We are looking for the best and the brightest and have been very successful with our hires so far. We need to fill critical positions now to meet the upcoming demand,” Muzzey commented.

Prospective hires are encouraged to read more about openings and fill out applications here prior to attending the job fair. Candidates are invited to learn more about the BeLeaf team, industry employment and the opportunities in Missouri for people of color, women, veterans, disabled people and other diverse groups to apply. Individuals interested in a position can fill out applications on-site and speak with leadership from Cultivation, Manufacturing, Dispensary, and Corporate to learn more about the positions currently open and coming soon.

SWADE medical dispensary employeesBeLeaf Medical Brands are doing all that they can to bring diversity to the Missouri cannabis industry. “It is incumbent on us to focus on inclusivity in our workforce hiring.” said Jack Haddox, Director of Dispensary Operations. BeLeaf employees continually define cannabis industry standards for excellence. Every member of the team from Cultivation Technician to Dispensary Product Specialist has an important role in ensuring BeLeaf is a trusted brand with exceptional products. From seed-to-sale BeLeaf is changing the way cannabis is cultivated, produced and sold in the state of Missouri.

ABOUT BELEAF MEDICAL: BeLeaf Medical Company is a leader in the medical cannabis industry in the state of Missouri. With our years of experience in several states, we are able to deliver the best cannabis flower and manufactured products to market. We have curated the highest quality genetics of popular flower strains. Our cultivation facilities utilize high-tech proven methods to grow the highest quality medical cultivars. BeLeaf Medical products are specifically formulated with medical conditions in mind. To ensure a consistent high quality product we employ strict Good Manufacturing Practices. BeLeaf Medical Dispensaries offer a wide variety of products and a knowledgeable staff to help customers find the best solutions.

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Feature

Blunt Talk

Published in STL Magazine September 2020 stlmag.com

By: Amanda Woytus

Mitch Meyers of BeLead Medical

It was the cannabis that caught the cabbie’s attention. A couple of years ago, Mitch Myers was in the back of a cab, on her cell phone when she noticed a young driver eavesdropping. Meyers, who worked in marketing for Anheuser Busch and created Spuds Mackenzie, is now CEO of belief medical, the first medical marijuana company to begin operations in Missouri. There in the cab, she ended her call and started fielding questions from the driver. “When I started explaining to him all the legal issues, the financial issues, the ‘You can’t do this,’ ‘You can’t do that,’ I just watched his shoulder slump,” she remembers. “He said, ‘Oh you mean only rich white guys can participate in this.’ I felt horrible.” Meyers believes that the votes of 1.6 million Missourians who approved the 2018 ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana are indicative of the support BeLeaf will receive from St. Louisans. Now companies —hers included— must address racial equity.

 

ON HOW SHE PLANS TO ADDRESS HISTORICAL RACIAL DISPARITY AND MARIJUANA ARRESTS
Illinois and California have put into place social equity licenses. If someone had a drug conviction five years ago, they would be permitted to apply for a license, and, in fact, their application will be prioritized. Missouri was not willing to go there with social equity licenses, but I’m going to suggest that that’s the future. Now, we have made it a priority to try to recruit people, but it’s hard. If you had a felony conviction within the last seven years, the law just doesn’t permit you to work in the industry. 

 

ON HOW THE DISPENSARIE’S WILL OPERATE IN THE MIDST OF A PANDEMIC: 
Because the state has a tracking system, every time there’s a purchase, we have to see an ID and medical marijuana card. If you get a card, you are only permitted to purchase 4 ounces a month. With COVID-19, we’ll have more people who want delivery and will have people who want to preorder online. People can come to the curb—it’ll be like a carhop service.

 

ONE POSSIBLE ADVANTAGE OF BEING A WOMAN IN THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY: 
I think people listen to me more than they would a man. They think, she’s a mom, she’s a wife, she has taken care of people, versus a man who they think maybe is in the business to make money. We started an organization called MIZ BIZ to bring women into the space, not only to give them jobs, but also to help them understand how to be an owner. We’d like to create a fund to help black women get into ownership positions. I got a call from a woman in Philadelphia who applied for three dispensary licenses. A bunch of attorneys asked her in a friend to be listed on a license application, he is women are considered minorities Ann you get points for having minorities on your application. They sat with these men for a couple of meetings and basically said, “Screw that, we’re going to do this on our own.”

Citation: Amanda Woytus, “Blunt Talk”, St. Louis Magazine, Vol 26, Issue 9, Sept 2020