With the mainstream acceptance of cannabis culture, for both medicinal and recreational use, steadily gaining momentum throughout North America, small businesses are springing up to get a stake in what is projected to be a $50 billion industry by 2027. The rising awareness of weed culture and the coming ‘green rush’ brings misconceptions and confusion, especially for those new to the benefits of this versatile plant.
Revel, a New York-based company is at the forefront in promoting weed-orientated companies. Shedding the image of the surreptitious dealer discreetly toting dime bags, Revel provides a platform for ‘green’ entrepreneurs to showcase their wares in this burgeoning market.
During their recent showcase, dubbed Cannabis + The Body, in New York City, the Revel team, led by LuLu Tsui and Jacobi Holland, joined forces with Nugg, an online delivery marketplace and Dr. Jeffrey Chen, a researcher from UCLA, to promote the versatility of cannabis. Vendors included Verdboden, a line of beauty products that use CBD, a main, non-psychoactive component of cannabis, as its main ingredient, Papa &; Barkley, a line of medicinal products to be used topically and for consumption, as well as Bowery Cannabis Club, a community made up of influencers, thinkers and those seeking a more in-depth knowledge of weed culture and its benefits.
The event kicked off with an informative, thought-provoking and honest analysis of the pros and cons of marijuana. Peppered with humour, Dr. Chen made a compelling case for much-needed research, an area of contention given marijuana’s legal status. Dr. Chen notes that use of CBD in treating various illnesses is very much worth pursuing and he has made this his research focus. “The thing is with CBD use, we are seeing good efficacy…’ citing cases where CDB effectively treated children with epilepsy. He adds, “But this is something that is not taught in medical school.”
Dr. Chen is not here to make a case for recreational use, purely its medical application. He stresses the need for unbiased research. “[We] need to look at not only the positive side of CDB use, but also honest research that looks at the cons.” Dr. Chen explained to Fusicology. “As cannabis is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, there’s no funding available. Companies aren’t willing to step forward given the status of cannabis. There’s also no return on [research] investment. It’s a plant anyone can grow.”
Another green pioneer hoping to shed light on the medicinal applications of cannabis is Alex Mulligan, one of the founders of Nugg, a relatively new startup that hopes to help its customers navigate the oftentimes-confusing marketplace, by providing an extensive concierge service. “With my partners, Kam and Collin, we saw how difficult and complex it would be for a new patient to access all the confusing information out there, so we created a curated experience that puts the patient first.”
Nugg is the United States’ largest online delivery marketplace, catering to the medicinal customer, who desires consistent quality service and stellar products in a market flooded by vendors of varying quality. This concierge service is soup to nuts, connecting patients with doctors who are able to gauge their medical needs and providing them with the necessary evaluation to be prescribed the correct marijuana products.
Nugg also vets and rates cannabis sellers in its marketplace, taking the stress out of finding the right products for its patients. Boasting upwards of 350,000 medical marijuana patients in California and, more recently, New York State, Nugg is set to spread across the nation as states adopt legalization of cannabis.
However, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatening a crackdown on cannabis, Mulligan is confident the movement will prevail. “I’m not worried about government intervention or the threat of rolling back all the progress we’ve made. The movement is too large and too strong.” He continues: “ More people are accepting and getting educated… People are voicing a need for access to cannabis. I think the political threats are just candidates trying to get elected.”