D.C. Businesses Profit From Weed Legalization

With the legalization of recreational and medicinal marijuana use in Washington, D.C., entrepreneurs have found ways to make money, despite the law’s limitations on selling the product. Digital devices, like smartphones, are enabling food delivery services to connect with the weed business. The devices help delivery services, like Black-owned Mystic Morsels, create unique mechanisms to distribute marijuana to Washingtonians, legally.

“That’s why I stayed here [D.C.] with this idea,” Ben Savage, owner of Mystic Morsels, told the AFRO. “When I came up with this idea I wasn’t even down here. I was in Texas . . . I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do or if I even wanted to be here [D.C.]. I studied the laws. I studied what I was able to do, what I wasn’t able to do, and I came back with a plan to make Mystic Morsels great.”

Edible treats from Mystic Morsels. (Photo by Micha Green)

Savage, 30, used to be illegally involved in the weed business, but now that he is a dad, his approach to the industry is professional and deliberate. His edible products are by donation. Clients are paying for the delivery service and Mystic Morsels buttons. With a lot of people legally and illegally selling and purchasing marijuana, Savage said it is all about one’s mindset when going into the business.

“People sell weed everywhere. You got the little dude on the corner. You got the established people who are selling buds with the grow clubs and dispensaries, but D.C. as a business, as a machine, is still [an] infant. People are scared and we live in the . . . capital, so people are still leery. My idea, how I’m going to make money? Your idea can’t be about making money. You have to have a passion for whatever you’re doing first. My idea is not to make the most money, [it] is that I can… execute it precisely. I can execute it well with quality, consistently,” Savage said.

Savage said his business does more for residents than just getting them high. “My company isn’t just about catering and giving you food that’s infused and getting you really high because people like to enjoy having that feeling. The company really wants to get behind the pharmaceutical component… The reason why they haven’t legalized it now is because the market, that is the U.S. government, knows that,” Savage said.

According to a 2016 blog post from Harvard Health Publications, a product of the Harvard Medical School, marijuana contains delta- 9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is used in FDA-approved medications like an appetite stimulants for AIDS patients and to suppress chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting. The chemical is also used in other countries to treat multiple sclerosis, muscle spasticity, and cancerrelated pain. The blog states that other components found in marijuana also hold a promise to treat other medical conditions.

“Early research shows cannabidiol and its derivatives hold potential promise in additional conditions like drug-resistant epilepsy and some psychiatric disorders (e.g., anxiety, substance use disorders, schizophrenia, and psychosis),” the blog post stated.

Marijuana’s medicinal benefits mean a lot to Savage. “I have people in my family who have survived cancer. I have people in my family who really have insomnia. I have people in my family who really suffer from depression,” he said.

Savage has been cooking since he was 9 years old, and officially began working at a restaurant in Newport News, Va. when he was 13. He said he attended the Art Institute of Roslyn for formal training.

“If we need anything in this life, if it could be delivered to us, it’ll be beneficial. It’s something to help our health, to help our life,” he said. “It’s levels . . . You’re vaping it or you’re making it a wax now, that’s minimum . . . The next level is telling you how the same THC, CBD that I really broke down, and that I cooked, I manufactured into something you can eat and drink, and can physically help you.”

Savage said his clientele varies and that is one of his favorite aspects of the nation’s capital. “That’s what I love about DC. It’s a big melting pot,” he said. “I’ve sold cookies to people who live in Southeast and who live on 16th Street.” Savage believes marijuana is for everyone and wants to really emphasize how beneficial it can be for people. “Let me get my brand and my following up to a point where they know that my real mission is to show you how you can use these different products to help your life. To improve your well being, like vitamins, like going to exercise on a daily basis, because weed isn’t harmful to people,” he said. “Especially if we don’t choose to smoke it, because we know smoking in itself is bad for you, but you can cook it. You can break it down. You can make it wholesome. You can make it good.”

Link – Afro

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Marijuana Retail Report, is a national daily online trade publication serving retailers of marijuana products and accessories. News and information are geared strictly to select retail channels, with distribution limited to licensed collectives, recreational retailers, accessories retailers, and wholesalers.


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