Local dispensaries work to educate and destigmatize marijuana

Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 10:43 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Four-twenty is a day synonymous with marijuana.

Across Missouri, many are working to destigmatize what you may think of the drug because for many, it’s helping their health. That’s exactly what one organization is doing by making the medical card sign-up an easy process.

“We represent a network of medical professionals who can make that recommendation and then you can apply to the state to get your patient ID,” Robyn V explained.

V’s the Missouri partner and representative for Elevate Holistics. It’s a company that’s dedicated to helping people sign up, register, and educate those who are interested in medical marijuana.

“You can do everything right from your phone. We get you booked for your appointment, there are some health forms to fill out, the doctors do want to know your health history,” V said.

Elevate Holistics was in the St. Louis metro on Wednesday for 4/20. They are partnering with local dispensaries, like Luxury Leaf, to better educate St. Louisans. It is a business to the two women who own it, but it’s also personal.

“It really goes back to my mom who had pancreas cancer, and she was diagnosed, and I was trying to figure out how to help her dose with cannabis because I heard all the benefits. Missouri had no avenues for me to pursue that,” Adrienne Scales-Williams said.

Scales-Williams is the owner of Luxury Leaf, the first black-owned medical marijuana dispensary in Missouri.

“A company that wants to put forth high-quality education, patient care and just a general, overall good look and space for people to come into,” Jamila Owens-Todd said.

Owens-Todd’s a Naturopathic Doctor who teaches classes at Luxury Leaf. She’s also the general manager.

“I speak a lot about plant medicine and how it’s an option. It’s a way to take back our health and be an advocate in our own healing,” Owens-Todd said.

Luxury Leaf’s main focus is education and de-stigmatization.

“Back in the day was a stigma around it. It was all for people who wanna be stone,” Scales-Williams said.

Today, the dispensary is helping to dispel that narrative by helping people heal with medical marijuana. They said they see patients with a multitude of issues come in.

“Seizure disorders, or epilepsy, specifically Dravet Syndrome. We see pain management, anxiety, neuropathic pain, so neuropathy, patients with chronic conditions, and just wanting to live a more balanced life,” Owens-Todd explained.

On Wednesday, Luxury hosted one of their educational classes for a few St. Louisans wanting to learn more. Sheila Cunningham was one of them.

“I came in today because I am a registered nurse. I’m very passionate about health and nutrition, and we were never taught about cannabis and THC,” Cunningham said.

Cunningham said she’s working to integrate more natural medication into her own life, her family’s and the people she works with.

“Helping them with their nutrition, helping them with stimulants that are in the environment. I’ve seen people actually be very excited about not having to take all of this medication, feeling better, looking better,” Cunningham continued.

To learn more about Luxury Leaf, click here. If you’re interested in learning more about medical marijuana cards and how to sign up, click here.