Ones to Watch 2020: Greg and Rachel Lee
The inaugural Greenway Ones to Watch class were nominated by their peers as those will be some of the most responsible for setting the tone of Missouri’s newest industry. From activists to consultants to operators themselves, the following industry influencers are responsible for determining not only how the industry overcomes the obstacles of 2020, but how the industry will be better for it. The same questions were asked of all; submitted answers and related information edited for grammar and clarity.
NAME: Rachel and Greg Lee
OPERATING FROM: Springfield
BACKGROUND: Retail Management
Cannabis has the potential to change not only our day-to-day lives, but the entire world we live in. We have already seen a tremendous impact on the economy, countless new career opportunities, as well as health and wellness benefits. All of this is entirely wrapped up in an industry that is both sustainable and will positively impact our environment. Now is the time to make more mindful decisions and we believe that embracing cannabis is an important step in the right direction. My dad has been given a terminal cancer diagnosis that has led us into greater depths of understanding. Throughout his treatment plans, we have been able to utilize a variety of cannabis products to manage many of his symptoms and improve his quality of life. Cannabis research is limited, but the testimonials are powerful. The longer we work in the industry, the greater our passion grows. I really don’t think we could have found a more fulfilling way to spend our time on this earth.
What is your vision for the industry in Missouri?
We see an awakening. The cannabis industry is so much bigger than many of us realize. Greg and I are so eager to watch the medical studies, polls, and statistics roll-out as we continue to embrace this plant more and more. When we sit down and really think about the industry as a whole, it can be overwhelming. By 2022, we expect a measure for adult use on the ballot. We will be seeing thousands of new employment opportunities, directly and indirectly related. There will be an inevitable reversal of our current draconian drug policies. In the next few years, we anticipate consumption lounges, cafes, medicated wellness studios, and other businesses that will encourage a relaxed and normalized approach to cannabis inclusion in our everyday lives. Honestly, we think this is going to bring out the humanity in all of us. I heard someone say that cannabis is much like a seasoning; it’s the salt of life. Even moderate use can make life more comfortable and enjoyable. Cannabis, used socially, could become part of a person’s daily routine without negative health, social, legal or economic consequences.
What opportunities does the industry create in Missouri?
Our response here echoes our vision for the industry. We are expecting a notable impact on the number of employment opportunities that will offer fair, livable wages. As a result of the job openings, schools in the area will be forced to embrace cannabis related curriculum. Hopefully, this will enrich lives and open minds. The cannabis industry opens a door for healthier lifestyle choices, alternative medical treatment plans, and a positive, natural effect on the opioid epidemic. In 2019, Colorado collected over $300 million in taxes and fees on marijuana. If you take a look at that number beside the dollar amount spent in a year spent on nonviolent offender enforcement, you can see just how far-reaching the financial impact will be. It is a lasting prosperity that honors high values and the collective good. It gives us the opportunity to be kind, calm, and gentle with each other.
What is one thing you wish all Missourians knew about cannabis?
Versatility! Cannabis products are not all psychoactive and a large portion of products sold are not being smoked. At our retail store, we focus on educating about product types, ingredients, timelines for efficacy, and the 100+ cannabinoids that may help. We would encourage researching the complexity of cannabis with a focus on cannabinoids, terpenes, and ratios. Every day, we encounter so many folks that tell us cannabis just isn’t for them. Bridging that gap and finding a solution that works for people is our hearts’ work. We believe that finding the appropriate blend of cannabinoids in a proper and consistent dose is the key to cannabis use. If you walk into a dispensary and grab the first pain cream or chocolate bar that you see, it may not work for you. The dialogue needs to open with a conversation about the versatility of these products and how to maximize your usage.