Ones to Watch 2020: Dafna Revah
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: Dafna Revah
COMPANY: CBD Kratom
OPERATING FROM: St. Louis
TITLE: Vice President
BACKGROUND: Former grant writer for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis and Audience Development Director at the St. Louis Business Journal, Dafna Revah now owns and operates the largest privately owned CBD retailer in the United States called CBD Kratom. Revah serves as the company’s Vice President and manages all aspects of the company with a team of over 250 employees. CBD Kratom currently has 38 locations in Chicago, St. Louis, Dallas and Houston. Revah and her team are looking to expand the company into new cities in the coming year.
Several people close to me have greatly improved their quality of life with cannabis. In 2014, my husband and I discovered the benefits of CBD and have stayed in the cannabis industry ever since. I always joke that we got into cannabis by chance, but stay engaged and involved because we’ve seen it help so many people. My father in law uses combinations of both CBD and THC products to help reduce his tremors and other effects of Parkinson’s Disease. While my mother in law and her friends use CBD for aches and pains experienced from their avid exercise routines. Like them, millions of people use CBD, THC and other cannabinoids as a part of their daily lives. At this point, I think it’d be hard to turn a blind eye to the cannabis industry since it truly encompasses so much relief for so many people. In the next few years, research will continue to uncover and prove the health benefits people have been experiencing for thousands of years.
What is your vision of the industry in Missouri?
I envision the industry having recreational THC soon. In doing so, cannabis as a whole will be more accessible to those who need it. Consumers will have the opportunity to select products designed for them in many specific cannabinoid combinations such as, CBD+THC, CBD+CBG, CBD+CBN+THC+terpenes and so on. Some of these products are currently available in my stores and some may only be available in dispensaries at first. Yet, in focusing on the consumer, the industry will need to open up to the whole cannabis plant and offer all the products that benefit people and help them live healthier and more fulfilling lives.
What opportunity/opportunities does the industry create in Missouri?
Cannabis can bring people together in Missouri. In 2018, Amendment 2 passed with overwhelming support from voters of both political parties with over 60% of voter support. The cannabis industry can further use this consensus to bring about positive change to the state relating to criminal justice reform, racial equity and accessible health care. The cannabis issue should continue leading the way for bipartisanship throughout Missouri.
What is one thing you wish all Missourians knew about cannabis?
I adhere to the following slogan from We Go High NC:” “No one should be in jail for weed.” The company’s founder @mynameisjessamyn on Instagram is an advocate for cannabis reform and directs the company to focus on cannabis policy research and education initiatives. I wish all Missourians could keep this slogan in mind and look at the following two statistics on cannabis arrests. A 2020 analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, concluded, “Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates.” The authors also reported, “In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010.”