Organic Remedies: Q&A with COO Michael Shaffer

Organic Remedies: Q&A with COO Michael Shaffer


Organic Remedies, a vertically integrated licensee, opened its first two dispensary locations in Sedalia and Cape Girardeau, respectively, earlier this month and anticipates an opening date for their South County location in September. Anticipated launch for its Chaffee-based manufacturing and cultivation facilities is this summer, with product to follow post-harvest. With many of Missouri’s facilities anticipated to come online near September, OR’s anticipated summer date could mark the beginning of a wave of operational cultivation and manufacturing facilities. 

Greenway spoke to Organic Remedies Chief Operating Officer here in Missouri, Michael Shaffer, about the forecast for operations, the company’s unique brand of patient-focused care utilizing medical marijuana, and building on their success in Pennsylvania.

Shaffer, who has more than 17 years of experience in the pharmacy retail business, says he understands the importance of not only operating efficiently, but also providing a  high level of patient care. 

GW: What is the background of Organic Remedies? 

MS: The founders of Organic Remedies believe strongly in the benefits of medical marijuana and are passionate about bringing the healing properties of the plant to qualified patients within its community.  Organic Remedies’ offerings include a wide array of products that treat serious medical conditions.  Organic Remedies produces high-quality Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica strain-based products, as well as high  Cannabidiol (CBD) strain-based products to specifically address conditions such as autism, PTSD/anxiety, and chronic pain to name a few.  

Our strength can be attributed to the collaborative aptitude of each individual on our team; a team that has formed over decades through professional relationships, philanthropic activities, educational programs, and community outreach. This network, constructed by our founders, has led to the formation of a world-class team of diverse professionals who have developed deep-rooted personal relationships. In addition, our team has knowledge of the pain points associated with a newly developing medical marijuana program. We are utilizing this knowledge to navigate the developing  Missouri market to improve patient and caregiver experiences. 

Our leadership team is a close-knit group of professionals, who share the same vision for our values-based business model. This compatibility has created high morale and company culture that facilitates high levels of employee retention and optimal operating efficiency.

The collective effort of the team’s individual backgrounds provided the ability to plan, develop,  construct, and operate a premier medical marijuana business. The clinical knowledge and expertise the pharmacists have are highly regarded. Patients are regularly referred to Organic Remedies by their health care providers due to positive medical outcomes seen in their other patients. 

Our team has over 220 years of collective experience with medicinal products and the majority of the leadership team is comprised of pharmacists. Many of our pharmacists have held dispensing roles both in traditional pharmacy as well as medical marijuana, and some have held executive-level leadership positions in one of the largest drug chains in the United States for a number of years. Our team’s success is directly due to the team’s community pharmacy experience being applied to our medical marijuana operations. It has also provided a solid blueprint to quickly become operational in Missouri.

GW: What is the brand and business identity about? 

MS: Our vision is to become Missouri’s leader for education, community outreach, and patient care. We intend to duplicate our business model, which has been successful beyond projections, bringing a  clinical approach to patient care into the Missouri market. 

Organic Remedies leverages its pharmaceutical experience to implement and deliver the highest quality patient care in the medical marijuana industry. In the disciplines of growing and processing, our success rests on the expansive business history of the company’s executive team whose belief in the value of marijuana as a plant-based therapy complement our patient-centric approach in the dispensaries.

Delivering a patient-focused, clinical approach that is collaborative and outcomes-based is the core foundation on which we operate our dispensaries. As active members of the communities we serve,  dispensary employees understand and empathize with patients who are faced with financial and medical needs. 

Our patient care model is unique in the industry and aligns with a very medical approach. Not only will patients be thoroughly educated on dosage forms and strains in their initial consult, but pharmacists will touch base weekly with patients and/or caregivers to ensure desired symptom relief is achieved. Our pharmacists are resources that will be available to patients/ caregivers for consultations in Missouri.  

Missouri provides the opportunity for growth and to continue our mission to provide alternative treatment to qualifying patients, while also contributing to clinical and academic research on medical marijuana. 

GW: How is your company involved, or how will you become involved in the community? 

MS: Coming into a state that has just legalized medical marijuana, we are looking forward to making an impact on the community. We aim to improve the overall health and welfare of the communities we serve in a number of ways. Through community outreach and educational events, we can share our knowledge and create relationships with our patients and communities. We also have the opportunity to invest in our new communities by providing capital injections to areas with socio-economic needs,  through job creation and local contracting for services. Additionally, we have the opportunity to build a new team and develop the skill sets of those we employ. 

Education is the key to adoption of the medical marijuana program by patients, healthcare providers, and the public. We plan to host various educational outreach events and support community events that align with our values.

In addition to educating healthcare professions and professionals in other areas like law enforcement,  human resources, and community leadership, our outreach/educational events will focus in large part on patients and caregivers. We plan to host patient-focused events which target serious medical conditions and specific support groups like Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis,  autism, and cancer, to name a few. 

We will also support and engage with veteran groups for educational events. Veterans often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from their military service. We offer a 10-percent discount on medical marijuana in all our dispensaries. 


We also have a keen focus on reducing opioid utilization and mitigating the opioid epidemic. We expect to partner with pain management doctors and drug treatment centers to ensure healthcare providers and patients suffering from approved conditions are aware of their treatment options involving medical marijuana. 

GW: Tell me about the Missouri roots of Organic Remedies and your staff. 

MS: We are proud to say that most of our employees were born and raised in Missouri, including our dispensary managers, Christina Fry and Sierra Miller, along with Scott Arnzen, our general manager of our cultivation facility in Chaffee. Many of us have been building strong relationships with Missouri cultivators and manufacturers, as well as leaders in the communities we are serving.  We have received such a warm welcome here in Missouri. We are thankful for the support and the friendships we are building here.  

Both our dispensary managers, Christina Fry and Sierra Miller are outstanding professionals with experience in managing retail operations. 

Our entire leadership team at Organic Remedies is extremely proud of the company’s passionate team  whose sole purpose is focused on helping patients improve their lives through the medicinal benefits of  medical marijuana, while also advancing the therapeutic science of cannabis 

GW: In Pennsylvania, Organic Remedies is involved in a groundbreaking opportunity for research. 

MS: Last year, Organic Remedies and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine signed a long-term research agreement to study therapeutic applications of medical marijuana. Initially, our research will focus on chronic pain and opioid management, the drug’s impact on behavioral health and quality of life, and trends in usage. 

This partnership is part of Pennsylvania’s first-in-the-nation research program for medical marijuana. We are devoting significant resources to research and development with the goal of creating unique strains of medical marijuana with distinct cannabinoid profiles and precise formulations of marijuana products to treat specific qualifying medical conditions. We are looking forward to the potential opportunities to improve patient outcomes through ground-breaking clinical research studies in the medical marijuana industry. We are extremely proud to be on the forefront of ground-breaking medical marijuana research that will improve the lives of patients. 

GW: What can patients expect at Organic Remedies? 

MS: We have a proven successful track record, and we plan to continue our business model of patient-focused care here in Missouri. Organic Remedies’ ethos of collaborative, patient-centric healthcare is the foundation of our vision, mission, and core values. Everything we do is aligned with our “patients first” mentality to provide high-quality, affordable medical cannabis products. This means that when you come to Organic Remedies, we are there to help you find the product that is right for you and to help you improve your health and quality of life. We want to be a part of your healthcare team, supporting you as you continue to manage your healthcare condition. There are so many products, strains, and forms of medical marijuana that sometimes it may be difficult for a new patient to choose the right therapeutic regimen. We are here to help. Each of our team members is fully trained on the products we provide, and our pharmacists are available for consultations. We truly believe in the medicinal value of medical marijuana, and we want to help our patients realize the full potential of their treatment, so they can live their best life.

GW: With your anticipated facilities commencement this summer, what products will be first to market and a timeline? 

MS: Typically, the cultivation season is three months, harvest will take a week or two, and then probably another month or two for manufacturing of extracted products. But we will get dry leaf flower on the shelves as soon as possible after the first harvest. At the same time, we will begin manufacturing. Our first products will be vaporization cartridges, then quickly we will have concentrates or extracted products.  

GW: What products will you have available?  

MS: Many serious medical conditions approved in Missouri require high CBD ratio products such as chronic pain, cancer, epilepsy, muscle spasms, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis to name a few. Our pharmacists will work closely with cultivation and processing facilities to ensure not only an adequate supply of medication to start, but just as important, a consistent supply of the appropriate strains and THC to CBD ratio formulas in our extracted products.

The forms that we will have available will be dry leaf flower, vaporization cartridges, extracted products like tinctures, shatter, budder, and wax. We will also carry edibles like gummies, chocolates, and cookies.  

And further down the road, we will offer topicals, lotions, and balms and capsules, and tablets. 

Although we are cultivating and manufacturing our own products, we plan to carry a wide selection of other brands. We are partnering with many of the other cultivators and manufacturers in Missouri to also carry their brands. 

GW: How is Organic Remedies engaging with customers? 

MS: Our patient care model is unique in the industry and aligns with a very medical approach. Our pharmacists are resources that will be available to patients/ caregivers for consultations in Missouri.  Patients will be thoroughly educated on dosage forms and strains if they request consult.

In addition to one-on-one face-to-face engagement and educational events, we will leverage digital and online media as patient education tools including but not limited to our website, e-newsletters, text/ email communications, social media outlets including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter as well as trusted websites like