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How Legal Cannabis is Revolutionizing Wellness in Massachusetts

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When Massachusetts voters made recreational cannabis legal in 2016, many people wondered how long it would be until the plant was part of the Bay State’s everyday culture. Five years later, we know the answer: it’s already happened. Why? Because people are truly starting to discover its life-changing benefits.

“There was so much erroneous negative propaganda, but now people are finally learning the truth,” said Dr. Karen Munkacy, who started Garden Remedies—the first physician-founded and woman-founded cannabis dispensary in Massachusetts.

Dr. Munkacy, better known as Dr. K, explains that legalization has revolutionized everything about cannabis. For instance, studies prove that cannabis use by adults continues to go up annually statewide, and she explains that’s because legalization has made cannabis use safer, more transparent, and easier to control than ever before.

“Cannabis was something that you couldn’t know where it came from and didn’t know what was in it, but now it’s something you can purchase from a very reputable company that creates great products and has a reputation to protect,” said Dr. K. “It’s a whole new world, and that’s why we’re getting a lot of people in our stores who either haven’t used cannabis for a long time, or have never used cannabis before. People know they can trust our products.”

Why culture around cannabis is changing

When people visit a dispensary like Garden Remedies, they discover a world of cannabis that’s completely removed from old pothead culture. In fact, at Garden Remedies, the key word isn’t stoned—it’s science.

“One of the major reasons I got into this is because I’m a scientist,” Dr. K recalled. “I wanted these products to be accurately dosed, and I wanted people to be educated on how to use them. We have people come to us to get the exact effects they want, and we’ve become a very successful company by fulfilling that need.”

Thanks to exact doses, rigorous testing, and predictable effects, Dr. K believes that legal products are a “new way” to experience cannabis—completely different from what many people experienced in years and decades past.

“We’ve used science to capture the properties of cannabis in ways that have never been done before,” Dr. K says. “People know they can trust our products. It opens up a whole new market for people who want something discrete and predictable. We offer that.”

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How new cannabis products are affecting this change

Legal cannabis dispensaries let Massachusetts residents access some of the finest cannabis buds ever cultivated, even pre-rolled if they prefer.

But that’s just the start of what’s on the shelves at a place like Garden Remedies: Visitors also find a constantly evolving menu of vaporizer products, tinctures, topicals, concentrates, and of course edibles. Each is scientifically formulated to provide specific effects that may help a variety of physical and psychological ailments, or substitute for a glass of wine.

“Our edibles are very accurately dosed, and we’ve created different types of them for different effects,” Dr. K says. “So you can buy something that gives you the effect you want, and for the right amount of time that you want the effect.

“With the products that we produce, the effects are very predictable, the dosages are very accurate, and the people explaining at the counter are very knowledgeable,” she says.

Looking into the future

Major advances continue to occur at the intersection of cannabis and personal wellness, but this is only just the start.

Legalization and the constantly increasing number of adult users statewide is already leading to further medical research, which is expected to generate innovative new cannabis products and treatments across years and decades to come.

“For example, I have been advocating for a long time for the Massachusetts Medical Society to make a statement that more research needs to be done on medical cannabis, and they finally made that resolution last year,” says Dr. K.

“One of my goals was always to educate people about marijuana,” she says. “When I had breast cancer, people told me that it worked as a medicine to treat nausea. I didn’t use it then because it wasn’t legal, but I did a lot of research, and learned so much. It made me want to create products that were predictable and trustworthy, and to make those products legally available to the people who could benefit from them.

“Our society is finally acknowledging the benefits of cannabis, and we want more and more people to learn about them.”


To purchase and learn more about cannabis products and benefits, visit gardenremedies.com.