Overcoming Stigmas: The Game Is Trying To Educate Others On Marijuana, Children's Health And Adult Fitness

Benzinga recently had the chance to talk with rapper The Game about his cannabis dispensary and his branded flowers. However, the former member of G-Unit and Dr. Dre protégée didn't embark on this trip alone.

Benzinga reached out to the dispensary's director and co-owner, Darice Smolenski, who shared further insight into the project, and her views on cannabis, health and treating children

No Reservations

The Reserve is a medical marijuana dispensary located in Santa Ana, California. It was built “upon the concept of taking the industry and cannabis on a completely different level than what we all knew from before,” Smolenski said. They wanted to highlight the medical side of the experience, so they went for a spa-meets-Apple Inc. AAPL Store vibe: a professional and clean place where customers get greeted by name and walked through the whole purchase process by an educated consultant.

“I think that’s why we do see way more of that mature audience come through our clinic,” Smolenski said. “They want a safe-feeling facility where they are going to get real information about dosage and other issues.”

“We like to keep everything as clean and sterile as possible so, like CVS, Walgreens or Rite Aid, we fulfill orders in the back, which is something very unique in the cannabis space,” she said. “We pay attention to every detail; that definitely makes an impression… Whether it is the infused water with fresh, organic fruit or going to the restroom and having L'Occitane soap… It’s just those little tiny things that I feel like, why not in the cannabis industry? Why the stigma of it has to be smoke shops?”

“The Reserve sets the standard for quality medicine and patient care,” The Game said.

Cannabis & Children’s Health

Smolenski has always been into health and fitness. In fact, a quick Google Image search reveals her passion for bodybuilding.

“I hoped to create awareness among the community, the state, and even nationwide if possible. [I wanted] to just create awareness about all the positive things that marijuana and cannabis can bring to not only adults, but even to children,” Smolenski said.

“Every day, I see a personal friend of mine, whom I follow on Facebook, and I watch her elementary-school-aged daughter just stay home day after day because of the pain she has. And, since there’s a stigma against cannabis, they never even thought to dip into it. There’s this notion that you’re not a good parent if you think that way,” she said. “This is why I’m going to keep pushing on to let everyone know the positives of cannabis. Having an outlet like this where I can provide the community with seminars and classes, and not only just cannabis, is like a dream come true. I’m a health nut and I want to spread the word as much as I can of how everybody can improve their lifestyle.”

Cannabis & Fitness

So how does cannabis fit into the fitness world?

Smolenski said, "I was a fitness competitor that competed on a national level. Through it all I did use cannabis, and CBD as well, because it is a good recovery method. The THC portion of cannabis is a muscle relaxer as well; so, when you’re in that hectic life of banging it out day after day, it does relax your mind, your body."

Are there any particular strains that go better with the fitness side of it?

"Well, high CBD strains work," Smolenski said. "But, when you get into particular strains, it’s like a lot of things in life: whether you are shopping at Whole Foods Market or Sprouts Farmers Market, what you take in your diet depends on what you’re looking for. And, every body is different, the body itself reacts slightly different, so you can’t really say and pinpoint ‘this one will work like this.’ But, the category of Indica, Sativa, and hybrid definitely helps out. That’s why we have consultants that work one on one."

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