The recreational market in Michigan is thriving, albeit can be confusing to first-time users of Cannabis. Many a time, new patients and customers will come into a dispensary, looking for a product that suits them, and depending on what they are looking for and where they go to purchase product, it can either be a positive or extremely stressful experience depending on the products that are offered by that provisioning center or dispensary, and the knowledge of their employees.
Luckily, there are people out there working to offer more than just a total at the register, and l (Ami Nicole of ACRONYM) got to speak to one of them recently! Narmin Jarrous, who is the Chief Development Officer of Exclusive Brands, has experienced some of the same hardships consumers have, and has dedicated her life and knowledge to ensuring the industry succeeds by placing social justice endeavors and ethical science practices at the forefront of her mission, as well as creating a new line of Cannabis products that will be available within the state of Michigan called Neno’s Naturals.
A few years ago, Jarrous began working within the Cannabis space, and it was shortly after her revelation of how much Cannabis was effective in her own life. She was diagnosed with endometriosis just over 10 years ago, and now, at the age of 24, has become an advocate for using Cannabis to manage the pain that endometriosis causes. Growing up in an Arab-American household, she had not been exposed to Cannabis prior, and now says “It really gave me my life back, it really improved my quality of life,” and that’s why she’s trying to give back to the plant and the industry, especially in Michigan.
One of the topics that I personally was curious about as a Journalist and Cannabis Consumer was how Exclusive Brands trains their employees to help both Medical and Recreational Customers. After visiting many dispensaries across Michigan, you start to realize that not every store trains their staff to understand Cannabis, or know their products front-and-backward.
Jarrous says “… Our number one priority is making sure our budtenders know how to sell products, and in terms of not to sell the most product, but to sell the right product, and make sure that every person that comes in, you’re not just selling them what we have extra stock of, or what we’re trying to push and get off the shelves, but selling them what’s gonna work best for them…” driving home the idea that “Every patient matters, every customer matters. It’s not just a sale.”
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On top of quality budtender training, one of the main focuses is making sure they learn what the customer and patient needs. Exclusive Brands also sets up vendor days at other dispensaries that carry their products, so they can educate other budtenders on how to properly represent and educate on the products.
While many that advocate on the plant will only share the amazing things about weed order to get you hype on the idea, it’s important to note that it’s not a cure-all. “Cannabis isn’t going to cure every ailment that you have. It’s not magic. It is medicine,” says Jarrous. Being honest about the limitations, the effects, what terpenes are in the plant, and how long it can last are all important factors, and many people who initially are turned onto Cannabis can sometimes become jaded by that hype when the product doesn’t magically make them feel “cured.” Some will even go as far as to say, “Well I took this, and my pain is still there.”
Knowing how the products are built, as well as your own independent study as to how it affects you and your body are very important when you start your journey with Cannabis. She says, “I’ve been to doctors who are like ‘This is gonna be your cure all, you’re gonna take this medicine and feel 100% better,’ and you have all these high hopes, and then it really lets you down and it’s really heartbreaking… And so, I’m very passionate about not overselling anything, not selling people these dreams, but explaining how amazing Cannabis is, and what it can give you back.”
Though Jarrous’ life has improved because of Cannabis and its medical benefits, she is not lost on the fact that many individuals have lost their freedoms due to Marijuana, and is constantly working to aid others through Exclusive Brands and with their new brand, Neno’s Naturals. After months of testing products that Exclusive Brands carries and learning where the Cannabis industry may lack in products, Jarrous feels that Neno’s Naturals fills the gaps on what might be missing, but also has created multiple grades of potency, as well as both THC and CBD options. The brand also sources quality ingredients from local farmers to help support and strengthen those communities.
If that isn’t already stellar enough, Neno’s Naturals will be donating a portion of the proceeds to different non-profit organizations, within and outside of the Cannabis space. Currently, they plan to donate a portion of proceeds to the National Birth Equity Coalition, but also foresee rotating to different causes every so often. That way, they can assist orgs like Last Prisoner Project, as well as local organizations, so everyone gets a piece of the pie.
This is great to hear, considering that there are quite a few Cannabis companies that say they are donating to causes, but then are donating 1% or less to the cause, and aren’t doing boots on the ground assistance by donating their time. As the great Steve DeAngelo said recently on Twitter, “Know where your cannabis comes from; how it was grown; how workers were treated; how the profits are distributed. Support the companies that support our community and the planet. Vote with your dollars.”
Aside from Neno’s, Jarrous and the crew involved at Exclusive Brands have a social equity program where they work with people who have previous marijuana convictions or from disadvantaged communities get into the industry by helping them fill out their applications and making sense of all the potential legal roadblocks. “I think every company should be doing that. I think every company that is profiting off of Cannabis should be giving back to those who have been disenfranchised by it…”
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Jarrous seemingly always looks at all the corners as to where things can help others, which is another reason why Neno’s Naturals is going to be a stellar product. “I always make jokes that I designed that for myself because I wanted to use these products.” She echoes the mindset of many others by noting that she “can’t be high at work” so she needs something to help with pain in the middle of the day, to where she can still be functional. Neno’s will have 4 tiers of products, and each product will have a version that is THC based, CBD based, a 1:1 (meaning both THC and CBD) and a 3:1. That way, everyone can get the product that works for them, and in the potency that will be the best for them. The products will range from patches, to vapes, capsules and tinctures, and inclusive for all levels of Cannabis consumers.
At the end of the day, Cannabis has changed so many lives, and it’s clear to see that Jarrous falls into that category, not only from consuming and feeling better, but it also has inspired her to aid her community and be a leader in speaking up on what needs to change, donating not only money but also time to the cause, and keeping the conversation moving so the Cannabis industry can be successful and fair to all parties. These are the kind of leaders we need heading the Cannabis movement.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for Neno’s Naturals to be released and visit exclusivebrandsmi.com to find their nearest retail store.
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