Think cool Millennial coffeehouse meets relaxing spa where everyone greets you with a smile, and you’ll have Kannavis’ new location at 8709 Fingerboard Road right off I-270. Despite the draw—clients come to Kannavis because they’re experiencing physical or emotional discomfort—Kannavis is a happy place to be, one that offers hope.
Jane Klink, founder and on-site owner with her husband, Kevin, and business partners Gigi St. John and David Richman, is invested in caring for others. “My husband is a microbiologist,” she said, “and I’m a physical therapist so … I’ve been in the touchy-feely caregiver role for a long time.”
Klink and her husband have lived in Frederick since 1991, and partner Gigi St. John is a lifelong Frederick resident. “We’re homegrown people,” she said. “We want to keep this compassionate and patient-focused.”
Kannavis was one of less than a handful of medical marijuana dispensaries to open on Dec. 2, 2017, the first day that dispensaries could open in Maryland, and some clients waited up to six hours on opening day. Since then the statewide demand for cannabis products has exceeded expectations.
Kannavis quickly outgrew its 3362 Urbana Pike location (across the street from Burger King), and on Dec. 14, 2018 they opened at 8709 Fingerboard Road near the I-270 interchange. The new dispensary location more than doubles their original square footage, increases point-of-service stations from four to eight, and greatly increases parking. “We see usually somewhere around 260 folks per day,” said Jordan Baker, manager. On Kannavis’ new location opening day, “We saw over 400, which was pretty incredible. We had a line going out the door,” he added.
Baker, who worked in the cannabinoid industry in California for 10 years, is excited by industry growth in Maryland. “I don’t think anybody anticipated what we’ve seen,” he said.
Clients come to Kannavis with a doctor’s recommendation and a Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) card. Kannavis staff then talk to the client to find the product and dosage that works best for them. “We talk about dosage, we talk about delivery, so there’s lots of delivery methods, and what products are best for what symptoms. It really is a trial and error process with folks, and it’s our job to determine the best products for folks as quickly as possible,” Baker explained.
The new location also gave them space to bring Kannavis Trading Co., offering hemp-based, Cannabidiol-infused products that are available without a doctor’s recommendation.
Klink hopes that more research will be done into the benefits of medical cannabinoid. “There are some universities that are starting to look into it, but the issue is there’s no federally funded research,” she said.
“So this (research) is all coming through private donors and university-funded research,” explained Brigid Ayer, Kannavis Trading Co. retail manager.
Individuals who are 18 years of age or older can purchase Cannabidiol—or CBD—without a MMCC card. CBD is a cannabis compound without THC that offers medical benefits. “CBD has really great properties from the industrial hemp plant—anti-inflammatory properties, protective properties, people get a lot of relief from anxiety,” Ayer said. “People also find it’s almost like a mood stabilizer, people with depression and anxiety in their lives. … And it has some pain relief properties because it does help with swelling and inflammation in your body.”
CBD and medical marijuana that includes THC are both being used by people to titrate off of opioid use, Baker noted.
CBD has few side effects, Ayer said. The most common one is drowsiness, which some people use to their advantage to treat insomnia.
CBD dosage is recommended on packaging, but “everyone’s endocannabinoid system is a little different,” Ayer said. “We always tell people, ‘Start low, go slow.’ … If you take too much, you’re going to feel a little drowsy, so we always tell people cut the dosage suggested on the bottle in half or even thirds or quarters and go from there.”
Both Ayer and Klink hope the passage of the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized industrial hemp may inspire more research into hemp-based CBD. In addition to hemp’s medicinal uses, “It’s such an interesting crop because it cleans the soil and the water around it as it grows,” Ayer said.
Kannavis Trading Co. carries a wide variety of CBD products. “It’s not straight plant-based, smoking a flower anymore.” Ayer said. “This is safe for all kinds of people.”
CBD products include bath bombs, lip balm, lozenges, gummies, tinctures, topicals and vape pens. Especially popular, Ayer said, are CBD products for pets. “People are super interested in getting their dogs started on CBD … (for) inflammation, joint issues. A lot of people that we get in have actually just acquired their dogs from local rescue groups and the dogs are experiencing anxiety and having a hard time adjusting to life outside of the shelter, so they’re starting them with these types of treats to help with their anxiety.”
Ayer has seen CBD work for her own dogs. “I have a young husky that’s very anxious, he picks apart his skin, so we used topicals for him and he is doing great now. My other one is an 11-year-old black Lab. She’s been on CBDs for over a year and a half. She was limping really badly, having a hard time getting around the house. We started her on CBD and she’s back up to running three miles a day with me.”