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THC TLC

Garden Society puts the care in cannabis

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The cannabis-infused candies from the Garden Society look delicious and they're safe for Maureen Dowd to consume. Recall that the New York Times columnist overconsumed an edible in Colorado a couple of years ago, and wound up in a half-panicked stupor.

Company founder Erin Gore (pictured) suggests that Dowd should have consulted with her women-owned cannabis startup, which offers low-dose chocolates (the Bliss Blossom) and chewies (the Bright Blooms) to dispensaries and through delivery services. And the Garden Society offers educational workshops for medical-cannabis novices to guarantee a "safe way for women to experience cannabis for the first time," Gore says.

"We need to respect the lack of experience that they have," she adds—and the company goes to lengths to help new pot consumers find their tolerances for the product, and triple-tests the potency levels to make sure there's not too little or too much THC in the mix.

As ever, the urgent suggestion is to take more later if the effects don't manifest within a couple of hours to avoid a Dowdian outcome.

"The columnist will probably never try edibles again," Gore says of Dowd, adding that her hotel-room meltdown would have been preventable with a responsible guide to her first encounter with medical edibles.

Gore says she started to use medical cannabis to understand and address various "pain points" associated with being a married and ambitious women (she worked 10 years as an executive in the corporate world) with various roles as supportive sister and aunt, friend to her partner, "everything that women are responsible for in our day-to-day lives."

Gore turned to cannabis, she says, "to help me get through the rigors of life," which meant finding a holistic avenue to a good night's sleep and a low-stress day, and soon realized a critical need was not being addressed by the industry. "I felt there was a real gap in the industry for women-oriented products," she says, which extended to the branding and the product itself. She starting hosting baking parties with female friends, and realized that all these women, no matter how successful they were, "all had these pain points, whether it was the job or their personal lives—everyone had a different reason for the pain."

The parties grew exponentially, and a business was born. "There is a real need in this market to de-stigmatize and offer products targeted to women's health and needs," Gore says. And of course men can enjoy the confections, too, whose extracts are drawn from Mendo county's Shine On Farms.

"Men are very supportive of women in this space," Gore says, highlighting the male-dominant pioneers of California cannabis "who set the foundation for a new industry that really supports women."

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