Former Fox 2 Detroit Anchor Anqunette “Q” Sarfoh retired after 20 years as a TV journalist after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). She found that through a combination of changing her diet and using cannabis, she was able to go from taking nine medications a day to none. Sarfoh co-founded the soon-to-be sold dispensary BotaniQ in Corktown and is currently working on a line of cannabis edibles.
Sarfoh will join other business, civic, and government leaders to explore the continued economic progress for the city of Detroit and region at the 2020 Detroit Policy Conference on Jan. 29.
See the full list of speakers and register for the event.
Read more about her journey with the cannabis industry in a Q&A below:
Tell us about your journey with medical marijuana and how it helped you lessen your dependence on pharmaceuticals.
I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2013, I believe. The first year I took all the prescribed medications, including one that is $91,000 a year. I was on nine medications and unfortunately, I didn’t feel better – in fact, I felt worse. [The doctor] suggested that I smoke [cannabis], so I did. The nausea went away relatively quickly, as did my headache. I’m using it as a disease-modifying treatment, along with diet modification. I was able to eventually wean myself off all the other pharmaceuticals that I was prescribed, and now I use cannabis as my primary treatment for MS symptoms.
What do you want skeptics to know about using cannabis for medicinal purposes?
People don’t believe it works; people think that you just want to get high. The way I use cannabis, I’m not necessarily high. I use it at nighttime to help with sleep. I wish people would be a little more open-minded. And when you consider the fact that 40 percent of all our pharmaceuticals are derived from plants, this is real medicine. Unfortunately, it’s just so many people are used to taking a pill. It would be beneficial if people would just open their minds to the possibility that plant-based medicines do work.
What inspired you to co-found BotaniQ, the provisioning center, and dispensary in Detroit?
I wanted a place for women and people who are cannabis naive could be comfortable learning more about the plant and learn how to best use it for their own personal ailments or issues. We wanted to make sure people have an environment where they don’t feel rushed, where questions are not just welcomed but encouraged. We started off with saying that we want it to be a place where you would take your grandma. And sure enough, we have a lot of seniors.
What advice would you give to someone who’s curious about the cannabis industry and wants to participate from a business standpoint?
Find a property that is compliant, that’s going to be the hardest and most challenging part. You have so many communities in Michigan that have opted out, so the places where you can put up your business are extremely limited. Find an investor [then] set a budget and prepare for it to go up 50 to 100 percent.
Get some competency of where you best fit in. This community has so many great conferences, like at the Detroit Regional Chamber. There are so many cannabis conferences all over the country right now. Pick one and just become a sponge and just take in everything. There are so many different avenues, everything from marketing and public relations to the whole business aspect of it whether it be retail or cultivation processing.