This article was first seen in print in our cannabis community column.
On June 3rd, a cannabidiol (CBD) retail store opened inside of Dent Tower on Sheridan Road. The store is operated by Jushi Inc., a vertically integrated cannabis company with an international reach. The products are formulated by Dr. Laszlo Metchler and are sold under the brand name MEND, an acronym for Medical Excellence in Neurologic Disorders. Jushi acquired MEND in 2018 and announced that Sound Wellness, its hemp subsidiary, received its license to process hemp shortly after. The company plans to develop a $5 million extraction facility inside an old USPS office located on Buffalo’s east side. The project is estimated to create 30-65 jobs in the region. Steven Przybyla, a former Dent executive, is President of Jushi’s medical division.
The store is located on the second floor of Dent Tower and features an open layout complete with product displays, branded pillows, and neatly arranged color-coded products. The dosage forms available range from lotions to gel caps and tinctures. According to the store’s staff, many CBD products have experienced problems with wide variability in product potency, MEND offers products that people can trust.
The move may raise concerns over whether CBD and other supplements, should be promoted by physicians, which can be seen as a conflict of interest. To be clear Metchler is not involved directly with the new retail store, but he serves as Medical Director of both Dent and Jushi.
Jushi and Dent will likely collaborate in the future. What this will look like remains unclear. Jushi may aim to leverage Dent’s experience in drug development and access to patients to help create novel cannabinoid formulations for the treatment of neurologic diseases.
In March Dent announced a study they conducted in older adults found that medical cannabis alleviated symptoms of chronic disease ranging from Parkinson’s to ALS. The study included over 200 patients and followed them over an average of 4 months. The study was presented at the American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting in May.