“The light didn’t come on for me until about a year or a-year-in-a-half ago,” Med·a·mints co-founder Gary Garbel admits of discovering cannabis’ medicinal properties.
Although the cannabis entrepreneur first brought Med·a·mints to the Colorado marketplace in 2011, it wasn’t that long ago when he realized the healing effects of his product. “In my mind it was about getting high and when I was high I knew that I felt good — it freshened my mind, stimulated my imagination and creativity, and I really enjoyed skiing. I realized what it was doing for me but I didn’t think of that in medical terms. By keeping ourselves healthy and avoiding being sick we are maintaining our health, which is a medical benefit,” notes Gabrel of cannabis’ healing role.
Gabrel initially entered the cannabis industry because “I have entrepreneurism in my blood and have created a lot of different businesses and, having been successful at a couple, it has given me the freedom to work for myself so I have followed my heart and passion and beliefs. My entry into the cannabis business is a reflection of what I believe in and what I think is very important. I am really proud to be a part of the change that’s going on.”
A veteran of the restaurant business as well as having experience in product development, Gabrel was interested in getting in the cannabis space so he brainstormed with his wife and friends about the optimal delivery form that would equate to long-term success. “People were doing things like ice cream and baked goods and I didn’t want to have problems with refrigeration and shelf-life. I forget how we came up with the idea of mints but once we did, it seemed like a terrific way to go and it was a very fortuitous choice because this category has developed to be really solid and one that makes sense. Given our experience with pharmaceuticals and small controlled dose forms, it just makes sense with a potent medicine and drug as opposed to confections and candy,” explains Gabrel of Med·a·mints, which is a sugar-free dose with 10 mg THC per mint that he describes as “the healthiest product in a dispensary.”
“As edibles have become more popular, overdosing has been a problem because it’s a new form of uptake for most people so there is a learning curve we have to go through both individually and as a society to understand dosing of this particular medicine in different forms. I thought it would be good to dose in small increments and that’s perfect for mints and tablets,” Gabrel continues, “a mint, and ours specifically, is meant to be absorbed in the mouth and not chewed and swallowed. Absorption through the mucus membranes is faster, more consistent, and more potent than medicine that is swallowed. Those are great features of this particular edible product that are not true of other edibles. A problem that many people have with edibles is the slow onset of the medicine, people lose patience or they are not getting the relief they want fast enough.”
Gabrel developed Med·a·mints “to be good for the core culture, but the emphasis is on people like ourselves, I am a senior citizen now, I just turned 65. I made the product for people like myself — people who want to use cannabis and they want to do it conveniently, smart and responsibly. We think our target audience is smart consumers — people who read labels and pay attention to ingredients and are interested in different ways of taking the medicine.”