Andrew Wagner learned about the medicinal benefits of cannabis in college. While attending Illinois State University—where he received Bachelor of Science degrees in communication studies and political science and a Master of Science degree in communication studies—he had a handful friends who used cannabis only to help relieve their depression, stress, and anxiety.
“I had known about medical cannabis programs operating in other states, but never thought about how life-changing a plant could be until I heard my friends’ personal testimonies,” he said. “That is what sparked my interest in cannabis. From that point on, I’ve continuously researched cannabis and have worked with organizations that advocate for reforming our country’s outdated cannabis laws.”
I’ve always been passionate about civic engagement, so when I had the opportunity to work with Houston NORML, I saw it as a vehicle to become civically engaged in a state and culture I knew little about. Texas is extremely strict on marijuana, with only a few counties having enacted “cite and release” policies for minor marijuana possessions. Living in this draconian system and witnessing the lengths taken by Texas residents to obtain a medicine they desperately needed instilled in me a passion to become part of the solution to the problem.
My girlfriend and I moved back to Illinois, and I turned my attention away from the political side of the movement and toward the industry/retail component. I came across an incredible opportunity to work for Midwest Compassion Center, and I went for it.
Career or passion?
I would say budtending is a passion of mine that I hope will lead to a career in the cannabis industry.
I have operated my own e-commerce store, Deal Sloth, since 2012. It is a retail company that specializes in affordable, quality tobacco and herbal accessories. I’m also a handyman at heart, so I enjoy fixing and building things in my free time.
“Here at MCC, we offer discounts to veterans, people on disability, minors, and senior citizens to help alleviate some of the financial burden of affording medical cannabis.”
I would say a majority of our sales come from flower, followed closely by vaporizer cartridges, edibles, and then extracts.
Average patients a day
Currently, MCC serves about twenty to thirty patients a day.
The most asked question is “Do I have to smoke it?” The biggest concern has to be the price. Medical cannabis is what we call a “luxury medicine,” so we offer discounts to veterans, people on disability, minors, and senior citizens to help alleviate some of the financial burden of affording medical cannabis.