A Talk with AnnMarie Fredericks and Merideth Albert

A Talk with AnnMarie Fredericks and Merideth Albert

About the Power of Vetted Cannabis

Photo by Michael D. Wilson

AnnMarie Fredericks and her daughter Merideth Albert believe in the healing power of plant-based medicines—so much so that they opened Vetted Cannabis in Sanford last year.

They grow and harvest their medical marijuana and CBD products and make recommendations based on what individuals need. They cultivate cannabis on site, and they educate clients on the medicinal effects. Their goal is to empower patients with knowledge, so patients “become the drivers of their own care.”

This approach is different from what mother and daughter saw and experienced as Registered Nurses with the US Department of Veterans Affairs. AnnMarie, 57, worked with that department for 37 years. Merideth, 32, worked there for 10 years.

They observed veterans who received multiple medications for chronic pain, PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and migraines, which often came with unwanted side effects, such as dry mouth, constipation, weight gain, and sleep problems. AnnMarie describes this as “poly pharmacy”—which means too many medications.

“We had the privilege of working with veterans and hearing their stories,” she says. “We learned quickly how conventional medication fell short, and we learned that some veterans were using cannabis as an alternative—with good results.”

Photo by Michael D. Wilson

“Veterans would tell us that they did not take certain meds because of side effects. They taught us, and that is how it all came to be,” Ann Marie says.

As she and Meredith dove deeper, they learned that different plants have differing medicinal benefits. For example, “If you are an anxiety sufferer, anything with lemon is anti-anxiety,” AnnMarie says. Lemons themselves have limonene, which is an anti-anxiety chemical.

So, in 2016, AnnMarie’s husband, Jack, located the six-acre site in Sanford, and over the next two years, they built a state-of-the-art cultivation facility. It has bolstered security, climate-controlled rooms, timed lighting, and auto watering.

Photo by Michael D. Wilson

At first, Merideth, a licensed medical marijuana grower, focused on cultivating plants sold to dispensaries. Later, they decided to provide onsite clinical care. “The patient office was our dream,” Merideth says. They opened it in December 2019.

Merideth worked as a cannabis grower for six years before her mother decided to join her in Sanford. They were both very interested in exploring how the cannabis plants can treat patients. Their belief in the power of these plants was confirmed or expanded upon at a conference in Boston four years ago. They saw first-hand how medical marijuana can make a difference.

One example came from a neurologist who showed the difference between a patient with a brain tumor who received conventional treatment, compared with cannabis CBD-THC related treatment. MRIs showed the tumors had decreased in size after cannabis was used.

AnnMarie emphasized this point about the benefits of cannabis with a recent Instagram video that shows a client who suffered from Tourette syndrome. After his course of treatment, he was much improved.

Photo by Michael D. Wilson

Their office presents an atmosphere of complete transparency where clients can learn and help determine their best course of treatment.  This approach might mean thinking about the chemicals present in certain strains and their specific medicinal effects, or coordinating medical issues with which chemical profiles in a specific plant they should consider.  Once educated in the actions of the medications, the client elects their course of treatment.

“We chose ‘Vetted’ as our name because we want the client to vet us. We want their vote of confidence in the long term. We perch a camera system in our grow area so clients can see in real time the cloning, pruning, harvesting, and more importantly that it’s clean, no vermin, no insects, no spraying going on. And we post our credentials in the patient office, the cannabis chemicals with the name of the scientist researcher, and the year discovered, along with the harvest test results.”

In addition to carefully cultivating cannabis and working with clients on beneficial medicinal outcomes, they provide free marijuana medical cards to Maine veterans and give them a lifetime 20 percent discount. Medical Marijuana Cards are issued or renewed to Maine residents. 

“The State of Maine does not require testing of plants for medical use,” AnnMarie says. But her team sends monthly harvests for testing to Nelson Analytic Lab in nearby Kennebunk for chemical analysis, and then post all results in the office.

For example, a recent monthly test of Vetted Cannabis’ Church plant showed a high concentration of beta-Caryophyllene. It has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects which can help relieve pain and anxiety, treat seizures, and reduce cholesterol.

The Church plant also has a high amount of beta-Myrcene, which is known for producing relaxation and sedation. Another component found in the Church plant is alpha-Pinene, which improves memory and recall, plus it has anti-inflammatory benefits that can treat diseases like ADD, arthritis, Crohn’s, and multiple sclerosis.

AnnMarie and Merideth are passionate about providing these medicines to anyone who is ready to pursue an alternative to traditional drugs.

“Our blood, sweat, and tears have gone into this,” says AnnMarie, referring to their work, knowledge base, company, approach, and products. “We really care.”

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R Cook

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