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Fit, Fun, and Finally Relaxing – A Mother Daughter Trip to Litchfield Hills

Every year, my mother tells us the story of how I was her birthday present. What sounds like a sweet story could have been tragic, so I am glad she remembers my birth fondly.   Her doctor insisted I was underweight, but my mother’s intuition told her otherwise. I was close to ten pounds when [...]read moreFit, Fun, and Finally Relaxing – A Mother Daughter Trip to Litchfield Hills

Art of the Dance

Pilobolus’s acclaimed Five Senses Festival returns this summer, promising even more breathtaking art, music, dance, and conversation. This year’s festival will feature expanded programming for kids and families as well as childcare, wellness activities, and social dance classes. The Five Senses Festival site will boast new features including a grotto sculpted by Randy Polumbo installed [...]read moreArt of the Dance

The Retail Evolution – Change and thrive, say these three businesses

Since 1950 Craig’s Fine Jewelry has maintained a reputation for fine-quality jewelry and impeccable service. Bill Craig, who has been a longtime driving force behind many downtown events, says, “I just love Main Street Ridgefield.” Yet even jewelry stores are not immune to the toll of Internet sales—recent trends indicate younger generations are buying fine [...]read moreThe Retail Evolution – Change and thrive, say these three businesses

Litchfield Eats

bantam Arethusa a mano Everything is house made, including their soft pretzels, bagels, macaroons, and iced coffee. 822 Bantam Rd. / 860-567-5722 arethusaafarm.com   I Arethusa al tavolo One of Litchfield’s finest dining destinations. 828 Bantam Rd. 860-567-0043 arethusaaltavolo.com   E Mockingbird Kitchen & Bar Creative menu selections such as miso salmon with bok choi [...]read moreLitchfield Eats

How to Keep Your Skin, Hair, and Face Glowing And Safe

Surf, sun, and sand are a popular trio until they take their toll on your skin, hair, and face. So we asked some local experts how to keep your looks on the up and up as the temperatures go up and up. Here’s what they had to say. Hair Happenings The elements really take their [...]read moreHow to Keep Your Skin, Hair, and Face Glowing And Safe

What You Need to Know About CBD and Why it Matters

Imagine trying to rope a bronco—wearing a pair of Prada pumps. That’s how Ridgefield area shoppers feel navigating the nascent, unregulated, yet exploding Wild West industry of CBD. Tackling this uncharted territory involves a steep learning curve—an ability to understand and verify a product’s purity, legality, and safety, not to mention determining which product type [...]read moreWhat You Need to Know About CBD and Why it Matters

Ten Minutes with Todd Forrest – The Head of NY’s Botanical Garden

Todd Forrest oversees the New York Botanical Garden’s 250-acre site: indoor and outdoor exhibitions, the 50-acre Thain Family Forest, 50 gardens and plant collections, conservatories, and more, managing the staff of 85. He started with NYBG in 1998 after completing a master’s at Yale School of Forestry. Forrest lives in Ridgefield with his wife, two [...]read moreTen Minutes with Todd Forrest – The Head of NY’s Botanical Garden

Connecting a Community Through Art

Located on the eastern side of town and anchored by the 125-year-old Brooklawn Country Club, Brooklawn Park counts among its early residents businessman (and accidental inventor) William Russell Frisbie (1848-1903) and local titans of finance and industry Horace Merwin (1888-1948) and Webster Walker (1895-1966). In addition to its “Who’s Who” of turn-of-the-century personalities, one of [...]read moreConnecting a Community Through Art

Weed Between the Lines – Cultivating a New World for Medical Marijuana

Governor Ned Lamont has been vocal about ending the prohibition of recreational marijuana use in our state, yet federal law still treats cannabis as a highly addictive controlled substance, with the same classification as cocaine and heroin. The conflict between state and federal law seems tantamount to the contrast of old world with new. In one scene we see a seedy drug dealer selling dime bags on a corner and in another, a clean, organized state-of-the art dispensary. The image of a user transcends from hippie or street thug to clean-cut business people and grannies wearing track suits. This might leave some to wonder how our neighbors and friends really feel about marijuana legalization in our state.

Fairfielder Chris Mayle has a deep personal interest in medical marijuana. He and three partners opened Advanced Grow Labs (AGL) in 2014, which was recently acquired by a publicly traded company named Green Thumb industries. Located in West Haven, AGL researches, develops and produces medical marijuana products—nurturing the progress every step of the way—from plant to finished product.
Current occupation notwithstanding, Mayle is an interesting man to know—intelligent, insightful, and incredibly proud of the business he and his partners have built. He is also the son of Peter Mayle, the author of the New York Times bestseller, A Year in Provence. Mayle believes medical marijuana products are natural, plant-based pharmaceuticals that will continue to make a big impact on the health and comfort of the people who need them. “I think we have just scratched the tip of the iceberg on this,” he says passionately. “I think we will look back in 100 years and say, ‘I can’t believe we didn’t figure that one out sooner.’ ”

“Doctors are starting to believe that THC is having a profound impact on people with a variety of illnesses,” Mayle says. Sarena Kelly, an APRN with Advanced Rheumatology Center of Bridgeport, has seen the positive effects in her practice. “Researchers have identified two different types of cannabinoid receptors in our bodies that have a direct effect on pain and inflammation. Thus, the therapeutic effect of consuming exogenous cannabinoid is to directly reduce pain and inflammation.”

In fact, Connnecticut’s medical marijuana program has recently extended the medical indications for multiple rheumatic conditions. “In our practice CBD or cannabis therapeutics are considered a safe complementary treatment for patients who are receiving, have failed, or are intolerant of standard of care therapies,” Kelly says.
“We need more research to figure it out, but with diseases like Parkinson’s, Epilepsy, and ALS, CBD has been very helpful,” Mayle says. “CBD alone won’t do it. But CBD combined with THC is known to relieve symptoms of myriad diseases including MS, Crohn’s disease, HIV, glaucoma, cancer, and many more.”

One Fairfielder, Christy Damon Jeffremow, eschews the use of opiates and now relies on medical marijuana to help alleviate side effects from chemotherapy. “I have no shame shouting from the roof tops all of the ways that marijuana has helped me,” she says expressively. When she first got her prescription she went to the closest dispensary, located in Branford. “I was nervous at first, but everyone there was extremely helpful in suggesting which strains would work for me. They recommended a sativa “Tangerine Haze” for nausea and an Indica “Girl Scout Cookies” for migraines.”

Perhaps the best way to understand the art and science behind the business is to tour a facility like AGL. The first thing worth noting is the fanatical “operation-room-like” attention to cleanliness the lab requires. Each employee must stand in a high-pressure air shower every time they enter the lab to blast off bugs or other impurities. Each of the 50 employees receives a clean uniform they must wear each day. Access to the labs is monitored closely through digital key fobs and security cameras.

First on the tour is a meeting of the mother plants and their baby clones at several phases, and then, as Mayle says “you get to see where the magic and the medicine happens” in the grow room where strong artificial sunlight showers the plants, creating lush greenery with huge, sticky marijuana buds. From here they are harvested, then dried or processed.

The processing facility features cutting edge machines that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. They are operated by cheerful millennials who pridefully explain the science of their particular role. In the state-of-the-art commercial kitchen, every baked treat is measured and created with precision to ensure each holds the proper dosage of medicine. “Connecticut is by far the most stringent of all states when it comes to purity and regulation for this medicine,” Mayle explains.

Fairfielders have mixed feelings about the legalization. While most are impressed with what they hear about its healing and medicinal properties, one Fairfield Dad disagrees. “I fear that recreational marijuana becoming legal will impact safety on the roads and the quality of work produced by our working population, who might not keep recreational use to after-work hours. Making marijuana legal for recreational use could also make it more available to younger people and send the message that’s “it’s fine.”

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Savor Local: The Taste of Towns – Sunday, Aug 11

TownVibe is proud to host another Savor Local event bringing together great local restaurants, distillers and entertainment for a delicious, fun afternoon. The focus on this event is summer fun, party food, sweets, and good wines and spirits. There will be music, standup comedy and roving entertainment. The venue is the lavish Salem Golf Club [...]read moreSavor Local: The Taste of Towns – Sunday, Aug 11

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