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Maku leads Gainesville’s green scene

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The black box on my doorstep had come up from Gainesville, land of Tim Tebow, Tom Petty and the iconic “Gainesville Green,” which was the strain of choice for two generations of stoners in Northeast Florida. The package had been mailed a couple days earlier by one John Montague, the CEO of Maku, which is a leading figure of the (literally) growing cannabis scene in Alachua County. Like all savvy cannabisseurs, Montague has been reading this column for a while now, and he thought I might be interested in hearing about what his company is working on and working with.
He was right. As a lifelong member of Gator Nation, I am always keen to cop the skinny on all things green in Gainesville, which has carved out its own unique niche in the Florida market. The first CBD bar in this region, Swamp City Gallery Lounge opened on SE Second Street in August 2018, quickly joining the list of things you must see while you’re there. (I’d also add Leonardo’s Pizza, the Civic Media Center and the Butterfly Rainforest to that list; they’re all even more fun if you’re stoned.)
But what’s in the box? It was a bottle of Maku’s CBD oil, 2500 milligrams per dose, full spectrum, third–party tested. (There was also a sticker.) As with most varieties of CBD oil, you just take a dropper (one milliliter) of the oil, hold it under your tongue for 15-20 seconds and ingest. The flavor is less aggressive than most CBD oils, and the absorption occurs fast enough that the effects can be felt almost immediately. The oils all come in 30 milliliter bottles, and they’re available in a variety of strengths, ranging from 250 milligrams and 500 milligrams ($19.99) to 1000 milligrams ($75), 2500 milligrams ($150) and 5000 milligrams ($240). They also sell vegan CBD gummies, 30 milligrams each, for $55 per 30-count container.
The cannabiz is partly about the product, but it’s mainly a matter of hustle, especially as the market gets increasingly saturated, but Maku has done a good job of spreading the word. It was recently selected as the first cannabis company invited to present at the Florida Venture Forum, which has helped generate billions in revenue for participants since its founding in 1984, with an overall economic impact exceeding $9 billion. The organization’s next events are scheduled for May 14 and June 2, but there are functions lined up year-round, and you’re likely to see Maku there.
With the cannabis market poised, as always, for explosive growth in the months and years ahead, that’s a nice connection to make. If you become a member, you can save 20 percent on all Maku purchases. There is no shortage of options out there now, but this is a very good one. Tell them I sent you, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get an extra sticker. No guarantees!

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