108: Appalachian Cannabis Company – A New Appalachian Tradition

After Chris Yeager spent over 5 years lobbying as a private citizen of the cannabis community and engaging with legislators, he and his wife moved to Colorado and completely immersed themselves into the cannabis industry and learned how powerful of a medical and economic tool it is.

“West Virginia has been the pulse of an epidemic.”

Chris Yeager shows such strong desire to heal his community through his work. As someone who has personally been affected by the opiate crisis in West Virginia, Chris takes his work very seriously. He says people having access to the entire plant and being able to utilize its medicinal properties is something that could really turn this state around. Chris explained some of the complications surrounding prescription drug abuse in our state. If the DEA stops a legal doctor from writing prescriptions, those patients often turn to the streets for heroine and methamphetamine which spirals an already bad situation into something much worse. One of Appalachian Cannabis Company’s main goals is to combat that situation in our state.

“The testimonies continue to pour in every single day!”

The decision to help thousands of West Virginians in desperate need of care, boils down to only a handful of individuals in Charleston. Chris describes this fact as something that has frustrated him with his work. With so many lives changed and so many people benefitting from cannabis, it’s hard to understand once we have a common sense bill regarding its legality proposed to the senate it never sees the light of day. It is much more than a culture that Chris is fighting, it’s political. He is very strong in his motivation to keep
confronting those challenges when they present themselves. It is clear to see that Chris’ love for the people that he has been able to help is the only thing he needs to continue his work. “It comes down to education,” Chris said when asked about the taboo of cannabis in our region. Older generations have a hard time accepting that the same plant that has been stigmatized as “marijuana”, contains some extremely beneficial properties. Chris explained how vital it is to get that information out to the masses in an effort to normalize these methods.

“This is a chance for us to help people in this state.”

Among the many ways that cannabis can help fix communities in WV, Chris talked to us about the impact a thriving cannabis industry can have on law enforcement. With less focus being put on petty charges regarding cannabis, law enforcement will be given more opportunities to engage big threats to our communities. Chris also references his time in Colorado by explaining how proactive they are in their cannabis community. In addition to their local law enforcement being able to focus on high crime and keep their towns safer, Chris told us how quickly changes are implemented in the cannabis industry when something needs to be adjusted. He speaks about the success in Colorado being something that could work a miracle in West Virginia… but only if we allow it to happen.