Montel Williams, a Naval Academy graduate diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1999 , recently announced the launch of a line of high-quality medical cannabis products under the brand name LenitivLabs by Lenitiv Scientific.
The former television host and wellness advocate has been particularly vocal when it comes to support the use of medical marijuana across the United States. Legislation allowing for medical marijuana use has been a hot topic in recent years — and is especially hot during election years.
Williams is considered one of the highest-profile advocates for medical cannabis in the country, and he has been using cannabis products — at the advice of his doctors — to help manage his MS symptoms.
“I experience neuropathic pain 24 hours a day because of my MS,” Williams said in a press release. “My physicians recommended cannabis as part of my treatment seventeen years ago, and I’ve used it ever since. Only someone suffering from a debilitating disease can understand cannabis’s therapeutic value.”
Ever since that recommendation, Williams has strongly advocated for marijuana legalization, and specifically worked to pass medical cannabis laws in New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. He also supports change at the federal level, and argues for its legal use by U.S. veterans so they need not fear losing benefits.
He continues to raise awareness about the benefits that specific strains of marijuana can have on life quality for people dealing with chronic physical pain.
Williams’ efforts focus both on eliminating the stigma of marijuana use — essentially, opinions that users are simply looking to get high — and on demonstrating that the quality of the plant (which can be natural or genetically modified) should be taken into account by lawmakers deciding on whether to legalize medical marijuana.
Marijuana plants have a plethora of chemicals, known as cannabinoids. One of them, called THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is associated with the drug’s distinct feeling of euphoria, but also has effects that may treat medical problems. Recent research suggests that another chemical found in marijuana, called CBD (cannabidiol), can be just as helpful and is non-psychoactive.
“I’m proud to announce the formation of Lenitiv Scientific and the development of the LenitivLabs product line,” said Williams, the company’s founder. “With the issue of full legalization dominating the conversation, it’s critical not to forget patients who have specific needs with respect to cannabis, including strains that might be less profitable in the marketplace. The mission of Lenitiv Scientific is to ensure that seriously ill individuals — like myself — have access to the medicine they need.”
LenitivLabs will use advanced cannabis manufacturing technologies and research to offer patients products with the highest quality and consistency, and without harmful additives.
Lenitiv Scientific will offer its products only in U.S. states where the sale of medical cannabis is allowed. The company also plans to work closely with regulators, provide proper education on medical cannabis to the public, and to fund clinical research studies into medical cannabis to scientifically validate into benefits and risks.
Currently, 25 states and the District of Columbia allow the use of medical cannabis for pain relief, nausea control, appetite stimulation, among other medical conditions.
David Racz, a founding partner with operational experience in both the pharmaceutical and cannabis industries, will serve as Lenitiv Scientific’s chief executive, the L.A. Biz journal recently quoted Williams as saying. Marvin Washington, an 11-year NFL veteran and an advocate for athlete’s access to medical cannabis, has also joined the company, the journal said.