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An Interview with "Q" - July 2019

By: Ben Horner

As a former reporter for NBC and eventually, Fox News Detroit, Anqunette Sarof knows what it is like to be in the spotlight. Mrs. Sarof was faced with a set back to her broadcasting career when she was diagnosed with MS. Turning to medical marijuana to help with the new health challenges, Anqunette found relief and a new purpose.

Anqunette, also known as “Q”, met the MM Report at her recently licensed Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center in Detroit:

When did you first try Marijuana?

Q- “Of course I had tried it (cannabis) before, but it really wasn’t my thing. Cannabis is the only thing I’m using to treat my MS. I was on nine medications, and still suffering when my husband, Richard said, “you should smoke a joint,” so I did. My family and friends were very supportive. “

How did Fox react to you leaving the station and your use of medical marijuana?

Q- “My doctor told me that I had to leave my job in television unless I wanted to be in a wheelchair. I was able to retire from the station, due to the MS disability. The people at Fox were very supportive. I then made MI Legalize my priority. I felt that if I could use marijuana safely and legally, no one should go to jail for being a cannabis user.”  

How did it feel when Michigan legalized marijuana in 2018?

Q- “I felt like MI legalize was robbed in 2016. We had spent all that time to be denied. In 2018 there was a sense of vindication. It was good to be on the right side of history, because many didn’t believe it was possible.”

When did you open your Dispensary?

Q- “We first opened last year on election day. (11-7-19) My husband and I worked together and other professionals to open BonatiQ. Our group has the provisioning center here in Detroit and a cultivation facility. We are working on a processor license too.

How do you feel about the restrictions on Caregiver products in the “Provisioning Centers?”

Q- “I know that patients want caregiver products, they need the variety that caregivers provide. I thought that part of the impetus of legalization is that growers should be able to bring their products into the retail space and legitimize those people. So I don’t know how they came to not be included in this new process. Michigan has some of the best growers. I think they should be included.”

 What does being part of this Detroit Revival mean to BotaniQ, and does gentrification have an impact?

Q- “What I love about Detroit is the people. I think that no matter where you are it’s important to be connected to your community and their needs. The issue of gentrification in Detroit is real. I can understand how people that have lived for more than fifty years in Detroit, see their community contract and resources diverted to downtown can be a problem. If you come into BotaniQ, you can see the community represented here. We make it a point to support community events.” 

What makes BotaniQ special?

Q- “Our motto is Alleviate, Elevate and Educate.  We want to alleviate pain and suffering from people in our community. Not only are people hurting, but also communities are hurting too. We realize that the war on drugs has disproportionately impacted people of color. We elevate patients by employing them; all of our budtenders are patients. We educate our communities and try to breakdown the stereotypes. We have lots more planned for the future.  BotaniQ is just the beginning.” 

Do You Consider yourself a role model?

Q- “I don’t know. I think everyone is, or should be. I guess I am a role model for some for sure.  As a woman of color, being a patient and activist for legalization, I have tried to do the right thing. It helps to talk to people that are going through what you are going through. As you can see there are a lot of women here, and we have tried to make this a place where women feel comfortable.  People approached me because of my story. I think my job is to help people live a healthier life, and not just with cannabis. I want people to know they have been lied to, and here is one of the ways you can help the body heal itself.”

What are your plans for the future?

Q- “Soon we will have some announcements. Richard and myself are exploring options. Maybe more locations, Michigan is our oyster. We shall see.”

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