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Health and hemp a planned pairing

  • Seth Frappier plans to open a wellness center with a cannabis lounge in Easthampton. GAZETTE STAFF/Caitlin Ashworth



@kate_ashworth
Saturday, February 03, 2018

EASTHAMPTON — Ask any pot advocate, and they’ll tell you all about the health benefits of a cannabis-friendly lifestyle.

Seth Frappier plans to take that thought a step further and open a holistic health center — with a lounge for on-site cannabis consumption — in Easthampton by the end of the year, or early 2019.

“I want to reduce the stigma of the lazy stoner,” Frappier said.

He said he’s starting off small, with a studio space for yoga and other wellness activities and a lounge for smoking or vaping marijuana. Frappier said he also plans to offer massage and Reiki energy healing, hold educational programs, offer healthy food and facilitate outdoor trips such as hikes and walks.

Using the center as a base, he said participants will be able to consume cannabis before going on a hike or walk. However, for more difficult activities, marijuana will not be allowed. Frappier added that guides will always be sober while working.

Frappier established the start-up business Chronic Trips in 2016. He hosts wellness walks during the new and full moon of every month as well as some educational classes. He added that the word “chronic” is sometimes used instead of “awesome” and subtly refers to cannabis.

Frappier said he’s “bootstrapping” his business venture, and sold most of his possessions to start. Now, he said, he’s working on securing a location and is looking for collaborators interested in his idea.

Draft regulations on recreational marijuana are being reviewed by the City Council Ordinance Subcommittee, with the next meeting set for Monday. A joint hearing between the Planning Board and Ordinance Subcommittee is set for Feb. 20. It will then go to before the full City Council.

The city’s proposed regulations say no more than 12 recreational marijuana retailers should be allowed in the city, social consumption is allowed at marijuana retailers, and marijuana establishments must be at least 200 feet from any school or child care center.

While regulations aren’t set in stone, Frappier said he’s confident the state and city will allow on-site consumption. He said allowing people to smoke at a lounge will decrease the amount of people smoking in their cars, at parks and on the street.

Frappier, 30, is a cyclist and mountain biker sponsored by the weed-friendly companies 420 Games, Wicked Chronic and Subtle Trees. He said that while mountain biking, he will stop for a moment, take a couple puffs of cannabis and enjoy his surroundings.

“It’s part of my training regimen,” he said about smoking pot.

Depending on the competition, he starts the morning off with a cup of coffee and some hits of cannabis. And at the end of the day, he uses weed to relax.

He said that cannabis induces a “flow” or “in-the-zone” mental state, and many athletes use it, including Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps.

“Some athletes meditate, some take that last deep breath, some smoke cannabis,” he said.

Growing up, Frappier said he was always intrigued by medicine. When he was 10 years old, he started volunteering at hospitals, and became involved in a youth emergency medical technician group when he was 12, he said. He became an EMT at 18 and pursued a degree in human biology, but said his interests changed.

In 2011, he hiked the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. In the five-month journey, Frappier said he realized he wanted to do something involving nature and holistic medicine.

He has spent time working as an adventure guide and obtained his bachelor’s degree in adventure education in 2015 from Green Mountain College in Vermont.

While he’s used cannabis to enhance activities in nature, he’s also used the plant to deal with grief of the death of both his parents.

He said nothing has brought him more peace or zest for life than “being in nature with a joint.”

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at cashworth@gazettenet.com.