Multiple sclerosis advocate and former Fox 2 anchor Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh tells SEEN about her plans to open a medical marijuana dispensary in Detroit and how she’s motivating patients facing disease.
By Stephanie Steinberg
Photography by Boswell Hardwick
Name: Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh
City: Farmington Hills
Job Title: Multiple sclerosis activist, cannabis entrepreneur, retired news anchor
Anqunette Jamison Sarfoh spent 20 years as a TV journalist and anchor in Indiana, Las Vegas, Boston and Detroit. After eight years as the morning anchor for Fox 2 Detroit, she retired due to the effects of multiple sclerosis. Through changes in diet and using cannabis, Sarfoh went from taking nine medications a day to taking none and is an advocate for teaching others how to lessen their dependence on pharmaceuticals. Working with a prominent, Colorado-based edibles company, Sarfoh is developing a line of cannabis-infused food products to address the needs of nonsmokers and is studying nutrition at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sarfoh volunteered with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, serving as a district activist leader and a member of its Government Relations Advisory Committee.
1. What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on building a cannabis company with my husband. We’ve been approved by the city of Detroit to open a medical marijuana dispensary, named BotaniQ, in Corktown. Our company will also grow our own plants, in-house, and I’m developing a line of cannabis-infused baked goods and topical products.
2. What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment, so far, is fulfilling my childhood dream of working in the television news industry.
3. What is an obstacle you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it?
One obstacle I faced was being reassigned in Boston. I was anchoring the 5 a.m. newscast, and management decided to replace me with a new team. Of course, I was incredibly disappointed and hurt. But I chose to stay positive, look ahead and try to find a place that was a better fit for me. I stepped up my job search and in a few months, was offered my dream job by Fox 2 Detroit.
4. What motivates you each day?
I want to be a representative of what can be. That’s what motivates me every single day. I want kids growing up in poverty to look at me, know that I, too, grew up in poverty, and if I can make it out, so can they. I want women to know if I can achieve my goals, so can they. And I want people facing the challenges of disease and ill health realize that if I’ve taken my health into my own hands, they can too. I want to motivate people to love themselves enough to create a different possibility.
5. What’s the biggest issue facing women today?
The biggest issue facing women today is not being in the room, let alone at the table, when issues that affect us are decided. Last year, an all-male panel drafted the Senate’s version of the health care bill, even though women make the majority of health care decisions in this country. That doesn’t seem right. Our perspective should be voiced and represented when such vital matters are being decided.
6. How can we address or resolve that issue?
We resolve this issue by supporting more female candidates in politics and positions of power. We vote and we encourage our families and friends to do the same. We take the time to learn about the character, experience and ability of the people who seek to represent us. We stand up for each other. We call out wrongdoing and support other women who do the same. And we support woman-owned and led companies.
7. What advice do you have for other women?
My advice for other women is to take the time to take care of yourself. Set boundaries, learn how to say no and limit your time with people who drain you. The two books that have helped me through challenging times are “Steering By Starlight” by Martha Beck and “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. I have given these books to at least a half dozen friends.
8. What’s something others may not know about you?
People may not know that I’ve completed two full marathons: one in Kona, Hawaii, and the other in Chicago. I also taught a spinning class when I worked for Fox in Boston.