Tyler King of Swamp City, a CBD and art gallery lounge, opened his business to provide Gainesville with a peaceful space where like-minded individuals come together and expand on creative conceptions.
King is a Gainesville native and grew up on Newnans Lake. His passion for cannabis started in the seventh grade when he decided to do his science fair project on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.
“I never really knew why it peaked my interest, but then once I dove in, I was like man, I’m gonna make a living out of this. This is what I’m gonna do for the rest of my life.”
At age 15, he became an avid cannabis user. When he was 21, he was injured in a construction accident after a piece of pipe fell on him and damaged a few disks on his back. The prescribed medicine he was given made him feel like something he wasn’t. Through his pain management, he found the greatest relief in cannabis. After reaping the personal health benefits for himself, he became an advocate for it.
In 2011, he moved to Brentwood, CA where he could legally pursue his passion. He started as a cannabis delivery driver and soon opened his own delivery service. He saw people with nervous system diseases, such as ALS, unable to speak or walk correctly. Within 10 to 15 minutes of receiving cannabis, they were completely normal. He said it is nothing short of a miracle.
“I got to legally pursue my passion, I got to further my knowledge, I got to witness the miracle first hand and I was able to bring that back home to Florida.”
When Florida began talking about legalizing cannabis, he went home to be on the frontlines. After the long fight to legalize medical cannabis, 72.3% of people voted in favor of legalization in 2016. He started diving into CBD, an active ingredient in cannabis derived from hemp plants to treat pain, anxiety and stress. CBD has no side effects and five times the anti-inflammatory benefits than over-the-counter medicines such as Tylenol. He knew he wanted to open a business that involved CBD and art.
In 2018, he officially started Swamp City Gallery Lounge. In August, he opened his new location filled with separate gallery spaces, a beer and wine bar, and a large courtyard filled with art and music. Swamp City is a place where people can enjoy life and become educated on the health benefits of CBD.
“I felt like Gainesville really needed that, and I’m honored I could provide that for my hometown.”
He hopes to continue to educate the people of Gainesville and dissolve the extreme hypocrisy and misconceptions of cannabis.
“If we let cannabis, it will save the world.”