Best Of 2020

Covington-headquartered start-up Road iD was formed in 1999 after co-founder Edward Wimmer was almost hit by a “King Kong-size pick-up truck” while training for his first marathon. He had been running long miles on back roads (there’s an amusing reenactment video complete with late-’90s references on the Road iD site) and his father kept telling him to carry an ID so he could be notified — by a hospital, passerby or good Samaritan — in case Wimmer got into an accident. Thankfully, Wimmer escaped his showdown with the pick-up unscathed, but the close call made an impression. “A few months later, from my father’s damp basement, he and I launched Road iD,” he recalls on the website. “To us, Road iD has always been far more than a business. We are on a mission to save lives and make a difference in the world.” The most basic Road iD ($19.99) is a silicone wristband with an engraved faceplate listing several lines of text, typically your name, address, two emergency contacts and a fun phrase like “running is cool.” There are also IDs compatible with Fitbit and Garmin models and Apple watches, kids’ sized wristbands and Road iDs that can act as a sporty medical ID. Road iD has also invented Pet iDs that you can thread onto your animal’s existing collar (these probably won’t work for martingale collars) for a soundless solution to jingly metal tags. And if you don’t want to wear your Road iD on your wrist, there are options for shoes and a FIXX iD military-style dog tag. You can read testimonials on the site from people whose lives were saved or helped by Road iD — cyclists hit by cars, lost children reunited with parents, even someone thrown from their bike after colliding with a white tail deer. Road iD donates a portion of every sale to 4 Paws for Ability, an Ohio nonprofit that provides service dogs to children all over the world. Road iD,

Shops & Services
Illustration: Taylor Speed

2. Tiny Needle Community Acupuncture

3. Hamilton Health Associates          

2. Dusty Flynt Sexy Gifts                    

3. High on the Hill

So, you qualified for medical marijuana in Ohio: Great, and sorry for what ails ya’. Ohio law currently allows those with certain medical conditions (cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, chronic pain and many more) to sign up as a patient, after being approved by a licensed physician, with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Registry and Ohio Board of Pharmacy. Your physician will approve you to use a 90-day supply of certain forms of marijuana for your specific condition — oils, tinctures, edibles, vapes. And once you’re approved, you have to go to a licensed dispensary to purchase your medication. There are only a few in the Cincinnati area: Verilife, kind of by Pleasant Ridge; Have a Heart Cincy, co-founded by Rev. Damon Lynch III and located in Hartwell, which is the only dispensary to open so far technically within city limits; and Verdant Creations in Columbia Township, kind of by Target and across from the original little MadTree taproom. (There’s also About Wellness Ohio in Lebanon.) But Verdant Creations seems to be a card-carrying favorite because it has affordable price points and offers frequent discounts. After checking in with your medical marijuana card and ID, you’ll head to the Verdant Creations waiting room to peruse a menu of the current offerings. The menu is divided by form (edible, flower, tincture, etc.) as well as brand and strain (indica, sativa). And if you have no idea what any of that means, the helpful “budtenders” will teach you about the different applications as they relate to your specific ailment, especially if you weren’t or haven’t been a big pot smoker/vaper/eater/tincture-er up until his point. Note: These budtenders aren’t pharmacists, they just know a lot about pot. (They’re also very helpful if you’re confused about what constitutes a “90-day supply” limit.) After you make your selection, it’s filled in a back room and delivered through a window with a prescription label and sealed in a bag with a staple. You have to pay in cash (they have an ATM) or some weird digital payment. But it doesn’t really matter, because prices here are reasonable. And they usually have sales, special deals and promotions. Like they offered 29 percent off their entire inventory on Leap Day (there was a line out the door and an hours-long wait). Sign up for text alerts for discount notifications. Verdant Creations, 5149 Kennedy Ave., Columbia Township,

2. Florence Antique Mall                  

3. Wooden Nickel Antiques   

2. Clifton Cultural Arts Center

3. Brazee Street Studios        

2. Michaels                

3. Cappel’s     

2. Beechmont Subaru            

3. Walt Sweeney Ford

2. Courtesy Automotive                     

3. Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati

2. CarZmedics            

3. Carriage House Car Wash