Cannabis investor Lindy Snider says industry’s innovation amazed her

Lindy Snider is a cannabis investor who works with Greenhouse Ventures, which mentors cannabis start-ups, and serves as a board member of KIND Financial, a firm that provides financial technology to help the cannabis industry transact securely and in compliance with the law.

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You’re a cancer survivor and you own Lindiskin, a line of skin-care products for cancer patients. Was it through your skin-care line you first came to be interested in marijuana?

Yes. I kept reading about marijuana creams and wondered, “Is there something for cancer patients that I should be doing. Is there any data?” I started looking at products that were out there and found things I considered problems, claims that were unsubstantiated. Unstable, greasy products. I started attending conferences and trying to learn everything I could about it.

I went to a conference, I expected young kids in jeans and sneakers but it was all suits. It was mixed with young entrepreneurs and older guys who might have come out of Wall Street or legal backgrounds. A great marriage of young entrepreneurs and people who retired and have rebuilt themselves in medical marijuana. I became enamored with the industry overall. There is a kind of culture, everybody walks in the room and they start from a similar platform. They’re risk takers, they’re curious, they’re less judgmental they’re collaborative. Everyone’s trying to help forward this industry in all ways.

Seems like a lot of people have serious misconceptions about the cannabis industry.

The preponderance of people I have met are very mission driven. Granted, people see this as an opportunity to make money. But a huge proportion of people I’ve met whether they are growers, caregivers, bankers, lawyers doctors, wherever they come from they’ve had someone in their life who was sick, who they loved, who was helped from pot. They came to the realization this was a misunderstood plant, culture, opportunity. They all have a passion to make medicine.

When you go into a room of investors it’s not a culture of sharks, it’s a culture of there’s a great opportunity here I can get involved I can make money. But you see a ton of investors who are also advisors they take time to help companies get off the ground.

The notion that some of the innovation to serve the needs of the MMJ industry was relevant and valuable outside. New ways of growing things, ways to preserve water. This industry was figuring out quickly how to solve this. Those technologies are now being absorbed outside.

It’s more than just about dispensaries and vapes and plants and growers. I saw a presentation this week in New York at a cannabis investor conference. It was a robotic trimmer. People don’t realize the kind of industry that’s being spurred from this space.

 

Are you excited about the rollout of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, where you live?

The first thing that needs to happen is education of doctors. Course that gets them familiar with the product, delivery options. It’s gonna be very difficult for a doctor to say you should use a tincture. People are going to gravitate toward what they’re comfortable with. We need testing labs. We can’t put product out that hasn’t been tested and validated so you know it’s safe and efficacy.

You see states roll out a program and they start to get comfortable and over time they get comfortable they add delivery products. I think Pennsylvania did a decent job relative to other states in terms of seeing it through. I’m glad that Philadelphia Councilman at Large Derek Green held a hearing in Philadelphia to talk about the state’s regulatory framework. He wants to make sure the city doesn’t add any onerous rules on top of the state’s. To make sure patients don’t have to travel across town or the county just to get their medicine.

Were you surprised at Gov. Christie‘s decision to allow marijuana to treat sufferers of PTSD?

When he first took office, Christie came out very strongly against it and he used very strong language and we’ve seen this across the board with politicians. Individuals are starting to see the human side. There’s a cost in his mind of having it too available, but there’s a cost to individuals not having it. You start to see in Colorado and other states where there are hard facts to show a decrease in opioid use, a decrease in teen use.  He’s smart enough to rethink it and he did I give him credit for that.

But more importantly, this should not be a political discussion. This should be a medical discussion amongst doctors. Does this help our patient, does it not help our patient? No other reason to discuss any other aspect when discussing the medical side of it. Anecdotal evidence should be driving research, but for any medical group to step aside and ignore that is ludicrous.

It would be easier for the industry as a whole if cannabis were rescheduled by the DEA.

I think it should be legal across the board. It’s hard not to compare it to alcohol and things that have really clear data. It’s not really rational the way its scheduled against other drugs. Bottom line I think it should be legal and regulated in a way that makes people comfortable. Safe as you can get it.

That would create jobs if you have a mechanism to oversee the cannabis industry.

The tax and you think about what a state or a city needs to fund be it education or 1000 other things. You have 24 states and DC. It’s not some little beta. I think the DEA decision was premature and irrational and unfortunately these decisions are seemingly left in the hands of a very small few. I think there should be a referendum and it should be in every state. We’ve had enough time for enough opinions to change.

 

 

 

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