This week we spotlight Jason Sidman, CEO of Sanctuary Medicinals, a vertically-integrated, multi-state cannabis company with operations in Florida, New Hampshire and Massachusetts as well as a medical dispensary license in New Jersey.
From your corner of the cannabis industry, what’s the single greatest challenge right now?
There are many challenges in this industry, as well as many opportunities. From where I sit, one of the most significant challenges is operating across multiple states with different and distinct regulations. What works as a best practice in Massachusetts may not be compliant with regulators in Florida, and this applies to everything from product testing and approvals to opening new locations, wholesale, marketing, and beyond.
How does your business solve issues related to this challenge?
Sanctuary is rapidly expanding into new markets, bringing our high-quality, award-winning products to patients and consumers across multiple states, and we have assembled a strong team to help us navigate state and local regulatory requirements. Every municipality is different, and it’s critical we have the best talent in place to remain compliant at all times. Successful operations ensure our high-quality products are available to our patients and customers efficiently, quickly and with an attention to detail that ensures the integrity of each item.
Tell us about a situation you’ve encountered that could only happen in cannabis.
This plant can help alleviate highly debilitating issues for individuals, which is something really special about this industry and what makes the work so rewarding. Safe access to cannabis has offered patients and consumers freedom of choice, exploration and, in some cases, treatment. People now have the choice to try medicine and products beyond pharmaceuticals.
Cannabis and the cannabis industry have been a godsend to many. I endured a close personal loss several years ago and witnessed firsthand the medicinal value the plant had as part of their treatment regimen. Cannabis helped alleviate their pain and ease the transition when nothing else was working. I will always hold that experience with me and I’m honored to continue pushing for broader acceptance, research, and access for individuals in need.
If you could travel back in time by ten years, what would you tell your former self about the industry?
I’d tell myself to prepare for the challenges ahead but also stay the course. I embarked on this journey to help people, something I still strive towards every day. I would tell myself this was the right decision for more reasons than I can articulate.
Ten years ago, it would have been encouraging to know the choice I made would be a rewarding one regarding how many lives this plant would positively impact. That would have been an added spark to the flame lit in me. At the time, I didn’t know how many other people were choosing the same mission. Still, I now recognize that as stewards of cannabis, we approach our work with a level of passion for the plant and belief in our collective mission that is uncommon in other sectors. I find myself grateful to work alongside like-minded peers.