Cultivating and Dispensing Medical and Recreational Marijuana is Big Business
Interview with Medicine Man CEO, Andy Williams
My guest today is Andy Williams, co-proprietor of Medicine Man, in Denver, Colorado.
Joan Brunwasser: Welcome to OpEdNews, Andy. What kind of operation are you running?
Andy Williams: I am currently the CEO of Medicine Man, Medicine Man Technologies and a principal partner in a new venture called MX.
Medicine Man is our brick and mortar dispensary and cultivation site. We house a 40,000 sq. ft. cultivation facility and the company was founded by my brother Pete and me back in 2009. We currently have three dispensary locations and employ about 60 people. We are experiencing enormous growth at Medicine Man and look forward to the future.
Medicine Man Technologies is our consultancy that helps those with the desire, money and business savvy and want to get into our industry but need the "know how" to do so. We provide the cannabis "know how". It's a publicly traded company on the OTCQB under the symbol MDCL. We have consulted in over 40 states and have approximately 30 clients across the United States. We are really picking up steam with this company and branching out to Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Jamaica and even Puerto Rico.
MX is a phyto pharmaceutical company that has been created to develop innovative cannabis products, using accepted pharmacological formulation techniques produced in a pharma-grade environment. We want to create identifiable and replicable dosage forms for human use. Our goal is to help improve the human condition and the quality of life for those suffering from various conditions. We do this by taking cannabis from a therapeutic plant and transform it into an effective treatment.
JB: You've certainly come a long way since 2009. What initially got you interested in this field? Were you exploring uncharted territory at the time?
AW: My brother Pete and I have been lifelong entrepreneurs. He was always a great inventor and truly cares about helping people. In fact, he produced cannabis out of his home and was a caretaker for those who needed medicinal cannabis. He did all of this before we started the business. When the Ogden Memo of 2009 came out, we got together and decided to create the business. We took out a loan from our first investor, who happened to be our mother and from that, a business was born.
JB: Where would we be without mothers who believe in us? What's the Ogden Memo? And were there lots of hoops to jump through in order to get your business off the ground? [I'm assuming we're talking about medicinal marijuana here.]
AW: Yes, it was strictly medical marijuana at that time. The memo gave guidance to law enforcement officials on how to handle enforcing marijuana laws in states that have adopted cannabis. The memo basically said that it was up to the states to make the determination on whether or not cannabis should be legal and that resources wouldn't be spent investigating those who were conducting business in accordance with the state regulations.
As for hoops, there were so many hoops that if I knew then how many hoops I'd have to jump through before starting the business, I probably would have been thinking twice about entering it. Thank goodness I didn't know then and was able to take it step by step. I remember days when we had to move money from the facility to our bank and we would have to take it ourselves. Or the days when we had to pay employees with cash because we couldn't have a payroll/check system. Just getting the business going was quite an experience but I love what I do. Every day I get to wake up and help people by providing them with a plant that they use in one way or another to help themselves - talk about rewarding!