Shanel A. Lindsay said:
“I’m on a mission to see the new cannabis economy reverse some of the harmful effects of the War on Drugs.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a cannabis activist, lawyer, and entrepreneur dedicated to creating technology to simplify and improve the cannabis experience. I’m also passionate about using policy and the new cannabis economy to reverse decades of disproportionate and racially-biased trauma stemming from cannabis prohibition.
What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
My cannabis experience began almost 20 years ago after I developed an ovarian cyst that required properly prepared and dosed plant medicine. While I started my cannabis journey as a patient and became a business owner, my vision and mission for my professional cannabis endeavors aren’t just focused on my company, Ardent. I also co-drafted the state of Massachusetts’ adult use cannabis law, and in 2017, I was appointed by the State Treasurer to the newly-formed Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board, where I help to develop regulations for the medical and adult use markets.
I’m dedicated to improving public understanding of cannabis’ medicinal benefits, and I know that with increased education, research, and reliable clinical data, patients and doctors—even those who have not previously considered cannabis as an option—will discover it is a legitimate, viable, and safe treatment for a wide variety of ailments and conditions. I plan to educate patients and consumers around the world and empower them to control their own health and save them money, whether they’re growing at home or using a dispensary. I’m also on a mission to see the new cannabis economy reverse some of the harmful effects of the War on Drugs.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I developed an ovarian cyst after having my son, and traditional pain management methods weren’t working or agreeing with my body. I quickly realized that cannabis helped but dosing and preparing edibles was difficult and inconsistent.
After trying every known method of decarboxylation, I realized that there simply was not a product on the market meant to fully maximize cannabinoids and provide accurate dosing at home. And I knew I wasn’t the only patient who needed this relief. With the help of research commissioned at MCR Labs, I was able to refine and perfect the decarboxylation process and create the NOVA™, a device that allows patients to avoid the pitfalls of other methods and easily create any product they desire.
What is your Superpower?
I think I have a knack for understanding what problems the patient is going to run into you before they even know they’re going to have an issue. I guess it’s a Superpower stemming from both my personal experience and genuine love for the plant.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
It’s very true that women and people of color have a very difficult time raising capital, especially with new technology that even the most investors don’t understand right off the bat. Bringing a new technology to market on the shoestring budget was absolutely the biggest challenge. Thankfully numbers don’t lie, and when you begin to show some success in the marketplace and that you can run and grow a business, that part gets a little easier.
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
Right now, all eyes are on the growing cannabis sector. Know that in everything you do, you’re representing a movement, and there is a push to create a responsible, equitable industry we can be proud of.
We are still in the nascent stages of legal cannabis, and the time to get involved is now. This industry requires the same skill sets and roles that any other industries does, so use the knowledge and connections you have to bring value to the cannabis teams and professionals you meet. Educate yourself through those experiences, and you’re likely to find your niche in this exploding industry.
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