Marijuana Business Magazine | October 2019 6 From the CEO | Cassandra Farrington T his industry has come a long way since MJBizDaily first launched as Dispensary Business Insider. Back in May 2012, the entire U.S. marijuana industry consisted of 16 states with medical-only cannabis programs ranging from very limited and strict to completely unregulated, Wild West markets. Today, recreational cannabis is spreading across North America and has begun entering the conversation inter- nationally. Investment is flooding the industry, much of it focused on the long-term play of a sensibly regulated product available at-will to adults. Yet, as we contemplate the future of the industry here at home and, in particular, abroad, the medical applica- tions of cannabis products are the ones that remain in the spotlight. A steady drumbeat continues to tap across the United States and Canada in an effort to retain focus on the patients who were the inspiration for the industry and remain the reason why many industry professionals show up to work every day. Governments that are taking a more holistic view of the cannabis plant’s benefits are leaning heavily toward medical applications as their pri- mary—and even sole—interest. All of which leads to the question: What is the future of the cannabis industry’s medical segment? As competi- tion from the rec side continues to heat up, as regulations on what companies can and cannot claim about their products become stricter, as talent from Big Pharma enters the industry at a faster and faster pace, what is the best path forward for patient-focused business owners driven by their mission? Those social entrepreneurs who also face the very real need to run companies sufficient to meet their family’s needs? These are very prescient, and pressing, questions for many entrepreneurs—and for the industry as a whole. What is our collective mission, why did we create this industry in the first place, and how do we maintain focus on those reasons? How do we continue to serve that mis- sion while also, legitimately, serving our shareholders? The ups and downs and twirls thus far have provided us with quite the ride. With more and more passionate, savvy and driven industry professionals jumping on the roller coaster every single day, I can’t wait to see where the future leads us. Sincerely, Charting the Way Forward for Medical Marijuana Cassandra Farrington Co-Founder & CEO, MJBizDaily P.S. One of the top resources to help chart your own company’s future is the Marijuana Business Factbook. Updated quarterly with the latest industry stats, facts and figures, for seven years it’s been a go-to source for cannabis industry execs, financers and entrepreneurs as they create business plans, seek to understand the current state of affairs and gain the necessary insights to chart the future of their own business interests. Get your copy today at mjbizdaily.com/factbook !