Former University President Heads NV Cultivation Business

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A  company headed by a former university president has won local approval to cultivate medical cannabis in Reno, Nevada.

The Reno City Council awarded a “privileged business license” to Sierra Wellness Connection, whose president is former University of Nevada-Reno boss Joe Crowley.

MMG Agriculture, owned by former real estate executive Job Hall, also won a license, USA Today reported. Both companies have reportedly already been through the state’s approval process but still need the final green light before opening.

Crowley was the president of the university for 23 years until 2001. He was so popular that the university’s student center, affectionately called “The Joe,” is named after him.

He decided to enter the medical marijuana industry after watching his older brother suffer from multiple sclerosis and saw his sister, who underwent 13 surgeries, using MMJ as a pain reliever, according to USA Today. He was recruited to the company by the firm’s chairman and said he knew he’d take a publicity hit for joining as president.

Dispensaries in the state were originally slated to open in January, but that didn’t happen. They could open as early as spring, though it could take until the end of the year.