Originally appeared in Ganjily
MariMed, @MariMedInc, is a national consulting and management firm that provides total solutions for the design, development, operation, funding and optimization of legal cannabis cultivation centers and dispensaries.
We had the chance to interview Bob Fireman, CEO of MariMed. Get to know more about Bob and Marimed below:
Ganjly: What is your background and what made you decide to pursue a career in cannabis?
Bob Fireman: I was involved in the development of rooftop farms for sustainable urban agriculture in San Francisco when I was introduced to the legal medical cannabis business. Some team members asked me to provide horticultural expertise and funding to help them start a commercial cultivation, production, and dispensing cannabis business in California. Subsequently, when wealthy philanthropists Peter Lewis and George Soros were funding legal cannabis referendums on ballots in Massachusetts and the Eastern states, I was asked to help, as I had some knowledge from my California experience. In this process, I met the group who had won a license in Rhode Island and became involved in the industry. This team morphed into the MariMed team.
Ganjly: How many employees do you have?
Bob Fireman: We oversee 150 employees across 5 states within the facilities MariMed manages.
Ganjly: What kind of traits do you look for when hiring new members?
Bob Fireman: We look for two types: people with maturity in a specific talent, such as acumen in horticulture, agriculture, laboratory, marketing and merchandising. We also look for savants – young, creative people with a fresh perspective who believe in the cannabis industry. It is very cool and energizing to interact daily with such talented people.
Ganjly: What is the most challenging experience you have had in the cannabis industry so far?
Bob Fireman: It’s not any single experience, but more the combination of challenges we face every single day in this industry. We are dealing with perishables, extensive regulation, taxes, federal prohibition of the product we produce, restrictions on transporting the product across state lines, states with no experience in managing the cannabis business trying to regulate it, an industry with no banking services and no traditional financing due to federal regulations, and laws that differ from state to state. This is by far the most complex and challenging business of my entire career.
Ganjly: What is your proudest moment since you started down this path of being an entrepreneur in the cannabis space?
Bob Fireman: There is a special pride you have when you plan a business, open it, manage all the moving parts and see the success of what you have created. As wonderful as that is, I am proudest when I see people benefiting from the cannabis plants we grow. Seeing kids with epileptic seizures and adults with Parkinson’s and MS spasms stop shaking and able to function and enjoy life, seeing veterans with PTSD able to live normal lives, and those with chronic pain find relief, is an incredibly amazing and rewarding experience. It makes every minute of work worthwhile.
Ganjly: Do you have plans for new products, services or events and would you be willing to drop any hints about what we can expect from MariMed in the future?
Bob Fireman: We are working on a whole new line of products that are precision dosed from advanced strains. We believe they will be the best products available for specific symptoms.