If you had any doubts about the keen interest in medical marijuana in Florida, you don’t have to look any further than how quickly demand is outpacing supply.
That’s why the Florida Department of Health is preparing to issue five additional licenses for medical marijuana businesses in early October. The people want it, and entrepreneurs are racing to get to the front of the line to meet that demand.
It’s no surprise that medical marijuana is popular — better than seven out of 10 voters approved Amendment 2 last November. State officials are now required to issue the new licenses, which will help expand treatment options for individuals suffering from various debilitating diseases.
So far, most of the operators who have sought the highly prized — and potentially quite lucrative — licenses have focused on medical marijuana as an investment opportunity. But one of the candidates for the next round caught my eye because it approaches things from a different perspective, one very much affected by its founder’s personal experience.
AGRiMED Industries is among several applicants hoping to bring its business to Florida.
While doing some research on the latest contenders, I found that AGRiMED practically lapped the field in Pennsylvania, finishing miles ahead of everyone else in that state’s license process.
The organization’s CEO, Sterling Crockett, has since relocated to Florida. He brings with him an experienced and fully integrated company of dedicated professionals. But he also brings something else — the kind of inspiration that comes with almost losing a child.
Crockett came up with the idea for AGRiMED shortly after his daughter was diagnosed with kidney cancer — three weeks after giving birth to his first grandchild. His daughter suffered through the persistent and painful symptoms associated with her disease until Crockett helped her discover the tremendous healing benefits of medical cannabis. Today, Crockett cherishes every moment he can with his daughter and now granddaughter who is entering first grade.
With that experience pushing him forward, Crockett built AGRiMED with a focus on more than just the bottom line. To him, it’s also about sharing the medicinal benefits of cannabis-derived products, to help ailing people who can’t find relief any other way. To achieve his goal, he assembled a leadership team with over 200 years of collective medical and professional experience.
And AGRiMED is different in another way, too — it is a minority-owned and operated company that works to promote the next generation of minority entrepreneurs. Crockett, an African-American, aims to empower underserved and underrepresented communities to participate in the substantial growth potential of medical marijuana. In addition to funding research into the use of cannabis-derived medicines for sickle cell anemia, his company partnered with Lincoln University to provide internships and training to students for early experience in the industry.
I’m sure there are many worthy business operators among the individuals trying to land one of the five licenses the Department of Health will award soon. But wouldn’t it be nice to think there’s room in there for a company that was born of a passion for alleviating one woman’s suffering … that serves a minority community often overlooked by economic opportunity … and that works to build the next generation of executives?