In 2010, when my husband suggested we pursue one of the eight dispensary licenses in our home state of Maine, I said he was nuts! From the state’s regulations around the program (tracking, security, and costs to participate in the program) to the fact that marijuana was (and still is!) federally illegal, I predicted problems. Taking a hobby to a full-blown company that could put us in jail for the rest of our lives seemed a bit much, don’t you think?! Long story short, we were awarded one of the dispensary licenses. With no opportunity to borrow funds at a reasonable rate, we bootstrapped our cultivation and retail outlet. We dealt with moratoriums, contractors who wanted to overcharge us because we must be making a bundle, endless work, and the constant need to reinvest all revenue back into the company. We did all this with one goal in mind: to provide safe, clean products to our clients. What kept me going was meeting so many wonderful people. The “patients” were older. They either were informed about marijuana, or completely new. I watched each week as they returned, and they returned seemingly better! I would ask, “Why?” And they would say, “Because of the marijuana.” We often heard, “Thank you for my life back.” Up until 2014, when I asked, “What does your doctor think?” or “Does your doctor seem surprised you are off your prescribed medication?” the comment was always the same — no engagement or acknowledgment by their physicians. By 2016 doctors were indeed starting to take notice. By 2018 doctors were referring their patients to us. To help educate people about the health benefits, we began Cannabis Adult Education and gave classes at our dispensary and at doctors’ offices. Cannabis is a plant that naturally thrives outdoors. A few plants in your garden can be a lot of fun. Large-scale, indoor cultivation for medical-grade marijuana is an entirely different story. It takes science and a hygienic environment to create the ideal climate. Without total control, problems can occur that result in molds, fungus, parasites, and other microscopic organisms. To keep to our mission from 2010 has required us to grow slowly and steadily, honing our craft to produce clean, cannabinoid-rich cannabis in a assortment of strains. We are proud to be part of the cannabis industry in Maine. Though hindsight is 20/20, I did not imagine the amount of work it would take to be a seed-to-sale proprietor in a state-regulated program. But, when I stand in our dispensary and see faces of folks who trusted us back to our early days, I would not have done it differently. Thank you for your trust and support! May you always have clean, tested cannabis in your toolbox!