Warren Bobrow=WB: Why cannabis? What brought you to this path?
Paul Botto=PB: I had a catastrophic leg injury where I nearly had my leg amputated and was in the hospital for over two weeks. When I came out of the hospital, I was immediately put on 48mg of Dilaudid, which is 2.5x the clinical definition of “opiate dependency.” I heard you could treat pain and wean yourself off of opiates much faster through cannabis. With five surgeries, 23 screws, and three plates stacked up against me, I set out to learn about its benefits and experiment on myself to get off that killer cocktail as soon as humanly possible. This happened nearly three years ago, when the market was even more nascent than it is now. I was so impressed with my own recovery experience with cannabis that I was determined to turn it into my next business. While I was raising capital for the new venture and building out a retail team, my business partner Larry Levy, who I worked with at my last company in supply chain data technology, called me and excitedly pitched his idea for us to go into business together. Coincidentally, he had the same idea to make the leap into the cannabis industry. After I told him what happened since we had last spoken, he yelled, “Brilliant! I mean, sorry about your leg, but it is an even better fit than I had hoped!”