Originally appeared in the Boston Business Journal written by 

At any given time, a drug developer is at the top — and bottom — of the list of publicly traded companies in Massachusetts with the biggest stock gains or losses, given the biotech industry’s high volatility.

In 2018, however, a small, Norwood-based firm in the burgeoning field of marijuana is likely to assume that title — by a wide margin.

As of Dec. 7, cannabis consultant MariMed Inc. (OTC: MRMD) had seen its shares increase more than five-fold since Jan. 1 — by 474 percent. The next-biggest stock gainer, biotech Vericel Corp. (Nasdaq: VCEL), saw a 240 percent increase during that time.

MariMed only began focusing exclusively on marijuana last year after trying to develop and license 3D interactive streaming software under the name Worlds Inc.

But in just the past 18 months, CEO Bob Fireman says the company has “evolved into a national powerhouse in the cannabis industry.”

Fireman is a longtime Boston-area lawyer and businessman who also happens to share the name of his much more famous cousin, Paul Fireman, former longtime CEO of Reebok and current chairman of Fireman Capital Partners. As Bob says, “I used to be his cousin. But now with the success of Reebok, he’s my cousin.”

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