Article originally appeared in Forbes titled “The Weed Business Grows Up With Massachusetts-Based MariMed” by Daniel D’Ambrosio 

The pot growing business is getting more mainstream every day, and nowhere is that more evident than at MariMed, Inc., the Newton, Massachuetts company that aims to be a “nationally recognized integrated business solutions provider for the highly regulated legal cannabis industry.”

CEO Robert Fireman says MariMed, founded in 2015, is one of the top five multi-state cannabis professional organizations in the country. The company’s stock trades on the over-the-counter market and has a market capitalization of nearly $565 million, as of July 23, 2018.

Fireman, a serial entrepreneur who pioneered private label credit cards with the Sierra Club, got into cannabis almost by accident. He had started an urban agriculture business about a dozen years ago, and was growing lettuce on the roof of the Moscone Center garage in San Francisco when he learned the city didn’t have the authority to lease him the space.

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“That’s how I got into pot,” Fireman said. “When I couldn’t do a deal in San Francisco, my team out there said, ‘Mr. Fireman we’ve been dabbling in the wild west of cannabis in California.’”

Today, MariMed is developing and managing pot growing facilities around the country, working with Tikun Olam USA, the American branch of an Israeli company that calls itself “the most trusted name in Cannabis.” Israeli chemist Raphael Mechoulam pioneered research into medical marijuana some 40 years ago.

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