Lindy Snider: Working to dispel the fear of marijuana

Lindy Snider, the daughter of late-Flyers owner Ed Snider, is forging her own entrepreneurial path in the burgeoning world of medical marijuana. 

In a video produced for Philly.com’s Lessons in Leadership, Snider spoke about her introduction to the cannabis industry, her father’s initial reaction to her involvement, overcoming stigma and dispelling people’s fear of marijuana.

Snider is co-founder and CEO of Snider Health LLC, which applied for permits to grow medical marijuana in Northeast Philadelphia and to sell it in dispensaries.

It’s been a rough start. Snider Health was not awarded one of the 12 first round permits on June 20 to grow cannabis, and came up short again on June 30 when the state announced the winners of 27 dispensing licenses. The company plans to apply again during the next round. Under the law, the Pa. Department of Health may issue a total of 25 growing permits and 50 dispensary permits.

A transcript follows. 

Lindy Snider: Cannabis is not a gateway to harder drugs, it’s a gateway out.

This plant can solve incredibly painful human problems. Over a 100 years ago it was a legal medicine in this country and people point to the politics and business interests that led to a well-designed campaign to criminalize it that it took forever to undo it and we’re still trying to undo it.

I was overwhelmed at the first conference I went to with how big this seemed to be with nobody really even knowing about it.

Of course, I generate flak — and I like it.

My dad was not particularly happy with my foray into cannabis initially… but that changed. Difficult dialogue.

It’s the most interesting and I think you have know many times when you’re talking to people who have a negative feeling towards this.  It came from something real. It came from stories they were told. It came from fear. My job is to dispel that fear. In states that have legalized cannabis they have seen a 20 to 25 percent drop in opioid deaths consistently.

You have growers. You have processors. You have dispensaries. You have companies creating financial solutions to bank this industry. Tech companies that monitor everything from where the seed goes from the day it’s put in the ground to the day it goes out to a consumer.

When people have access to cannabis, it’s a better choice. They use it and people don’t die from cannabis.

The most important way to promote this industry is to foster research and to be driving towards making medicines . When you create solutions for people on that level. that’s how you power a conversation. That’s how you power innovation and change.

For updated cannabis coverage visit Philly.com/cannabis