What is innovation to you?

Welcome to BLK Innovators. A platform for conversations with the most innovative minds in the black community!

Shanel Lindsay, CEO, Founder, Ardent

Shanel Lindsay, CEO, Founder, Ardent

Nelson: Do you see more patients making their own medications in the future with devices like the NOVA?

Lindsay: Yes, people have been using their own cannabis remedies as medicines for a long time but they haven’t had the training to do it well enough to have medical certainty. So we are breaking down the barriers and providing a device that allows patients to break cannabis down into a form that's very medically and clinically reliable.  I think that opens up a whole new world to patients that would not otherwise use cannabis because they are skeptical about what's in it or they wouldn't know the proper methods to prepare it for medicinal purposes. If you're able to break it down into a not only a procedure that's easy to follow but also something that gives a quantifiable result then it's a win win for the patient. It's something that they can have control over in their own home but it also meets the standard that modern medicine would expect.

Terrence Nelson: Do you feel the marijuana industry is getting the credit it deserves for all the innovation that it’s bringing to the country right now?

Shanel Lindsay: No, I think we still have a stigma surrounding cannabis so that impedes the lens that people look through when they are looking at our progress. But I do think that with more and more research coming out about the medical benefits of cannabis especially for illnesses that are impacting the black community such as diabetes and heart disease. You're starting to see people take a new look and be more interested in what's going on with the advances in the industry, especially when those advances involve making cannabis more accessible or making it more understood. Then I think you are going to see a lot more reception to the scientific side of the cannabis industry.

Nelson: WIth innovations in the marijuana industry in regards to medicinal use have you found resistance from doctors and the pharmaceutical companies? If so, how do you overcome that?

Lindsay: There is an overall resistance from some doctors and pharmaceutical companies to medical cannabis.  It stems from two different things, for pharmaceutical companies they obviously are concerned about their own profits and the ability of cannabis to be used in replacement of a lot of pharmaceuticals. There is definitely an uphill battle to get them to accept cannabis, I think they see and understand the benefits and that's why they're against it. When it comes to doctors for the most part, doctors want to help their patients, what keeps doctors skeptical is the inability to accurately dose. With an innovation like the NOVA, that's the question that we answer and we strive to be that gap between the natural plant and the pharmaceutical.

Nelson: What major issue in the marijuana industry do you see the next big innovation in marijuana stemming from?

Lindsay: Innovation in testing I think that's going to be incredibly important. What we're doing in dosing, different methods of growing and innovations in hemp. Talking about the places where innovations are ignored, the ability to create any and all resources we need when it comes to building materials and different fuels. Hemp I also believe will be the next big disruptive industry in addition to the cannabis industry.

Nelson: What does innovation mean to you?

Lindsay: Innovation means challenging the status quo and not being complacent with doing things the same way just because they've always been done that way and being able to envision something better or easier or something more complete.

Terrence Nelson is a content producer and editor-in-chief of BLK Innovators.  

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Frederick Hutson, Co-Founder, CEO, Pigeonly

Frederick Hutson, Co-Founder, CEO, Pigeonly

Everette Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, SKURT

Everette Taylor, Chief Marketing Officer, SKURT