Veriheal Co-Founder Joshua Green Is Encouraging Minority-Owned Businesses in The Cannabis Industry To Be More Innovative
“Dedicate yourself to a core set of values. Without them, you will never be able to find personal fulfillment, and you will never be able to lead effectively,” Kenneth I. Chesnault, the former CEO of American Express Co. once said. This same thought process can be seen in the way that Veriheal, a healthcare technology company focused on providing personalized cannabis education and wellness to everyone around the world, has chosen to take up space in the Medical Marijuana industry. Confidence, knowledge, and innovation are at the heart of Veriheal’s mission, and the company’s co-founder, Joshua Green, is certain that they are setting the tone for more minority-owned start-ups to truly lead the cannabis industry.
At the time of Veriheal’s founding in 2017, Green and his co-founder Samuel Adetunji were looking for ways to combine cannabis and tech, while also creating an offering that was really innovative and engaging.
“I was passionate about starting a technology company at the time, and I was living in Washington D.C. when things started to take shape. I was a cannabis enthusiast and so was my partner Sam. D.C. was getting ready to legalize cannabis, and we wanted to create something that could use technology and cannabis and be dope, so we started our first company together in 2015 and haven’t looked back since.” said Green.
“[Veriheal] is a leader in information and content for the medical cannabis industry,” shared Green with SKUNK. “From the start until now, [Veriheal has] grown tremendously in our confidence in cannabis as the next frontier in medicine. Every day, I hear more and more stories from our customers about how cannabis has truly aided them in their battle with diseases and that strengthens my resolve and impression of cannabis on a daily basis.”
Minority-owned businesses operating in the cannabis space often face multiple barriers to entry because of the damage the War on Drugs continues to cause to communities of color. Only 4% of cannabis businesses are owned by Black American, so dominating the cannabis space requires a certain set of knowledge and skills, which a lot of minority-owned start-ups lack. Green believes that in order for more minorities to succeed in this space they first must look to their communities for guidance, then study the needs of the industry, and lastly aim towards innovation.
“From the legal side, the industry has a bit of a canniness undertone when legislation comes down the pipeline for cannabis based businesses. So we make sure everyday that we are positioning ourselves to be innovate to the point that we ascend above potential setbacks that could arise from the judicial faculties of the states we operate in. Our knowledge of the telemedicine field supersedes just cannabis ancillary, but in general has influenced our work to the point that we’ve become a major player in the health industry en masse,” said Green.
As of July 31st, Veriheal closed submissions for their Innovation in Cannabis Scholarship Program. Green and his team believe that the only way to truly elevate the cannabis industry is through constantly learning to innovate in difficult environments like the U.S. market, so they set out to help university students in need by offering them $1,000 scholarships.
“We hope this injection of capital and support will relinquish an exquisite student in the future and hopefully they come work for Veriheal, or go on to do great things in the industry in the future,” noted Green.
What’s even more beautiful about Veriheal’s scholarship program is that it is encouraging students that look like Green and Adetunji to be creative and find unique ways to benefit from the cannabis industry. It is “forward thinking marketing strategies [like this] that help destroy the negative stigmas on cannabis, and normalize the use of the plant,” Green also added.
The work that the “hyper-creative” Green is doing with Veriheal is impressive, and they truly are reminding us that having a clear goal is the way that more minority-owned businesses will succeed.
“The founders and owners of Veriheal are young, successful People of Color, so integrating [our] point of view and business savvy has been a huge driver of our company culture. Veriheal is constantly pushing out content that is meaningful, scientific, and culturally germane to today’s society,” said Green.
Lyneisha Watson is a Cannabis Journalist focused on understanding the people who use the cannabis plant.