Growing a Business In a Controversial Market

 Growing a Business In a Controversial and Regulated Market How can you focus on your long-term vision when the laws regulating your product are ever-changing? Shanel Lindsay shares her experience growing a business in the cannabis industry.


You’re creating a product or service in an industry that’s tightly regulated. How do you strategize about your company’s growth in the face of new and changing laws? I’m Shanel Lindsay and the president and founder of Ardent. We created a decarboxylation device that helps cannabis patients activate their medicine and make any cannabis product for a fraction of the price.

Remain Compliant with Laws and Regulations

Obviously, we’re in a very regulated market and when you’re looking at creating a product or growing your business in an industry that’s highly regulated, you have to make sure that you’re being compliant at all times with the different laws. That may mean that you can’t sell your product in different places until those laws and regulations have changed and updated to allow for your service or product to exist.

Take a Role in Advocacy

When we first started selling, our product when limited only to people who had medical cannabis recommendations from their doctor in compliance with medical cannabis programs. As we’ve seen in the past few years, however, there’s been a huge shift in legislation surrounding cannabis with many states making cannabis legal for adults over twenty-one. While we were strategizing about our product, we were following the laws but also looking forward to the various opportunities that would exist in the future. This is why it’s important to make sure that you’re always keeping up with all of the different regulations that are pending.

You should also make sure that you as a business owner are supporting regulations that will help your business grow, especially if you are providing a service that can help improve people’s lives. It is very important to take a role in advocacy efforts when it comes to changing the stigma around your product. Eventually, that will help you as a businessperson as well.

About Shanel Lindsay

Shanel A. Lindsay is an attorney, entrepreneur, and cannabis advocate. She is the founder and president of Ardent, LLC, a Boston-based biotech company created to provide safe, effective, and convenient products within the cannabis industry. As a drafter of Question 4, Massachusetts’ adult use cannabis law, founding member and co-chair of the Northeast Cannabis Coalition, Massachusetts Patients Advocacy Alliance Patient Advisory Board member, and well-known advocate for cannabis legalization on the east coast and beyond, Shanel is dedicated to improving public understanding of cannabis’ benefits.

Shanel graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern University School of Law and began her career as a judicial law clerk for the Massachusetts Superior Court. She then joined the Boston law firm of Sugarman, Rogers, Barshak & Cohen, serving as a civil litigator for Fortune 500 companies before becoming Employment Counsel and Director of Human Resources for the Massachusetts State Lottery Commission. For over 15 years, Shanel has used cannabis medicinally as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. Alongside her professional pursuits, she gained first-hand expertise with various methods of extracting, preparing, and applying cannabis compounds. She leveraged her experience as a patient, business professional, lawyer, and advocate to develop Ardent, LLC. Through her company and continued advocacy, Shanel remains deeply committed to promoting cannabis education in Massachusetts and beyond and is excited to join the faculty of Northeastern Institute of Cannabis.