Nicole Smith wants the world to rethink hemp.
As chief executive of Mary’s Medicinals, a Colorado-based company known for transdermal cannabis patches made from hemp, Smith is fighting an uphill battle — and winning. Legal weed is constantly in the spotlight, but hemp is quietly earning approval at the federal level. Last year, President Barack Obama signed the latest iteration of the farm bill, which included an amendment to put hemp on a different plane than its more psychoactive cousin. Almost overnight, the low-THC form of cannabis sativa was no longer a federally illegal drug.
What we did is take cannabis and introduce it to modern-day pharmacology with our patches and gels. These aren’t candies — they’re medicinal products that look and feel like medicinal products, and the dosing is reliable like a medicinal product. – Nicole Smith – CEO of Mary’s Medicinals
Smith’s company has grown rapidly since the law was signed, expanding beyond Colorado and Washington to medical dispensaries in Northern California. Its marquee product, transdermal cannabis patches, can be used to treat everything from epilepsy in grade-schoolers to Alzheimer’s in elderly patients. The most enticing perk: With minimal levels of THC, the products have no psychoactive effects. This is meant to be medicine, Smith says, pure and simple.
The Mary’s Medicinals transdermal patches at a local dispensary. The patches are made in Colorado under the Industrial Hemp Program, which allows for cannabis-based products that are federally legal due to low amounts of THC
Shortly before the launch of the company’s nutritional brand — a completely THC-free line of supplements that can be shipped anywhere in the country come this fall — Smith and company sales director Trevor Gallup spoke with the Summit Daily News to debunk myths about hemp and explain why the industry will continue to fight an uphill battle.