Q&A with the Founder of Ardent Cannabis Shanel Lindsay
Beyond the high-profile trends, policies, bills and products that dominate the cannabis industry’s public image sit individuals that make the action happen.
Shanel Lindsay is the founder and President of Ardent Cannabis, a Boston-based company known for the Nova, a patented decarboxylator for patients to properly and accurately dose their medicine. A businesswoman who originally began her professional life as an attorney, Lindsay also serves on Massachusetts’ Cannabis Advisory Board and advocates for equity in its permit granting processes.
Green Rush Daily: When did you realize that this industry was a path for you?
Shanay Lindsay: When I started turning cannabis into a medicine, back in 2001, I didn’t think this would be a business anytime soon. I always loved the plant and had been trying to reduce the stigma around it, and since that time—I was becoming a lawyer and there was all this negativity around cannabis and cannabis use, and that was very frustrating to me. As legalization started to come, first it was decriminalization, and I realized that it wasn’t cutting it.
With people still being heavily penalized – me included – I started thinking, “Okay, what’s really happening here?” I was more hopeful when medical marijuana passed, and that’s when I got access to a laboratory. At that point, once I tested my medicine and saw it, realized that this was the best a person could do at home and it was still so lacking, that was when I saw there was an opportunity to really make a difference and build a business.
It’s a unique and different business, focused on educating the person and providing them to tools with which to use this plant. We’re in our own lane, in a lot of different ways.
Green Rush Daily: Why did you choose the path of creating the Nova decarboxylator and engaging with the industry in that way, as opposed to becoming a grower or starting a dispensary?
I’d grown before, and growing is fantastic, but I’m not a farmer by trade. But what I’d done for over a decade is take products, manipulate them and make different end products… I’d gone through the whole process being completely confused about what to do , developing a methodology and seeing how people I knew could start using it.
I started out as a young adult, just smoking like a large segment of people, then moved to being a young mom who needed to use it for a health condition. I went through my 20s trying to figure out how this played into my health and family life.
I think I have the viewpoint and understanding of where a lot of people in the industry are coming from when they’re starting to use cannabis. Translating that into technology that makes people’s lives better looked like a natural fit..
Green Rush Daily: On a personal level, what’re some of your favorite cannabis products?
I use different forms for different things. For the daily work and focus, I’m leaning towards sativas with a citrus-type terpene profile. It’s uplifting and helps me build my business. It’s very personality based when it comes to emotional focus and products you’re using for that.
When I need to treat my ovarian cyst or am dealing with pain, I lean towards indicas, and creating products and topicals and that kind of thing with a smattering of CBD in there. CBD is fantastic, but it’s nowhere near as powerful as it could be when it’s not paired with THC. People using just CBD notice a flatlining, but you’ll notice an increased impact from your dose when there’s pairing.
I also think people should be focused on solvent-less concentrates, and I’m excited about things like rosin and products that don’t involve any chemical solvent when making them. Ending up with a clean product is really important for patients.