In addition to being the interim CEO and board of director for Nevada Organic Remedies, parent company to The+Source medical dispensary, Las Vegas native Andrew Jolley is currently serving as president of the Nevada Dispensary Association. Jolley brings a depth of business knowledge to the cannabis space that he has garnered as CEO and owner of EquiSource, a real estate investment firm, and as a partner at CapSource, a private commercial real estate lender. Read on to find out his plans for the cannabis industry in 2017.

I wanted to be part of what I see as a massive change in our state and in our country about how we view cannabis.

Patience — nothing happens quickly in real estate. It’s a matter of expectations. With the medical marijuana program everybody expected us to go from a few thousand patients to 60,000 patients in a matter of months, in reality it’s going to take a few years to get there. Plus, we probably had unrealistic expectations about how quickly our regulators would get up to speed on the learning curve and so we have had some issues we have had to sort out with our regulators and our elected officials about how to run this program. But, overall, I think everyone has done a good job up until this point.

It’s really twofold, first is to help usher in adult-use sales in a responsible way and second is to strengthen the medical program.

My goals are to reduce the cost and headache for medical patients and to help dispensary owners build solid companies. We want to reduce both the cost of the patient card and potentially the cost of the product by reducing taxes.

Common sense. This issue can be very divisive and very emotional for some people but when you step back and look at the facts and the history of the war on drugs and how marijuana has been unfairly lumped in with a lot of every bad substances, the vast majority of Americans agree that we have treated this natural plant horribly unfairly and that it’s time for a change. Nationally, 57 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana should be legalized and almost 80 percent agree with legalizing medical marijuana so we are seeing a massive change in public perception and we saw that play out here in Nevada in November.

If I have learned anything in the past couple of years, it’s that I shouldn’t try to predict what a Trump administration will or can do. But I truly believe the industry will continue to grow and flourish, although there is a lot of uncertainty around Attorney General Sessions. I don’t see a scenario where he would want to pick a fight with 57 to 80 percent of Americans and dozens of states who have legalized medical and eight states who have legalized adult-use. So my hope is that he takes a pragmatic approach and finds a way to continue President Obama’s strategy of deprioritizing cannabis from a law enforcement standpoint.

My biggest goal is to help the industry continue to grow and develop in a way that benefits the community. That means giving back to the community, creating jobs for the community, paying taxes, and, in some cases, changing peoples’ perceptions of marijuana. The best way to accomplish all of those goals is to run clean and successful businesses here in our state.

That all of the things I was told growing up about cannabis, with very few exceptions, were absolutely wrong. Cannabis is not a gateway drug, it doesn’t cause lung cancer, it doesn’t have high rates of addiction, but instead it has so many potential health benefits that we are just now understanding from a scientific standpoint.