Ones to Watch 2020: Nate Ruby
The inaugural Greenway Ones to Watch class were nominated by their peers as those will be some of the most responsible for setting the tone of Missouri’s newest industry. From activists to consultants to operators themselves, the following industry influencers are responsible for determining not only how the industry overcomes the obstacles of 2020, but how the industry will be better for it. The same questions were asked of all; submitted answers and related information edited for grammar and clarity.
NAME: Nate Ruby
COMPANY: From the Earth
OPERATING FROM: Kansas City
BACKGROUND: Law student at UMKC
I’ve been interested in the cannabis industry since the 8th grade. Like a lot of us, growing up I was fed a false narrative on cannabis through various forms of propaganda such as the D.A.R.E program. In the 8th grade, I luckily was caught by my parents attempting to sell cannabis to some high school kids. I was grounded for a long time. I essentially couldn’t do anything but study. This further propelled my interest in cannabis prompting me to research the industry. Not only did I discover that cannabis could be used as a medicine but was also used as a medium to drive mass incarceration. The latter discover has never sat right with me and it was one of the reasons I decided to attend law school. There are a lot of civil rights issues regarding cannabis that are often overlooked. I’m getting closer to position myself to bring light to cannabis civil rights issues, a subject I’m determined to help with. Moreover, together with my mother, we now get to sell the medicine that we love. The same plant I was grounded for and could’ve been arrested for.
What is your vision of the industry in Missouri?
Education, transparency, and research. Patients, government workers, law enforcement, doctors, etc, all need to be educated on the effects of cannabis. Just like my mother about 13 years ago, you don’t know what you aren’t educated on. I think you see this today more than ever. A lot of people will read a headline and form a biased conclusion without further research. You see the same false narrative being promoted by anti-cannabis propaganda, rather than scientific phraseology, to highlight cannabis as a dangerous drug, a schedule I substance as a matter of fact. We need to educate citizens of Missouri on the effects of cannabis with factual information and let them form their own opinion. We can’t do this without research and transparency. I would like to see some sort of legislation to implement research programs with universities and/or testing labs.
What opportunity/opportunities does the industry create in Missouri?
Beyond medicine, job creation, and tax revenue, I believe the Missouri industry can position itself to come together and work for unified causes, especially civil rights issues. This includes patients, advocates, caregivers, operators, law enforcement, and the government. At the end of the day this is about getting cannabis into the hands of people who need it and protecting those people. When I first stepped onto the cannabis scene in Missouri, I was welcomed with open arms throughout out the Missouri cannabis community. It was nothing but love for everyone and the plant with the goal of legalizing cannabis. Together, these voices can reach a broader audience as opposed to working in opposition. A great example of this is what just happened in Kansas City. We need to get other cities to accept cannabis as a norm, not as an excuse. There’s been a ton of activists who have guided the city of Kansas City on cannabis through education. While working as a cohesive whole (i.e. operators, patients, advocates, etc), through education, we can expand reform across jurisdictions to normalize cannabis.
What is one thing you wish all Missourians knew about cannabis?
Everyone should be able to formulate their own opinion on cannabis. It’s not for everyone. But for some people, it increases their quality of life. Especially if another pharmaceutical medication has not worked. So if its not for you, that’s fine. But please don’t judge people because they use cannabis. Everyone has a different reason for why they do or do not use cannabis. It’s time we start normalizing cannabis. Cannabis is here and it’s not going away anytime soon. As soon as people start accepting that, I believe the stigma surrounding cannabis will fade.