For physician, cancer battle inspired cannabis company

Boston Globe:

For physician, cancer battle inspired cannabis company

Excerpts: “But the road to winning her fight against breast cancer would be arduous: Munkacy had six surgeries, including a double mastectomy, and 28 radiation treatments. The radiation and four months of chemotherapy left her with temporary bone marrow and liver failure. Waves of nausea interrupted her sleep.

‘God, if you allow me to be cured, someday, I’m going to work to make this legally available to people,’ ” she recalled thinking at the time. “ ‘It’s ridiculous I have to suffer like this, because my only other choice is to break the law.’ ”

In remission since 2005, Munkacy, now 61, has become a strong proponent for marijuana legalization. Her company, founded in 2013, has seen rapid growth in the Massachusetts marijuana industry since she opened her first medical dispensary in Newton in 2016.

Munkacy said she was able to raise more than $30 million, but only if she brought her Wharton-educated husband with her to meet investors.

And that tax revenue can add up. In Newton, for example, a “very rough” estimate of potential revenue from Garden Remedies — assuming sales from both medical and recreational marijuana — is $700,000 annually, a city spokeswoman said.

Munkacy is not done yet. After learning how to build a company, she launched the Catalyst Mentoring Program earlier in the fall to teach other entrepreneurs the skills they need to join the marijuana industry.

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