Canadian cannabis entrepreneur Stephanie Karasick is the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Strainprint. Her mission is to help patients use cannabis more effectively. The Strainprint app allows patients to identify which strains, methods, and doses work best for their needs. The idea for Strainprint came to Stephanie after her first few months of using medical cannabis. She noticed how little information and scientific validation there was on various treatments. Stephanie realized patients needed another option. So she teamed up with entrepreneurs David Berg, Andrew Muroff, Alexander Repetski, and Evan Karasick along with medical advisors Dr. HJ Raza, Dr. Sana-Ara Ahmed, and Dr. Lyle Oberg to create a reliable resource for cannabis patients. With Strainprint, patients can easily track their cannabis intake. In fact, within a few sessions, patients are able to see what's working best for them. An analysis of real-time cannabis consumption data ranks specific strain efficacy against conditions and related symptoms. Strainprint also works with commercial producers and clinics to provide advanced intelligence to optimize grow operations and advance treatment recommendations. The Strainprint mobile App is free for patients and is available for both iOS & Android.
What inspired you to enter the cannabis industry?
Necessity. I founded the Strainprint app out of my own personal experience with using medical cannabis to treat my PTSD. I was confused with the hundreds of strains of medical cannabis to choose from and lack of guidance. I started writing extensive notes and learning as much as I could about how my body interacts with cannabis, and by that point, there was no going back.
Tell us more about your launching your business
It was never something I thought of as a business initially. I set out to build an app that would help patients like myself learn how to medicate most effectively, and create some accountability with my doctor so he could see what I was using.
How has cannabis influenced your life?
Cannabis transformed my life. It gave me the ability to put dark, pervasive thoughts on hold and enjoy life in a way I had never been able to before. It made me feel passion and gave me purpose, very unexpectedly!
What have been your biggest hurdles operating in the cannabis industry so far?
We've encountered people, business types, who feel threatened by what we're doing. That upsets me greatly because we're genuinely trying to help people. I care. The people that are the most threatened, don't seem to care and aren't patients. That's a sad reality.
How have you been able to overcome these challenges?
With the help of some great partners! They keep me in check when I feel overwhelmed. We're creating something I believe is very needed and the bumps along the way are part of the journey.
Name the top 3 skills every cannabis entrepreneur needs
Persistence, patience, and flexibility!
Any tips for maintaining a work/life balance?
Honestly, I haven't quite figured that out yet. It really is a 7 day/week job, and my brain never stops thinking about ways to improve our product. That said, I make sure to take long walks with my dog every day and that helps me think and stay grounded.
What are your favorite resources/tools for your business and why?
I love learning from the various Facebook Groups (other patients), and I read a lot of articles pertaining to the science and business of cannabis.
If you could offer an aspiring cannabis entrepreneur one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be patient and be nimble. Cannabis is a quickly evolving industry, and a lot of people are trying to find their place in it. You have to stick to your beliefs and make changes accordingly to move with the industry.