By Cannabis Insider NY Staff
July 18, 2022
As the founder of Blak Mar Farms and a former NFL player, Ruben Lindo has been involved in the legacy and legal cannabis space for 20 years. Lindo responded to eight simple questions for NY Cannabis Insider’s “People to know” series.
What is your position and what do you/your company do in the cannabis space?
I am the founder and CEO of Blak Mar Farms, a cannabis cultivation company, and Gridiron Enterprise Management, which is a consulting firm. We are mentoring and assisting individuals who are trying to enter the cannabis industry and acquire state licenses.
How long have you worked in the cannabis space?
I have been in the legal cannabis industry for seven years and I have worked for cannabis companies in the US and Canada prior to starting my own companies. I operated in the legacy world for 20 years. During that time, we worked in multiple locations helping growers and distributors on both the East and West Coasts.
What did you do before you were involved in the cannabis industry?
Before entering the cannabis industry, I worked in hi-tech and finance for several years. I have always had an entrepreneur’s spirit and started my own cigar company and coffee company, which I ran for a short time. I served a 14-month prison sentence for a bounced check prior to entering the cannabis industry, where I learned many lessons and took them to heart. I feel I have come full circle in a lot of ways.
What led you to the cannabis industry?
I got involved in the cannabis industry because I believed that the industry needed adults in the room. As a former athlete, I felt we needed to destigmatize the plant and help promote the benefits that it has to offer people.
Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into the NY weed industry?
My advice to anyone looking to get into the cannabis industry is to build a great team and braintrust. Figure out what it is that your team is good at and how you want to participate – pick your lane and then stay in it. Too many people try to cross lanes and that’s where they run into trouble.
What do you think the NY cannabis ecosystem will look like in five years?
Hopefully in five years the cannabis ecosystem will be nationally and globally accepted with the ability to export/import cannabis like a true commodity.
Do you use cannabis? If so, what’s your favorite method (flower, dabs, edibles, tinctures, etc.), and why?
I use cannabis flower and edibles as a medication to help me focus and reduce anxiety. As a former athlete, I suffer from injuries incurred while playing, and I find that cannabis helps me tremendously with the lasting effects that those injuries cause.
Who should contact you, and what’s the best method (i.e., email, phone number, LinkedIn handle, etc.)
If someone is looking for guidance getting into the cannabis industry, they can contact me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruben-lindo19/