As a medical cannabis patient and caregiver, Aaron “Roy” Scalia understands the power cannabis has to benefit those who are suffering.
After sustaining a brain injury in a motorcycle accident in 2002, Scalia turned to medical cannabis during his recovery, and in 2015, he founded AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives as a licensed medical caregiver to serve patients in central Maine.
“Through the use of CBD and THC, I’ve been able to really cope with everything that I’ve been faced with and because of that, I’m able to help others,” Scalia tells Cannabis Business Times. “People can relate because they may have had an accident or they’ve been through trauma in their lives, [and] we can share our stories. … I can talk about things that helped me and a lot of times, it helps them.”
When Maine voters legalized adult-use cannabis in 2016, Scalia saw it as an opportunity to expand his reach beyond the state’s registered patient base.
“We’ve been servicing people in the medical marijuana care industry for the past five years, and it’s been great,” he says. “With the new market getting ready to explode in Maine, we want to be able to offer our products to everybody, not just the people who have medical marijuana cards.”
When the Office of Marijuana Policy (OMP) issued its first round of conditional adult-use cannabis licenses last month, Scalia realized this goal—AAA Pharmaceutical Alternatives secured vertically integrated licenses for cultivation, product manufacturing and retail.
“We got three of the 31 [licenses] that were given out,” Scalia says. “We do everything in house. We don’t outsource for anything, which I think is great because we have total control over everything that’s going out and that we put our name on.”
Scalia attributes much of his company’s success to lessons he’s learned from