As more states legalize cannabis, Samuel Adetunji wants to make sure patients get connected to the best cannabis physicians possible, so he created a platform that does just that.
Adetunji is the co-founder and co-CEO of Veriheal, a platform that connects prospective patients who are seeking a better quality of life through cannabis with state-certified medical marijuana doctors online to provide customized medical recommendations.
Adetunji and his business partner, Joshua Green, delivered cannabis paraphernalia to customers when they noticed a more significant gap in the market.
“My business partner and I did some research and tried getting cannabis cards ourselves and found out how hard it was to get access to dispensaries,” Adetunji told AfroTech. “It was even hard to find out if doctors worked in the industry or wrote recommendations for patients. We figured our business idea could be scaled throughout the nation.”
Founded in 2017, Adetunji said he “launched the company out of finding opportunity,” especially within the Black community. Veriheal’s web-based platform allows users to search for cannabis physicians by state, who then set appointments with patients to give cannabis recommendations and issue medical marijuana cards. The platform also connects users with nearby dispensaries and provides cannabis education and wellness practices.
Adetunji has been an entrepreneur for quite some time now, first getting his start by cutting lawns, shoveling snow, and helping his neighbors with small tasks as a young teen. He grew a love for entrepreneurship and its ability to help him learn from and lean on others, which has helped him to also grow Veriheal. The company’s team has 150 employees, with a lot of them working from overseas, Adetunji shared. The team mainly consists of doctors and customer service representatives.
“Growing our team was actually pretty easy,” Adentunji revealed. “We found people internally, got recommendations from others, and we still make sure that the employees we are hiring understand the vision. When you get people who believe in what you’re trying to do, it makes it easier.”
Veriheal has a built-in telemedicine platform that allows patients and users to speak to cannabis physicians virtually. The company’s platform is accessible in any state that has a medical marijuana program.
“We take care of the whole process for patients from start to finish,” Adetunji said. “I like to say it’s the uber of medical cannabis cards because we make everything easy for patients.”
As a minority founder, Adetunji said his challenges are the same as any other minority founder working in the cannabis industry. He said it’s been hard getting banking, financial support, and securing investors. Veriheal is bootstrapped, and the company’s founders have decided to keep it that way for apparent reasons.
“In the beginning, people didn’t really believe in what we were doing. Investors don’t understand that a lot of minorities have been locked up because of this industry,” Adetunji said. “My business partner and I sold our houses, worked other jobs for the first two years, and invested every single dollar into this. The fruits of our labor are paying off.”
Persistence and believing in what Veriheal has become is what keeps Adetunji motivated past the challenges. Even without venture capital, the company has seen a 1000% increase in revenue since its inception five years ago. Adetunji said Veriheal brings in over seven figures a month. This has been surprising to him as a Black founder working in an industry that oppresses the Black community in some areas.
In 2021, Adetunji is focusing on taking Veriheal overseas to hit international markets. The company also wants to partner with big cannabis companies to create products for patients and break into new markets.
One of the most rewarding moments of growing Veriheal for Adetunji is being able to give back. The company awards scholarships to individuals looking to break into the cannabis industry.
“Talking to these students and them being like ‘hey, we never thought that there would be a day where a cannabis company was paying for my schooling,’” Adetunji said. “That has been really joyful.”