Cannabis industry pioneer and co-founder of Cresco Labs Joe Caltabiano in August donated $250,000 to Gateway for Cancer Research, a nonprofit organization dedicated to funding transformational early-phase cancer research.
A survivor of childhood cancer, Caltabiano was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, when he was just 7 years old. He has cited the diagnosis as being one of the most profound moments of his life, as well as a motivating factor for his work in the cannabis industry. Caltabiano has made finding a cure for cancer one of his life’s goals and has been a member of the Gateway board since 2016.
“Despite the challenges of my treatment and recovery, I actually view my childhood leukemia journey as one of the best things that ever happened to me because it gave me a unique perspective that helps guide my attitude to this day. It is hard to have a bad day once you have survived cancer,” Caltabiano said in a press release. “I want more kids going through cancer treatment to have the opportunity to feel this same way. Recovering from leukemia is really tough, especially when you are a child. The Gateway Concierge program provides such an incredible opportunity to make a real difference.”
Founded in 1991, Gateway is one of the only nonprofits solely dedicated to funding Phase I and II clinical trials for cancers of all types.
“As a childhood cancer survivor, I chose to invest in Gateway because of its targeted mission to fund early phase research, which is where cancer breakthroughs happen,” Caltabiano said.
Caltabiano’s gift will provide a grant to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to support the Pediatric Acute Leukemia (PedAL) Master Clinical, an international collaboration to expedite the development of new targeted treatments for childhood leukemias. All patients enrolling in the PedAL trial will receive genetic sequencing and biomarker screening to identify the individual molecular drivers of their disease. Each patient will then be matched to a sub-trial of targeted therapy that is the best match for their unique genetic information.
In addition to his tenure at Cresco, during which it grew from a startup to a multi-state operator with annualized revenue of more than $250 million and operations spanning nine states, Caltabiano is also founder of JSC Fund where he seeks to uncover and advance opportunities within the cannabis market.
— Brian Beckley