Victor Guadagnino Jr.
Company: Keystone Canna Remedies
Title: Chief business development officer
Catching a glimpse of the television as Dr. Rachel Levine was confirmed as the U.S. assistant secretary of health provoked a feeling of nostalgia for Victor Guadagnino Jr.
Just three years earlier, Levine, then the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, had presided over the grand opening of Keystone Canna Remedies, the first medical marijuana dispensary to open in the state.
“We only had 30 products on our shelf when we first started and it was all Cresco,” remembers Guadagnino, the company’s co-founder and chief business development officer.
Expansion and consolidation have changed the Pennsylvania landscape, but KCR remains one of the few independently owned and operated retail chains in the state.
“We went cash-flow positive in our first year of operation, and we’ve doubled in sales every year since,” he says. “We started with maybe 60 patients, and we’re currently seeing about 20,000 patients, so the growth has been staggering.”
The award-winning company opened its third dispensary “at the height of the pandemic,” he says. “You have to be adaptive. You have to be agile. And you can’t get too caught up in the same habits.”
KCR remains committed first and foremost to patients and empowering them to understand their health care options. But Guadagnino is also a passionate advocate for social equity and looking at better ways to help those affected by the War on Drugs.
“I think a lot of the programs in certain states are missing the mark on the social equity. They don’t really generate wealth in the communities that need to generate wealth,” he says. “We want to make sure we’re doing it in a functional and effective way that is actually going to generate long-term wealth in these minority communities.”