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Quantum 9’s cannabis consulting internship program is everything and more that I could ask for.

Sharing laughs with cannabis industry icons, including an ex-NFL cheerleader turned entrepreneur, and collaborating with a team of C-suite execs on a mission to start another business.

Last week, I got to experience this during my first consulting project with Quantum 9, an international hemp and cannabis consulting firm. We came together as a team to aid entrepreneurs and investors in applying for cannabis business licenses in Maryland.

Michael Mayes, CEO of Quantum 9, headed the project like an expert.

Witnessing Michael effortlessly lead his award-winning team of Maryland cannabis consultants and clients through the business license application process was inspiring.

Quantum 9’s Cannabis Consulting Internship – What does an intern do?

As an intern, I did work that a full-time cannabis consultant would do. As a team, we did whatever it took to submit a competitive cannabis license application.

Michael Mayes and the team at Quantum 9 trusted me with work that I took pride in doing.

For example, I developed business plans, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and narratives that were included in actual cannabis license applications.

Additionally, I experienced working directly with C-suite executives of cannabis companies. I also got to serve as the direct point of contact when arranging business with third-party vendors.

Overall, there was not a single moment where I felt like “just an intern.”

Each day I worked on real cases and engaged actual clients. Moreover, I always felt that everyone in the company valued my opinion.

Most importantly, Michael Mayes has been extremely generous with his time. He is always more than willing to discuss any curiosities that I have.

He continues to empower me with the lessons and tools that brought him success.

With just a few weeks in, the Quantum 9 cannabis consulting internship has been the most rewarding professional experience I’ve had.

Before Quantum 9, I was a scientist.

Prior to this internship, I received an M.S. degree at the University of Illinois. My research focused on natural product chemistry and drug discovery.

I chose to explore consulting before entering an MBA program next Fall at Indiana University.

Quantum 9’s cannabis consulting internship has been the perfect platform for using my background in natural products while also developing business skills and an understanding of the cannabis industry.

I love showing up to work every day, knowing that we are helping people gain legal access to cannabis around the world.

All in all, my first cannabis consulting project was impactful.

I learned about Quantum 9’s culture, starting a business, and the industry as a whole.

Thanks to the Quantum 9 cannabis consulting internship, I feel confident to enter an MBA program at Indiana University this Fall, where I’ll put the skills that I’ve gained to the test.

This article was originally written in June of 2019. Since then, Julio went on to work as a full-time consultant for Quantum 9. 

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Julio C. Soriagalvarro, MS, MBA

About Julio C. Soriagalvarro, MS, MBA

Julio is a natural product chemist turned consultant who combines expertise in the life sciences and business to provide consulting services across the cannabis industry. He specializes in helping entrepreneurs win licenses to start cannabis businesses in both medical and adult-use markets. As part of Quantum 9, they've helped clients obtain licenses and become cannabis business owners in 27 US States and 6 countries. He received an MBA from Indiana University, focusing on finance, marketing, and entrepreneurship; a M.S. in Natural Product Chemistry and Drug Discovery from the University of Illinois; and a B.S. in Biology from James Madison University.

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