Bottom left: Tom Schultz (left) and Rino Ferrarese speak with a journalist about CTPharma’s FDA-approved clinical study. Bottom right: Schultz spoke at the 2019 Cannabis Conference on a panel with Ferrarese (middle) and John Billings (left), former head of cultivation at The Farm.
Conference photo by Jake Gravbrot; All other photos provided by CTPharma

Tom Schultz, CEO and co-founder of Connecticut-based medical cannabis producer CTPharma and longtime Cannabis Business Times columnist and speaker at Cannabis Conference, tragically passed away on Aug. 22 from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. He was 70 years old.

Schultz was on his weekly bicycle ride, traveling south on High Ridge Road in Pound Ridge, N.Y., when a 2014 Ford Econoline van traveling in the same direction struck him.

“We are heartbroken that Tom has been taken from us tragically and far too soon. He was a friend to all and will be greatly missed,” said Rino Ferrarese, CTPharma COO. “Tom was an inspirational leader who believed that the study of the medical benefits of marijuana and its compounds was truly in its infancy and that the potential to address a multitude of health issues was unlimited.”

In his CBT column, “Technically Speaking,” which he co-authored with Ferrarese, Schultz explored regulatory and standards issues in the cannabis industry, often taking a forward-looking approach in answering complex problems and offering guidance from his experience in the pharmaceutical and over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

Tom Schultz (right) and Rino Ferrarese on the cover of CBT’s December 2019 issue.

“Tom has been contributing, along with his friend and business partner, Rino Ferrarese, to Cannabis Business Times since April 2017, and his vision has helped guide the industry toward higher standards in professionalism, patient care and product quality and consistency,” said Noelle Skodzinski, editorial director for GIE Media’s cannabis group. “Tom was a brilliant thinker and businessperson, with a true and persevering passion for the medical potential of cannabis, as well as for the patients CTPharma has served over the years. He was also a dear friend to me and many of those on our team. We are all mourning his loss and thinking of his family and his extended family at CTPharma at this time.”

In addition to being CEO of CTPharma, which he had successfully guided to conduct FDA-approved cannabis studies, Schultz also was president of Connecticut’s medical cannabis producers’ association and was involved in many charities, including the one he founded, the Canaan Foundation, which works on technology transfer initiatives for schools in Kenya and Cameroon.

Prior to CTPharma, Schultz was a Wall Street lawyer and investment banker turned pharmaceutical executive. He started as a lawyer with Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon and, later, joined a boutique Wall Street investment banking firm that was acquired by National Westminster Bank.

In 1996, Tom completed a merger of the major producers of witch hazel and assumed the leadership of Dickinson Brands, Inc., the resulting firm. Dickinson markets OTC pharmaceutical products and consumer packaged goods to major retailers across the United States.

“Tom was a leader who served as an example to all of us. His work and knowledge of the cannabis industry will be remembered and missed.” – Michael Fedele

A whip-smart man with a sharp wit, Schultz was a graduate of Yale University, the NYU School of Law, and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton.

He is survived by his three children, seven grandchildren, “and a community that will forever miss his guidance,” Ferrarese added.

“Tom Schultz helped make CTPharma a leader in the bio-science component of our industry and as we will discover the full medical potential of marijuana, we will remember that Tom Schultz was on the leading edge of that discovery,” said Michael Fedele, chairman of the CTPharma board. “Tom was a leader who served as an example to all of us. His work and knowledge of the cannabis industry will be remembered and missed.”

Brian MacIver is senior editor for Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary magazines.