Ethan Ruby is the president and CEO of Theraplant, a company which produces and processes legal medical marijuana in Connecticut, and is president of the Connecticut Medical Cannabis Council. He has become a notable figure in debates over medical marijuana in part because, after a traffic accident left him a paraplegic, he testifies to personally experiencing the benefits of cannabis for control of severe pain.
Ruby was a star baseball player at Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, and played college baseball at Brandeis University and the University of Pennsylvania, where he played left field briefly with future major leaguer Mark DeRosa on the 1995-96 Ivy League championship team. He graduated from Penn in 1997 with a degree in psychology.
On November 29, 2000, while crossing a street in New York City, Ruby was struck by a driver who ran a red light and hit another car which then struck him, severing a vertebra and leaving him with no movement below his middle chest and persistent pain in his legs. Ruby subsequently sued Budget Rent a Car with a jury awarding him $24,552,918, finding that the rental car company was liable under New York’s “vicarious liability” law, which stated that a rental car or leasing agency could be held responsible for a driver’s negligence. The two sides settled for $20,312,692 in 2005. The case ultimately had legal repercussions, as it was often cited during debate over the constitutionality of vicarious liability laws.
Seeking to use cannabis medically to treat the pain in his body, Ruby moved in 2012 to Colorado, which had legalized the medical use of marijuana in 2000. He soon founded Theraplant to pursue a license to run a production facility in Connecticut after that state legalized the medicine in 2012.  In September 2014, Theraplant became the first company in Connecticut to produce medical marijuana. It is currently operating in Watertown, Connecticut, as one of four state-licensed dispensaries.  Ruby has said he is currently pursuing licenses to operate similar production facilities in other states, including Illinois and Minnesota.
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