Women are setting the cannabis industry apart from typical business in the U.S. because they refuse to let this sector be dominated by men. In 2016, women made up 36% of executives in the legal cannabis industry. This number may not seem high at first, but it is impressive compared to the 22% of female executives in other industries. As the cannabis sector grows, women are blazing trails (literally and figuratively) to create an industry balanced between men and women. Artisan product lines, policy and legislative reform, lab research and clinical trials, and professional networking are just a few of the areas in this expanding trade where women have made their mark. Read below to see what some amazing women have been curating.
Jane West: Co-founder of Women Grow, the largest professional network in the cannabis business, Jane embraced the cannabis industry after being fired from her position at CNBC. Not only did she create a massive organization that empowers women in all stages of cannabis entrepreneurship, she also has her own lifestyle brand, aptly named Jane West. On her website www.janewest.com, consumers can purchase quality cannabis accessories as well as view how-to videos on using the products themselves.
Jazmin Hupp: The other co-founder of Women Grow, Jazmin Hupp has been described as a “genius entrepreneur” and delivers powerfully inspiring speeches to the attendees at the leadership conferences her company holds. Jazmin was previously a media director for a company that helps women start high-growth businesses, so the transition to female-centric cannabis business was natural. Look for a Women Grow meeting near you, held the first week of every month across the nation.
Amy Poinsett: In 2010, Amy and a co-founder created MJ Freeway, one of the leading cannabis software systems. Programs such as MJ Freeway allow for transparency and accountability in the cannabis sector, helping businesses prove credibility in the face of obstacles such as not having access to banking.
Suzanne Sisley: Sue is a psychiatrist and was previously a clinical professor at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. She is best known for her research on the medicinal uses of cannabis. In 2014, she was awarded an $8 million grant funded by Colorado taxes to research the effects of cannabis on PTSD. This research project was approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which is a difficult task, and will provide some much needed clinical evidence on the therapeutic uses of cannabis.
Ah Warner: The CEO and founder of Cannabis Basics, a topicals company based in Washington state, Ah has cultivated a business that truly stands out. The company is staffed entirely by women and was awarded one of the first trademarked logo registrations for a cannabis product company. This is especially impressive given the company includes the word “cannabis” in the name, something that could lower the chance of approval.
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins: With a doctorate in naturopathy, Dr. Jenkins combines traditional and holistic medicines with cannabis for a wellness experience of the mind and body. Dr. Jenkins is also a founding board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association.
Amanda Reiman: Amanda is the manager of marijuana law and policy at the Drug Policy Alliance, an organization that promotes drug policies based in science and human rights. Amanda is organizing research to support cannabis at a substitute for opioid use. With the growing nationwide opioid epidemic, research projects such as this are crucial.