From farming to dispensaries, the marijuana industry has traditionally been dominated by men – but that’s rapidly changing. As the field develops and grows, there are more trailblazing women leading the cannabis industry than ever before.
Whether it’s changing stereotypes of cannabis users or changing policy for legalization, here are 11 powerful ladies who are paving the way to greatness in canna-business.
1. Casey Cooper
When her husband Brad, a collegiate athlete, was faced the crippling pain of ACL surgery, Botanika Life co-founder Casey Cooper knew they needed to find a natural solution to replace painkillers. Relief itself became their catalyst, and it rapidly became clear to the couple that all roads were pointing to CBD. Leaving behind a successful law career, Cooper focused her desire to help others by creating a lifestyle brand of top of the line products with mass appeal. “I wanted to create the kind of brand that my mom and I could buy together, use together, and share with our friends together,” says Cooper, “a series of effective healing products that destigmatize the medical benefits of CBD and are designed to elicit real healing and joy.”
2. Jane West
This native Coloradoan former corporate-event planner founded a cannabis lifestyle brand in 2014 and is also the founder of Women Grow the first professional women’s network for females working in the legal weed industry.
3. Ebony Costain
As far as women entrepreneurs making waves in the cannabis industry, Ebony Costain ranks high on the list. Seeing an opportunity on the tech side of the industry, she is the CEO and founder of BDTNDR, a training platform for dispensary staffers and other marijuana workers.
4. Toni Savage Fox
A long time crusader for the legalization of cannabis and a founding member of the National Cannabis Industry Association, Toni Savage Fox heads the 3D Cannabis Center, which made history as the first retail shop to make a legal sale of recreational cannabis during Colorado’s recreational opening.
5. Jessica VerSteeg
Former pageant queen-turned-marijuana-entrepreneur founded a cryptocurrency company, ParagonCoin (PRG), which registers everything from seed to sale, letting consumers, retailers and the government know where everything came from.
6. Valerie Corral
As the founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the nation’s oldest continuously operating medical cannabis collective, Corral also helped write and pass Proposition 215, California’s revolutionary medical marijuana law.
7. Jamie Perino
One of the top women entrepreneurs in cannabusiness, Jamie Perino is the owner of the Colorado-based dispensary Euflora, dubbed by some as the “Apple store of weed”.
And according to Perino, there’s only more to come as far as women leading the cannabis industry goes. “There is a serious opportunity for future growth,” she explains to Inc. “For women, that is a great thing. We have the opportunity to be drivers of an industry worth billions of dollars.”
8. Amy Poinsett
Among the trailblazing women in the cannabis industry is Amy Poinsett who co-founded MJ Freeway, a software company which provides tools for growing legal cannabis businesses and governments to regulate the industry.
9. Amanda Reiman
As California’s Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Amanda Reiman’s work has influenced major policy changes across the nation. Her career also includes numerous studies on cannabis, including the use of cannabis as a treatment for addiction.
10. Ophelia Chong
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it comes to changing the face of the marijuana movement, according to Ophelia Chong. The photographer founded Stock Pot Images, a company that specializes in providing imagery of the real users and communities of Cannabis, which aims to break down the stereotypes of the cannabis world.
11. Jessica Peters
A cannabis clinician focused on pediatric patients and women’s reproductive concerns, Jessica Peters heads Moxie Meds, a CBD-rich line of cannabis tinctures for women, by women.
“Women have always been healers throughout history and this (female) plant represents what I personally consider the fastest moving area of science and medicine,” says Peters. “We need women to help bring cannabis medicine to the next level for the sake of patients everywhere.” Complex.
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