My involvement within the cannabis space began in 2017. I had already personally experienced the benefits from this plant and I was inspired to share that with others, all while simultaneously being a part of an industry that’s inevitably growing to be massive. Coming from the east coast of the United States, where legal changes with cannabis are now slowly progressing, but still very much demonized in more than just the eyes of the law, constantly being surrounded by the “lazy stoner” stigma was normal. Nothing really reinforced the true identity, healing power, and history of this underrated plant. From the start of my career, it immediately became a goal of mine to shift any negative views being held onto when it comes to cannabis. My experiences have only strengthened my belief in this plant and my desire to destigmatize the status it has taken on over the years of its disallowance in society, as I have witnessed several people’s lives transform from cannabis.
This is a plant that should be celebrated and consumers of cannabis should use it with no ignominies attached. It has the potential to positively change the fabric of our society in various ways, providing a natural alternative to pain relief, stress management, and any additional physical, emotional, and spiritual healing to support mental health, addiction, and other ailments. It has the ability to support the end of our world’s opioid epidemic and presumably be catalytic for the normalization of other plant-based medicines.
I have taken on many different roles in this multifaceted industry throughout the years. Getting my foot in the door by partaking in the packaging and manufacturing aspects of it, which eventually opened doors that led to cultivating various farms and managing certain departments. This has given me the chance to see firsthand the unique challenges of this industry still in its infancy and how far it has from its potential being fulfilled.
Over the past few years, the amount of capital flowing into this industry has increased and as it continues to expand, the rate at which women are coming into the industry is adversely declining. When I first entered this industry in 2017, women held 37% of executive-level roles, (marijuana business daily released “Women & Minorities in the marijuana industry”). Unfortunately, today the percentage of women holding those top positions has dropped to 22%. People are growing aware of the lack of gender, and also racial, diversity in these types of businesses, but because the cannabis industry is still so young, it still has the opportunity to lead by example. As a woman in cannabis, I aim to rise to the occasion of cultivating a diverse environment and establishing a strong foundation that instills good values.
I am currently in a role at a female-owned and operated business, Plantshop, based out of Mendocino, CA. A place located in what is known as the Emerald Triangle. This permits me and the other females of my team to achieve the goal of building an industry others can look up to and model after. It’s essential we use the power of our positions and good ethics to create an industry that reflects our sincere appreciation of cannabis. The white-male-dominated culture in the capital market will not allow the true representation of this industry, nor will it give it the ability to thrive. Having representation in any business is vital, so we must intentionally craft this industry to dissolve prohibitive social constructs and recognize the importance of biodiversity and inclusivity. For cannabis to reach its highest potential, it will require the influence of women who possess feminine traits of empathy, compassion, supportiveness, and humility.