In the heart of Chicago, the bustling cityscape set the stage for a groundbreaking event that brought together trailblazing women in the cannabis industry. The Green Market Report Midwest Women’s Cannabis Summit took center stage on Nov. 2, providing a platform for empowerment, networking, and the exchange of ideas that could shape the future of cannabis in the Midwest.
Under the soaring gothic arches of the historic Epiphany Center for the Arts, women from various corners of the cannabis landscape created an electrifying energy as they shared their experiences and insights.
The event featured “real talk” from the all-female panels, who allowed themselves to be vulnerable while still showing strength and conviction to be a part of the cannabis industry.
The highlight of the day was easily the spotlight conversation with Christie Hefner, former CEO of Playboy Enterprises. She is the longest-serving female CEO of a publicly traded company and helped turn the print publication into a multimedia powerhouse. When she left the company, 40% of the company’s executives were women.
That experience helped shape her perspective on how to succeed in controversial industries that may have lots of baggage – something that can be a challenge for anyone, but even more so for women. Hefner now sits on the boards of two cannabis companies, Belushi Farms and Fyllo.
Brightfield Group’s Madeline Scanlon lit up the stage while delivering a deep dive into the cannabis consumption trends in the Midwest, information that was truly a gold mine for attendees. Your gut feeling will only get you so far in business, but hard data – provided with context – can take you even further.
While women have successfully ascended the career ladder in cannabis, it’s usually not without challenges. Sensi Media’s Jamie Cooper led a panel of cannabis C-suite women who shared their experiences of getting into that upper echelon. The panelists presented stories of being excluded from male-dominated company events and getting passed over for promotions alongside tips on how to address such situations in a positive manner.
The panel also let the women in the room know that these microaggressions happen at every level, even at the board level. Disconcerting for sure, but also reassuring that women can rise above and still come out on top.
Other panels addressed how women can use social media to build there personal brands, while avoiding pitfalls of the different platforms, and key considerations for tapping into the precious funds needed to build a successful business.
Finally, the day ended with the announcements of the Midwest Women in Cannabis Awards followed by drinks, photos and lots of networking. From seasoned professionals to budding entrepreneurs, women from diverse backgrounds found common ground in their shared passion for advancing the cannabis industry.
As the summit drew to a close, the air was thick with a sense of empowerment and camaraderie. Attendees left with a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to breaking barriers in the cannabis space.
The Green Market Report Midwest Women’s Cannabis Summit not only provided a platform for knowledge-sharing and networking, but it also fueled the flames of inspiration, ensuring that the momentum generated in Chicago would reverberate throughout the Midwest cannabis community for months to come.