Amanda Reiman, Ph.D., MSW, was presented with the Influencer of the Year Award by the Industry Power Women (IPW) last month in Las Vegas. Reiman received the award for her continuous research and contributions to the cannabis industry.
“I like to think of myself as a mentor more than an influencer. I teach people how to think, not what to think. Hopefully winning this award means I have achieved my goal of being a mentor to women in this industry.” said Reiman.
Reiman’s interest in the cannabis industry was piqued when she first became aware of the culture of medical cannabis dispensaries in Oakland. She was surprised and encouraged by what she called the “social model of cannabis care.” This led her to public health research, with a focus on cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs.
When she worked as Manager of Marijuana Law and Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, Reiman fought to bring about a legalization initiative recognizing how the war on drugs unjustly impacted people of color. She also taught at UC Berkeley, School of Social Welfare, for 11 years, where she offered students a supportive environment in which they could talk about difficult issues.
Reiman is currently Vice President of Community Relations at Flow Kana, a branded cannabis distribution company that works with small, outdoor farmers. There she continues to coach women who are new to the industry. In addition to that, she is the Secretary of the International Cannabis Farmer’s Association, a non-profit that advocates for research and policies that favor sun-grown cannabis cultivation through traditional farming methods. Her career achievements, along with her work mentoring women, are examples of why Reiman was chosen for the IPW Influencer of the Year Award.
“The launch at MJBizCon is important because last year the issue of how women are viewed was encapsulated by the scandal #meatgate, where an edible company covered a woman with deli slices as a platter,” said co-Founder Ophelia Chong. “This year, the launch of IPW shows the power women have, the changes we have made, and most importantly, that we do this because the industry does not deign us a piece as a ‘feel good’ move, it is because we are a major part as entrepreneurs and consumers and should be recognized as so.”
IPW was founded by Cynthia Salarizadeh, founder, and CEO of the Salar Media Group, Debra Borchardt, founder of the Green Market Report, and Ophelia Chong, founder of Stock Pot Images, to give women in the cannabis industry an environment of support and strength. IPW plans to host an annual awards ceremony recognizing outstanding women in the industry.