GMR Women's Leadership Award Winners

On Thursday, April 26th, the first-ever Green Market Report Women’s Leadership Awards ceremony was held at The Green Market Report Women’s Summit in Manhattan, NYC to honor female and female-identifying cannabis professionals in categories ranging from Cultivation to Activism and Politics. 

The Women’s Leadership Award in the Brands category went to Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands. Honored for her adroit management of Canadian cannabis company Canopy Growth’s acquisition of 100% of each Wana entity as well as her commitment to social equity in cannabis, Whiteman was also lauded for her innovative new product lines and product development. Khadijah Tribble, Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Curaleaf, (OTC: CURLF) received the Women’s Leadership Award in the MSO category. A highly-respected expert on equity and inclusion in cannabis, Tribble created and runs Rooted in Good, one of the most robust corporate responsibility programs in any industry, and is also the founder of Marijuana Matters, a cannabis education and advocacy incubator. 

The Women’s Leadership Award in Marketing went to Natalie Shaul, Co-Founder and VP of Marketing at Springbig. Shaul was instrumental in Springbig’s pivot to cannabis and is known as a trendsetter, job creator, fundraiser and changemaker in the industry. Shaul has helped thousands of cannabis retailers while her business has created more than 80 jobs across South Florida while providing discounted services to support veteran and minority-owned cannabis businesses.

Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve Cannabis Corp., was given the Women’s Leadership Award in the C-Suite- Public Company category. She is the only female CEO of a publicly traded company in the cannabis space. A former lawyer, Rivers has since spearheaded the largest cannabis acquisition deal to date with Trulieve’s purchase of Harvest Health & Recreation. Rivers was also instrumental in Trulieve’s Environmental, Social and Governance report, the first of its kind from an American MSO. The award for Women’s Leadership in the C-Suite Private Company category went to Ralina Shaw, founder of House of Tyne and leadership team member of 4thMVMT, a leading social impact organization with a mission to support those disproportionally impacted by cannabis laws. She is also one of the few BIPOC executives in the PR and Retail space.

Founder and CEO of Women Employed in Cannabis (WEIC) Kyra Reed was given the Women’s Leadership Award in Activism/Politics for her helming of the largest association for women working in cannabis, psychedelics, hemp & CBD. Named as a “Social Media Pioneer” by Entrepreneur Magazine, Reed has grown WEIC into a 15,000 member organization as well as the premiere brand and international organization dedicated to empowering women to achieve their goals.

The Women’s Leader Award for Cultivation went to Joyce Cenali, COO of Sonoma Hills Farm. Under Cenali’s leadership, Sonoma Hills was the first farm to be recognized as “organic comparable” as designated by CCOF’s OCal program. She co-founded an Emerald Cup-winning organization and supports female founders innovating in cannabis with a mission to advance a regulatory model that unites capitalism and inclusion. Chanda Macias, PhD, CEO of Ilera Holistics, took home the award for Women’s Leadership in the Science category, in no small part for her role as the first Black woman medical cannabis operator as CEO of National Holistic Healing Center—the largest medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C.  She is also Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow and First Vice Chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable Board.

Narmin Jarrous, Chief Development Officer at Exclusive Brands, won the Women’s Leadership Award in Social Equity. Jarrous’s social equity program partners with organizations like the National Birth Equity Coalition and The Last Prisoner Project while also helping Social Equity Applicants gain their licenses. Jarrous is also a mentor, educator, speaker, and advocate for women of color in the industry. Ronit Pinto, founder of Honeysuckle Magazine, took home the Women’s Leadership Award in Media. Honeysuckle has gained national distribution and also created Honey Pot Magazine, a sister print and digital publication focusing exclusively on cannabis and hemp issues.

Wendy Bronfein, Co-founder, Chief brand Officer and Director of Public Policy at Curio Wellness was honored in the Dispensary category. Bronfein drives the company’s legislative agenda across multiple states and oversees the brand as well as all corporate communications. She also helped initiate Curio’s Wellness investment Fund and a program to provide start-up capital for minority business-owners to open their own Curio franchise locations. The Women’s Leader Award for Public Relations went to Shawna Seldon McGregor, founder and CEO of Maverick Public Relations. She represents businesses across all sectors and is recognized as one of the most effective cannabis agencies in the industry. MacGregor has provided pro bono PR work and has served on the boards of numerous charitable organizations.

Honorees were nominated by colleagues from across cannabis sectors. Almost a hundred nominations were reviewed by industry insiders before they decided upon the twelve women executives and entrepreneurs to receive these special awards spanning several areas within the cannabis industry. 

 

Julie Aitcheson

Julie Aitcheson is a freelance writer, author and educator. In addition to Green Market Report, her work has appeared in Vanguard Magazine, The Fresh Toast, Green Entrepreneur, Daily Press, The Baltimore Sun, LA Weekly and The Chicago Tribune. She received a full fellowship to the 2013 Stowe StoryLabs and won second place in the 2014 San Miguel Writers' Conference nonfiction writing competition. She has published two young adult novels and is currently at work on a piece of adult fiction.


One comment

  • michael mclaughlin

    April 29, 2022 at 11:04 am

    Kudos to the women! Now the bad news—the cannabis industry is in a slow death spiral. Trulieve, for example, its stock price so far this year is been cut in half. MOST of the large cannabis companies do not make money and are running in the red. Gee…I know this is hersy to Americans, but maybe going LARGE is not the business model for weed. American businesses never want to grow an acre of weed they want to start out at 1000 acres.

    Reply

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