At the Green Market Report Midwest Women’s Cannabis Business Summit in Chicago on Nov. 2, we recognized some of the stellar industry players with the GMR Midwest Women in Cannabis Awards.
The trailblazer award went to Jackie Cahan, managing partner at Chicago-based ancillary logistics firm 240L Holdings, which specializes in supply chain solutions for marijuana companies.
Cahan is relatively new to the marijuana business, having just launched 240L in early 2021, but after just a few years she says she feels like a “seasoned veteran.”
“I didn’t know that I that I needed the cannabis business,” Cahan told Green Market Report, but during the COVID pandemic, the stress led to alcohol abuse for her, and it was cannabis that helped her quit drinking. “I really credit cannabis with saving my life, dropping the bottle, and really trying to understand what my body needs in order to be an optimum human.”
Cahan’s company made its first acquisition the summer after it launched: a distribution company in Oregon that Cahan helped reorganize into a far more efficient brand managing machine.
“Just ripping that business apart” was one of her proudest moments to date, Cahan said, because it helped her come up with an inventory management system she calls the “doobie decimal system,” and used it to organize more than a million SKUs.
“Now being able to actually track and trace SKUs, to be able to provide our brands with dashboards that tell them how their goods are performing on the shelf at the retailer, is then a pretty empowering moment for the supply chain,” Cahan said.
She added that she’s been surprised by how difficult it’s been to get colleagues in the marijuana trade to collaborate and share intel on various projects, which she said has been the biggest business hurdle to date.
“Nobody wants to share,” Cahan said. “People are so afraid to tell you what they’re working on in case you might steal that idea. And I think that every idea right now is so great and important in this industry.”
“I believe that the power of this industry is going to be built on relationships, just like every other industry, and that you shouldn’t be afraid to share your homework, if you will, with me. And I’m looking for great partners all the time,” she said.
When she looks to the future, Cahan said she’s eager for women to stake more of a claim in the industry.
“I’m looking for women to actually enter this market. In my opinion, women have not entered cannabis. 60% of the market is flower, smokers. Women don’t want to smoke,” Cahan said. “But give me something that is going to help my body, that’s fast acting, that gives me a smoker’s high, and I’m in.”