Midwest Women in Cannabis to Shine at Upcoming Summit

In the heart of the Windy City, an event of innovation and empowerment is about to unfold. The Midwest Women in Cannabis Summit, hosted by the Green Market Report, promises to be a transformative gathering for women seeking to make their mark in the booming cannabis industry.

The conference is set to take place on Nov. 2 at Chicago’s Epiphany Center for the Arts, a historic former church, as like-minded women who share a passion for the world of cannabis come together. From seasoned industry veterans to aspiring entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, they are all here for the same purpose: to break the glass ceiling in the cannabis industry.

The event will draw an array of attendees from all walks of life, each bringing their unique stories, skills, and aspirations. This event welcomes all genders.

Christie Hefner

The highlight of the day will be a spotlight interview with former CEO of Playboy Enterprises Christie Hefner. Hefner has incredible experience working in a controversial industry and was the longest-serving female CEO of a publicly traded company. She oversaw the company’s expansion into television and the internet. In her last year as CEO, Playboy generated close to $1 billion in global retail sales – and when she left, more than 40% of her executives were women.

Fast forward to today, Hefner sits on the boards of Belushi Farms and Fyllo. Hefner will share her experiences as a leader in a challenging industry.

Other panels will focus on specific issues for women working and leading in the cannabis industry, such as brand building for yourself and your company.

For example, women in the industry often face questions about whether they should consume cannabis on camera for social media. For some women, it adds credibility; for others, they feel it hurts them professionally. There is no right or wrong, but the panel will help to guide women in determining which is the best path for their personal brands. Moderated by We Are Jaine’s Tammy Pulyear, this panel features Christine Atkinson of Bud Weed and Flower, Jackie Cahan of 240L Holdings, and Jess Jackson from Common Citizen.

When it comes to building a company, many women find it hard to scale up or expand their businesses. Public relations firms cost money and with a small pool of cannabis media, it can be difficult to get attention. This panel of experts will provide pointers on bringing your brand to the next level. Moderated by Suzanne Morrison of STL Cannabis Services, this panel features Rebecca Reardon from High Fidelity, Lisa Buffo of the Cannabis Marketing Association, and Annu Khot, Sociale Dispensary.

Another challenge: Many women find themselves left out of the C-suite or other decision-making roles, regardless of their qualifications. This panel, led by Jamie Cooper of Sensi Media, will help women claim their rightful place and expand their voice in the industry. Joining Cooper will be Rona Borre of Growing Talent, Kristi Kelly of Sozo Companies, and Verano’s Chief People Officer Destiny Thompson.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a business conference without hearing from women in the finance side of the industry. In this dynamic session, we will explore the remarkable strides women are making in a traditionally male-dominated field, examining their pivotal roles in shaping the future of cannabis entrepreneurship, investment strategies, and social equity initiatives. This panel will be moderated by Amy Rubenstein of Dentons and will feature Wendy Berger of WBS Equities LLC and Lisa Evia of SeedFund Capital.

Winners of the 2023 Green Market Report Midwest Women in Cannabis Awards also will be announced at the event with cocktails and networking to follow. Check out the full agenda here.

Prices increase on Oct. 27! Register today!

If you are in Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, or even further afield, this event is for you.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt is the Co-Founder, and Executive Editor of GMR. She has covered the cannabis industry for several years at Forbes, Seeking Alpha and TheStreet. Prior to becoming a financial journalist, Debra was a Vice President at Bear Stearns where she held a Series 7 and Registered Investment Advisor license. Debra has a Master's degree in Business Journalism from New York University.

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