Garden Society Archives - Green Market Report

StaffMarch 22, 2022
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10min160

Garden Society

 

Erin Gore/Spotlight 

What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry? 

Creating a brand that resonates and is meaningful to so many. Garden Society stems from my personal journey to find balance in life and being surrounded by women feeling the same pressures. I’m proud to have built a company alongside my business partner, Karli Warner, that’s based on a shared passion to encourage people to explore non-traditional ways of finding joy in their everyday lives. 

Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries? 

While we have made strides as female-identifying individuals in the industry, we have rapidly declined from where we were a few short years ago. So, honestly, I’m not sure. In past years, I would have said “absolutely” since we’re literally building a new industry right now. We need more allies to step up to the table to join us in this journey. 

What has become apparent is that the cannabis industry is a highly capital-intensive industry filled with bias. Gone are the days you can make a beautiful product and sell it via the collective model. Now, one needs access to significant capital to launch and scale their business, and traditional capital channels like bank loans and small business grants are not available for the cannabis industry. The well-documented lack of funding for female-identifying individuals and the bias that reverberates across the industry if one does find bias definitely limits our potential. I think it’s our time to stand in our power and call out this bias and lack of capital, and find incredible allies that will support us to create a more equitable industry. 

Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that? 

Only 2% of venture capital dollars go to women overall, and in cannabis, it’s even less (<1%). As I successfully navigated my own fundraising journey for Garden Society, it became clear that one of the reasons women fail to bring a great product to market is simply because they don’t know how to raise the capital. Women are much less comfortable being confident in their vision, usually from lack of confidence with financials and fundraising. This became even more clear during the pandemic–women were managing their children, their home responsibilities, their community responsibilities, and their career. 

During our fundraising, we were accused by men of not being authentic enough since we didn’t have any female investors–that was a turning point for us. We decided to build a slate of female angel investors, and they are undoubtedly amazing. We know first-hand how incredibly powerful women allies can be, and how we will work twice as hard to get the credit we deserve. We also 

have been able to find incredible male allies who see our vision, help us address bias, and empower us to build the company of our dreams.

And yes, we definitely have to work twice as hard as male peers in the industry. Do I think that it is fair and just? Absolutely not. Do I think it’s helped us build a better company? Absolutely yes. We are stronger, more profitable, more agile, and more resilient as a result. It has been proven that female-identifying founders deliver better returns on their companies. I think this is absolutely the main driver, and am proud to continue to deliver at Garden Society. 

What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it? 

The pandemic, hands-down, which while can be identified as the single biggest challenge, led to an entire series of difficult challenges. It started with working with our brethren in the Northern California cannabis community to deem our products and this plant “essential,” to immediately focusing on how to keep our team safe while keeping the doors open and our employees retained. This, all while moving sales in the right direction, as well as raising money – and all while raising my most important life asset: my son. Every minute of the day was exhausting as a mom and wife, CEO, and oh, by the way, I was Chair of the Board of Directors of our local hospital during this time too, so yeah, I was exhausted. 

What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women? 

This is very important to both Karli and me: we have a huge desire to accelerate the success rate of women in cannabis. I think one of the biggest accomplishments of the past two crazy years has been making the time to engage in my fellow female business community across the U.S., doing my best to serve as a resource and mentor to other female cannabis entrepreneurs. This includes working hard to share knowledge and resources that would help other women over the finish line in their own business efforts. We have had some wonderful mentors and allies to help us, and also learned everything else on our own through lots of failed attempts. We’re motivated to share our learnings with other women to hopefully accelerate their success rates. 

But it truly takes a village. I’m honored to be working with other successful women in the space, including female lawyers, founders, mentors, recruiters, and executives at public companies. We work to engage with entrepreneurial women far beyond encouraging chats and aim to give them the actual tools they need to drive their companies forward. 

What are your personal goals for 2022? 

The ever-elusive quest for balance and finding time to feed the soul, while doing the same for my family and business. If 2020 and 2021 were about surviving (literally and figuratively), during 2022 I am planning to spend time planning, visioning, and executing. I am super focused on achieving our potential at Garden Society by executing our plan across all aspects of the business. I also have a goal to develop a larger 3-5 year strategic plan, now that we’re through


Video StaffOctober 1, 2019

1min70

Some customers want the best bang for the buck, while others only want the best. This panel from the Green Market Summit on September 11 in Los Angeles demonstrates what defines a luxury brand and how a company can back up the premium description on the label. Moderating this panel is Alyssa Jank of the Brightfield Group. The panelists include Tracey Mason, CEO House of Saka, Eric Eslao, CEO Défoncé, Yvonne De La Rosa, Founder 99 High Tide, and Estella Perez of the Garden Society.


William SumnerJuly 9, 2019
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5min110

It’s time for your Daily Hit of cannabis financial news for July 9, 2019.

On the Site

Caliva

Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter announced online today that he will enter into a multi-year partnership with Caliva as Chief Brand Strategist. The statement said that he will play a crucial role in driving creative direction, outreach efforts, and strategy for the brand. Caliva is one of the largest vertically integrated cannabis companies in California and has quickly become a market leader in cannabis consumer products in the state.

Radient Technologies

Cannabis and hemp extractor Radient Technologies Inc. (TSXV: RTI)(OTCQX: RDDTF) reported that the company lost C$18 million in its financial results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2019.The company only reported revenues of C$214,060 for the year and expenses of C$18,319,167. The cost for that revenue was C$131,249. On a positive note, the company’s cash balance at the end of its fiscal year totaled C$31,752,852, representing an increase of $9,897,548 from March 31, 2018.

Executive Spotlight: Erin Gore, Founder & CEO of Garden Society

Erin Gore is founder and CEO of Garden Society, a California-based, cannabis-focused benefit corporation serving women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of their daily lives. Garden Society creates artisanal confections and sun-grown pre-rolls that connects biodynamic farming, sustainable ingredients and strain-specific cannabis in a variety of products.

Green Growth Brands

Cannabis retailer Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE: GGB)(OTCQB: GGBXF) is acquiring MXY Holdings LLC also known as Moxie in an all-stock deal valued at $310 million. The deal is expected to close within six months. Moxie is located in three states at this time, California, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Michigan is set to be the fourth state. The products are in 250 dispensaries, which is a retail relationship that GGB would like to leverage.  Moxie provides customers with high-quality recreational and medical cannabis products.

In Other News

Surterra Wellness

The medical cannabis provider Surterra Wellness announced today that it has appointed Fareed Khan as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who will be responsible for corporate finance, investor relations, tax and shared services activities. Formerly serving as the CFO for the Kellogg Company, Khan helped drive the company’s corporate strategy to include revitalizing key brands through targeted investment and transforming the company’s portfolio through mergers and acquisitions. “Fareed’s track record of translating strategy into initiatives that drive growth for both private and public companies, across a number of industries, will propel our continued success,” said  Surterra CEO and Chairman  William “Beau” Wrigley, Jr.

KushCo Holdings

KushCo Holdings, Inc. (OTCQX: KSHB) announced today its financial results for the third quarter ending on May 31, 2019. Net revenue was $41.5 million, representing a quarter-over-quarter increase of 17.9%.On a GAAP basis, gross profit was 17.8%. On a GAAP basis, the net loss was $10.6 million, up from $9.2 million in the same period of the previous year. Cash on hand is approximately $12.2 million.  “We expect demand to increase for the Company’s core product offerings as the cannabis and hemp markets continue to expand and mature. Our customer base is gaining strength with the largest multi-state operators and Canadian LP’s starting to scale in existing markets, while also preparing for growth in new emerging geographies – including recently approved Illinois,” said KushCo Chairman and CEO Nick Kovacevich.


StaffJuly 9, 2019
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7min130

Erin Gore is founder and CEO of Garden Society, a California-based, cannabis-focused benefit corporation serving women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of their daily lives. Garden Society creates artisanal confections and sun-grown pre-rolls that connects biodynamic farming, sustainable ingredients and strain-specific cannabis in a variety of products. 

Garden Society stems from Erin’s personal journey of striving to find balance in her life, as both a mom and entrepreneur, and being surrounded by women feeling the same pressures. Alongside her business partner, Karli Warner, the company is built on their shared passion to encourage women to explore non-traditional ways of managing pain, anxiety and stress relief, as well as relaxation and joy via cannabis– all a means of providing a better quality of life. 

Three years since founding, Garden Society is now a flourishing, well-rounded cannabis wellness brand poised to reach and help women across the state of California enrich their lives with safe and clean cannabis. 

Erin is an active member of the Northern California cannabis community, and frequently speaks on the topics of cannabis and entrepreneurship. She’s a fearless advocate for women-owned cannabis businesses, and equally dedicated to breaking the stigma and rewriting the script around the plant. With a degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Erin is also fluent in the science-based talk of cannabis and production. 

Prior to Garden Society, Erin worked with her husband Tom on their joint venture with Constellation Brands on Tom Gore Vineyards, an award-winning farmer’s wine. Before the wine business, she had a decade-long corporate career at Henkel, where she managed a global adhesive business valued at nearly $100 million. Her time at Henkel provided a solid foundation in leadership, development, and achieving exceptional financial results.

GMR Executive Spotlight Q&A – 

Full birth name:  Erin Kay Gore

Title:  Founder/ CEO

Company:  Garden Society

Years at current company:  3

Education profile:  BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering

Most successful professional accomplishment before cannabis:

My most successful accomplishment at my previous company was having the career path I did, on my terms, with the colmenation winning Business of the Year.  I was faced with a lot of challenges and adversity throughout my career being one of the few women in my division within the technical and business units of a chemical CPG company.  I worked hard to build excellent EQ to overcome these challenges, and create opportunities for myself by intentionally managing up and being a good team player.. I excelled at every opportunity I earned through listening, creativity, being coachable, hard work and grittiness to get the job done.  Right before I resigned, I won Business of the Year with my team. I thought back to the first position I had at the company, and was so proud of how intentional I had been using every difficult situation to help me grow as a leader and employee, and also to demonstrate how diversity of age and gender can be an asset to every team.

Company Mission:  Garden Society is a benefit corporation creating a sisterhood of women in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of our daily lives. 

Founded in Sonoma County by Erin Gore and Karli Warner in 2016, Garden Society offers high quality cannabis-infused confections and sun-grown flower pre-rolls that connect biodynamic farming, sustainable ingredients and strain-specific cannabis in a variety of products. Garden Society edibles and pre-rolls are intended to be enjoyed responsibly to relieve pain, alleviate stress, and enable each of us to live our lives more fully. Our goal is to help everyone find a ‘Fresh Perspective’ in the joy that cannabis brings to our everyday lives!  

OUR MANIFESTO:  We are girlfriends, wives, moms, sisters, bill-payers, breadwinners, caretakers and peacemakers. We are multi-taskers, with a huge passion to pursue all this world offers. We are a sisterhood of like-minded women. We are pioneers, in search of new, more holistic ways to rejuvenate from the rigors of our daily lives. We seek new ways to regain perspective—and constantly look for ways to make the ordinary, extraordinary.  We are NOT superwomen, but we ARE amazing.  Welcome to Garden Society.

Company’s most successful achievement:  To be in a position post July 2018 where we are continuing to build a strong brand presence and scaling so quickly that we have to raise capital to propel our growth to its potential. Also, that we’re really helping people find a better life for themselves.  I’m so inspired by how we help people and so proud of what we’ve built.

Has the company raised any capital (yes or no):   Yes

If so, how much?:  Initial Investment in 2018 of $1.3M.  

Any plans on raising capital in the future?  Yes, currently fundraising to continue to propel our fast growth.  

Most important company 5 year goal:  In 5 years, we will continue pushing towards our vision of becoming one of the most positive, powerful and trusted global cannabis brands for women, with quality products that matter to both consumers and partners.


StaffJuly 18, 2018
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16min210

Part 1 of 8 2018 Cannabis Trends: Female leadership on the rise.

They say the future is female, and there are few places where that is more apparent than in the cannabis industry. Once thought of as a male-dominated industry, women have quickly claimed their place as leaders in this burgeoning industry.

According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up approximately 27% of C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that the national average is only 23%. What is unsettling, is that in 2015 women held 36% of executive control. That is almost a 10% loss of leadership positioning in less than 3 years.

As the market matures, and continues to begin attracting more institutional capital, female entrepreneurs will have to work at keeping the industry a level playing field. And collectively, that is what the trends reveal that they are doing.

For women in cannabis, it has become a badge of honor to know that within their new burgeoning industry ready to take the globe by storm, they hold the largest percentage of ownership, management and control of any industry in the world for their gender. Therefore upon recognition of the possibility of losing that title, the women have begun to band together and work toward the goal of making cannabis the first industry in the world to achieve 50% female control.

When you drill down into specific segments of the cannabis industry, you start to see even more women in leadership positions.

For example, among cannabis dispensaries, women make up approximately 35% C-Suite level positions. That number rises even higher for ancillary cannabis brands, of which women comprise approximately 42% of executive level positions. Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray has the first female majority board of directors in the industry.

But the board room is not the only place in the cannabis industry where women are shining. Over the last few years, there has been a groundswell in the number of cannabis industry organizations made for and by women.

Perhaps the most well-known industry group for women in the cannabis industry is Women Grow. Founded in 2014 by cannabis personality Jane West, the group’s original goal was to help make the cannabis industry the first women-led billion dollar industry.

When initially launched, Women Grow was massively successful and soon dozens of chapters began sprouting up all across the country. But in recent years the organization has run into trouble; chapters have been closing and key leaders have left. Women Grow is currently in a transitional period. Hopes for a healthy, strong future have become possible for the organization with a new leadership team in place. However, the obstacles that Women Grow have faced has not stopped others from stepping in and helping to fill the void.

There are credible organizations that were created to help women in the cannabis industry in a general capacity, such as Ellementa, and Industry Power Women (IPW), that specifically bridge the gap between female entrepreneurs and the resources they require to succeed in business. Other organizations have been created to specifically help women of color, like Supernova Women and Women Abuv Ground.

In addition, women have come together and organized their efforts, creating groups that promote support, collaboration and solidarity. These networks are being forged through platforms like Facebook. The most popular one, Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis, spearheaded by Kadin Academy and the creator of Cannabiz Connection, provides an exclusive environment for industry-specific discussions. Members of the network are approved for inclusion based on a set of criteria intended to keep the group focused and beneficial to women in cannabis business.

IPW has developed a multi-media production series in partnership with Benzinga and DCN Media titled the “Wonder Women of Weed.” This series highlights the most accomplished and exceptional women in the cannabis industry, and has been featured on Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur, CNN Money and other mass media outlets. Furthermore, Entrepreneur Magazine’s new cannabis focused publication, Green Entrepreneur, now has a regular column titled “Women In Green.”

Conferences and events geared specifically towards connecting and advancing a sense of camaraderie among women in the cannabis industry have increased significantly since the beginning of 2018. Workshops such as those conducted by the Cannabis Women’s Empowerment Society are frequently conducted to help women navigate operation of all aspects in running a cannabis business.

Newer groups such as High Times Women’s Council of High Times Magazine host their popular Women of Weed event series. MJ Lifestyle Magazine, IPW and even the investor network Arcview Group are now hosting regular brunches centered specifically around women.  

On the consumer side of the cannabis industry, women are also starting to take center stage. One survey by the Cannabis Consumers Coalition found that 53% of respondents were women, compared to 42% for men. Although the survey did not provide a complete snapshot of cannabis, it nonetheless underscores the growing importance of women as cannabis consumers.

This growing importance has also given rise to an explosion of women-centered cannabis brands. A great example is Garden Society, which offers low-dose, high-end edible cannabis products for women. There are also brands like Treat Yourself, Moxie Meds, Kikoko, Quim Rock, Mary Jane’s Medicinals, Strain Print, Baked at Home, and the list goes on. Perhaps the most famous cannabis brand for women is Whoopi Goldberg’s line of medical cannabis products designed to help provide relief from menstrual discomfort, Whoopi & Maya.

Not only are there a growing number of women-oriented cannabis brands, there’s also a huge uptick in the number of investment opportunities for women. Since its founding in 2011, Pipeline Angels has helped more than 50 female-owned companies raise more than $5 million. Other services, like Ellevest, help provide the tools and assistance for women to become the investors themselves.

Recognizing the increased power of women investors, some sites have even taken to aggregating women-centered investing resources; such as 37 Angels and Crunchbase.

According to Forbes, fewer than 6% of decision-makers at venture capital firms in the United States are women. In 2016, while male entrepreneurs received more than $58 billion in funding, female entrepreneurs received 1.46 billion, approximately 2.5% of what men received.

Within the cannabis industry, female investors such as Emily Paxhia, Tahira Rehmatullah and Vivien Azar lead the way in financing the best deals the space has to offer, while providing special attention to promising female entrepreneurs. Lori Ferrara, Gaynell Rogers and Lindy Snider have come together to form a fund specifically targeting women owned and operated cannabis businesses called Treehouse Global Ventures.

In the short-term, expect to see women take charge and become drivers in the cannabis industry. This is a trend that you can see in almost every aspect of the economy, but its presence is felt most in the cannabis space where there are fewer entrenched interests than in other industries. The long-term projection for women in the cannabis industry is more or less the same as the short term. Women will continue to grow their power and influence in the cannabis industry and will most likely achieve greater equality than in other sectors of the economy.  

You can download the 2018 Cannabis Trend Report for free by clicking here.


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The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis


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