In honor of International Women’s Day, we are releasing our annual “Most Important Women in Weed” list for 2020. This list includes women in the industry that have collectively moved the industry forward with all of their hard work, continuous dedication and effort.
This year we opened up the list for nominations and received almost a thousand nominees. After consideration of each, we have developed what we feel is one of the most inclusive and carefully curated lists of the most accomplished and impressive women in the cannabis industry.
As we could not name them all, we would like to thank and celebrate all of the women who have dedicated their precious time to the advancement of cannabis globally.
It is because of each one of these ladies that this industry remains in the lead above all others as far as female leadership is concerned.
This list is in no special order. Each one of these women provide a great contribution to the cannabis industry in their own unique and badass way.
Thank you to every one of you for all that you do!
Dr. Chanda Macias
Yvonne DeLaRosa Green
Amy Dawn Bourlon-Hilterbran
Jasmine Rose Gunderson
Pamela Nicole Epstein
Dr. Michele Ross
Chef Lauren Gockley
Sara Brittany Somerset
Karen Paull and Wendy Robbins
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
Dr. Rachel Knox and Dr. Jessica Knox
Mary Jane Gibson
Dr. Uma Dhanabalan
Eliza Nova Maroney
Selena Xochitl Martinez
Sarah Mitra Payan
Alicia Rose Kelley
Dr. Jacqueline Harding, PhD
Dr. Uma Dhabalan
Yvonne Perez Emerson
Again, thank you to all of the women who do so much in our industry day in and day out. Your work does not go unnoticed and is deeply appreciated.
Happy International Women’s Day to all women around the world!
Special shout out to our Green Market Report co-founders Debra Borchardt and Cynthia Salarizadeh on this day!
Women and minority focused fund welcomes global leader in healthy lifestyle publications
Philadelphia, Pa. – March 6, 2019 /AxisWire/ Treehouse Global Ventures (TGV) is pleased to announce the addition of Maria Rodale to their Advisory Board. Maria is a writer, activist, and former Chairman and CEO of Rodale Inc., a global health and wellness lifestyle media company. She has won numerous awards including the United Nations Population Fund’s “Award for the Health and Dignity of Women.” TGV founders Lindy Snider, Gaynell Rogers, and Lori Ferrara -who were named “Women to Watch in 2019” by MJ Business Daily -are excited to add a long-standing leader and expert in wellness and organics to their team.
“Part of our vision is to invite leaders from other industries to help us form an extraordinary brain trust to mentor new companies and leaders. Maria brings a remarkable history of experience in the health and wellness arena that her family delivered for decades, causing important global cultural change. We are thrilled to have her join us to further work in this amazing new industry.” Founder/Managing Partner Lindy Snider adds.
Maria is a descendant of an American first family that fostered the health and wellness movement with a forward-thinking catalog of publications that includes Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, and bestselling books, The South Beach Diet, Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth, and Thug Kitchen. Her grandfather initiated the organic foods and farming movement in the 1940s, and her father pushed the government to certify foods that are organic, resulting in the USDA Certified Organic label in the 1990s. She is the author of many books, including Organic Manifesto, How Organic Farming Can Feed Our World, Heal Our Planet and Keep Us Safe, and Scratch, Home Cooking for Everyone Made Simple, based on recipes from her former blog, MariasFarmCountryKitchen.com.
Maria is a current board member and former co-chair of the Rodale Institute, a non-profit agricultural research, and education organization that is home to the longest-running scientific research on organic farming versus conventional agriculture, known around the world as the Farming Systems Trial. That same ethic of scientific research is now being applied to vegetable crops and hemp. In addition, Maria served for many years as a board member of Bette Midler’s New York Restoration Project (NYRP) which planted over 1 million trees in New York City.
About Treehouse Global Ventures: With a combined 15 years of experience in the cannabis industry, the founders of Treehouse Global Ventures investment fund are the capital partner of choice for companies led by women and minorities. There is no other funding vehicle focused primarily on women, minorities, and innovative business models across multiple industries. We use evidence-based data and robust due diligence practices to make informed decisions. We are mission-driven – not only to foster and mentor our portfolio of companies – but to continue as leaders around the country and the globe. TGV looks at emerging markets around the world and growing industry sectors for investments that are like-minded, innovative and strategically led. Visit TreehouseGlobalVentures.com.
During the massive gathering of cannabis industry leaders at Marijuana Business Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, the leading women came together to honor the achievements of their peers. The 2nd Annual Industry Power Women Awards, the ceremony aimed to recognize the accomplishments of women in the cannabis industry; from entrepreneurs and investors to influencers and advocates, commenced.
IPW was founded in 2017 and is an organization established to help advance female businesswomen in cannabis. IPW aims to elevate and empower female entrepreneurship within the cannabis industry by creating a support network of like-minded individuals.
Attending the invite-only ceremony was an assortment of women from across the industry and all walks of life. These women include founders, CEOs, C-suite executives, trade organization leaders and community organizers.
Green Market Report co-founder and CEO, Debra Borchardt, and managing partner of KCSA Strategic Communications as well as the founder of AxisWire, Cynthia Salarizadeh acted as hostesses for the event. The first to take home an award was Kristin Hope for the Rising Star Award. At just 15 years old, Hope became the first person to launch a pharmaceutical grade hemp beauty line, HOOP, and was most recently nominated for the Bell scholarship.
The next award recipient was Gaynell Rogers, who won Influencer of the Year. As one of the most respected voices in public relations, Rogers has worked with some of the best and brightest in the cannabis industry; including Harborside Health’s Co-Founder Steve DeAngelo.
Outside of the cannabis industry, Rogers is also known for her work as the senior publicist for Lucasfilm and the Head of Feature Film Publicity at Pixar for the first “Incredibles” and “Cars.”
For her outstanding work as a cannabis advocate, Amy T. Margolis was granted the 2018 Leadership Award. Margolis is the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, which is one of the largest trade organizations in the cannabis industry.
Most recently, Margolis was also named by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) as one of the 2017’s 100 Most Powerful Political People in Cannabis and one of the 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis in both 2016 and 2017.
Taking the prize for Advocate of the Year was Wanda James. As an outspoken political voice and serial entrepreneur, James has been honored by High Times Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis and was also named as one of the 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry by CBE.
Emily Paxhia, co-founder and Managing Partner of Poseidon Asset Management, was named IPW’s Investor of the Year. Throughout her career, Paxhia has reviewed thousands of cannabis companies and has always taken the time to uplift promising female entrepreneurs by helping them shape their pitch preparations, go-to-market strategies/ product launches, and advised on day-to-day business operations.
Taking the Industry Power Women top honor of 2018 Business Woman of the Year was Jessica Billingsley. Billingsley is the Co-Founder and CEO of MJ Freeway Business Solutions; a technology company that provides software solutions to cannabis firms, as well as small-business, consulting services and application license support. In addition to her entrepreneurial accomplishments, Billingsley has also been named to Fortune Magazine’s list of Top 10 Most Promising Women Entrepreneurs.
Following the ceremony, many of the attendees would later recount with exuberance how empowered the event made them feel. For many, this event stood out as one of the few places where they could be with other women and talk about their trade. In an industry that continues to be dominated by men, that matters; and it only serves to highlight the continued relevance, and need, for ceremonies like the Industry Power Women Awards.
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 asEllementa, andIndustry 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, likeSupernova Women andWomen 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 byKadin Academy and the creator ofCannabiz 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.
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 theCannabis Women’s Empowerment Society are frequently conducted to help women navigate operation of all aspects in running a cannabis business.
On the consumer side of the cannabis industry, women are also starting to take center stage. One survey by theCannabis 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.
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, likeEllevest, 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 as37 Angels andCrunchbase.
According toForbes, 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.
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.
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