COURTNEY DAVIS – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARIJUANA MATTERS
What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
My proudest accomplishment in the industry is finalizing our Social Equity Toolkit. The Toolkit was a document that our founder, Khadijah Tribble and a few others had conceptualized a few years ago. When I started with Marijuana Matters in 2020 I had the opportunity and task of editing and putting forward a finished product. The Toolkit which is available on our website, provides guiding principles that communities, policymakers, and businesses can use as they strive to draft cannabis regulations and laws that create equity in marketplace access, generate revenue, and improved economic conditions for individuals and communities most impacted by the failed war in drug policies.
Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?
The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the country so there is no shortage of opportunities for everyone. However, women still face significant challenges specifically in leadership roles. I’ve heard some refer to this as breaking the grass ceiling. In terms of opportunities, I do think brands and products marketed specifically to women have the potential for growth. I think a lot about the smoke culture and how women like the founders of Brown Girl Jane and Elevate Jane have been able to come in and create a new narrative of cannabis consumers.
Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
The more intersectionality you have the harder you have to work. So as a Black woman living in America, I’ve always been told that I have to work harder. When I worked on Capitol Hill I was always one of a few Black women working on agriculture of veterans’ policy. That can be extremely isolating at times. Since joining Marijuana Matters, I’ve been fortunate to work with a number of advocacy organizations like Women Grow, MCBA, M4MM, and Supernova Women where women are all at the helm. These are the women I call on for support when I need to get something done.
What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge with leading Marijuana Matters has been introducing our work to the public. We are a newer advocacy organization and not a lot of folks have heard of us before. Through thoughtful partnerships we’ve been able to amplify our mission and reach a larger audience.
What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
Our organization consists of all women so Marijuana Matters directly gives more opportunities to women in the cannabis industry. And not by default, our first Minorities in Cannabis Bootcamp consists of all women. We refer to them as the Fab Five and they are entrepreneurs looking to make waves in the cannabis industry. There’s a lot of girl power and black girl magic at Marijuana Matters!
What are your personal goals for 2022?
My personal goals for 2022 are to continue to show up authentically and convince at least one other woman join me in the cannabis policy space. The cannabis industry needs great minds and diversity of thought to continue moving the industry forward.