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Video StaffJuly 26, 2018

2min870

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.

To read more, download the Axiswire 2018 Trend Report that can be found here.


Anne-Marie FischerJuly 24, 2018
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6min1321

“The playing field is still not level,” says Amy Margolis, founder of The Commune in Old Town Portland, Oregon, “I finally reached my breaking point of being the only woman in rooms full of men doing cannabis deals.”

Margolis’ extensive experience led her to one of her most proud endeavors in the cannabis business: The Commune and its in-house program The Initiative.

The Commune is a 4,000 square event, office and boardroom space, where cannabis women cannabis entrepreneurs thrive within the business accelerator. The space is filled with energy, inspiration, and of course, elevation. Women cannabis entrepreneurs can participate in classes, boot camps, incubator opportunities, speaker events, coworking, infused dinners, conference room rentals, and most importantly are offered the opportunity to participate in The Initiative.

The Initiative is an accelerator program specifically for women cannabis entrepreneurs and executives. Margolis developed The Initiative to rebalance the gender discrepancy in the cannabis industry.

“In this space which is competitive, capital intensive and requires businesses to be beyond nimble, having strong and stable mentors, immersive business support and access to funding is crucial,” says Margolis describing her interest in supporting women entrepreneurs, “The Initiative is aiming to be women’s educational network, mentoring system and growth facilitator.”

Margolis has had a long career within cannabis that has led her to create this intensive accelerator program for women cannabis entrepreneurs within The Commune. Named on The Political 100 and 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE), and one of the 40 Under 40 to Watch in Oregon Politics by The Portland Business Journal, Margolis has long recognized the unique needs for women in cannabis.  

“After suggesting [male colleagues in cannabis] add female board members, promote women in their companies and include women in decision making, to little effect, I came to the conclusion that we could not count on men to bring women along with them,” says Margolis, “I realized that women are going to need to do this for themselves and a program like The Initiative could support them and increase their chance of success.”

The Initiative is supported by a remarkable board of directors including Dr. Amanda Reiman, Dr. Janice Knox, Rick Turoczy, Emily Paxhia, Mowgli Holmes, AC Braddock, Glynis Olson, Katie Kiernan, Joshua Goldstein, Carlos Perea, and foundational sponsors iAnthus Capital and Miller Nash. The board of directors endeavors to provide leadership, guidance and broad networking to ensure the success of every selected applicant.

“This program is really for, and I am inspired by, all of the women who have bootstrapped their businesses, withstood ever-changing regulations, created amazing and innovative products, and are still here through legalization’s challenges,” says Margolis, who is also the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association. “After watching these women maneuver through the morass of this industry, I knew we could actually create a program that would manifest meaningful and seismic change.”

The Initiative is a by-application only program, where acceptance will be granted by the board of directors. Enrollment will be open to all women cannabis leaders nationwide on September 1, 2018, with a preference toward product makers and innovators. More information can be found at www.intheinitiative.com

The Commune will be hosting a cannabis industry open-house on Thursday, August 16 at 4pm, where those who attend can learn about the space, programming, and rental opportunities. More information about The Initiative will be available.

Cannabis consumers, businesses and investors can help address the gender discrepancy in cannabis businesses by supporting women-owned cannabis businesses and their products and services, “Unless we dedicate resources directly to women-owned and operated businesses, we will never be able to fully address these discrepancies.”

 


StaffJuly 17, 2018
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6min2750

So far, 2018 has been a huge year for the cannabis industry; but where is it all heading? In AxisWire’s 2018 Cannabis Trend Report, we take a look at some of the biggest developments in the cannabis industry so far this year and provide insight as to where the market trends suggest they will be headed.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Women in Cannabis
Women are gaining greater ground in the cannabis industry. Women hold approximately 27% of C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry. The last year has seen an explosion of industry organizations dedicated to advancing women in the industry, like IPW and Women Grow. There is also a growing number of women-owned cannabis brands, like Garden Society, as well as brands marketing specifically to women, such as Whoopi & Maya.

Cannabis Stocks
Bolstered by legal cannabis in Canada and by increasingly impotent federal enforcement in the United States, the number of cannabis companies going public is on the rise. Companies like Canopy Growth and Cronos Group have gone public on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ, respectively. Additionally, several US companies are gearing up to go public in Canada; including Acreage Holdings, Dixie Brands Inc., and MJIC Inc.

AgTech
Agricultural technology in the cannabis industry is set to see some big changes. Cannabis giants like Aurora and Canopy are starting to build massive grow operations and as such as are looking for ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs. Cannabis growers are beginning to favor CMH lighting over LEDs and HPS lighting, primarily due to its low costs and high Color Rendering Index Score. Automation is also an avenue that cultivators are exploring to reduce costs, including cannabis trimming robots.

Welcome to Hollyweed
Hollywood is slowly becoming more comfortable with its relationship with cannabis. Encouraged by recreational cannabis becoming legal in California, there has been an upswell of celebrity cannabis brands; such as Montel Williams’ Lentiv. Likewise, there has been an increase in cannabis-related television shows, and award shows like the Academy Awards have started allowing cannabis gift bags.

Infused Cannabis Beverages
Beverages infused with cannabis stand to be the next big thing in the industry. Several large beer companies have already expressed interest in making craft cannabis beverages; including the brewing company Lagunitas. Independent cannabis companies have also begun to branch out into the world of cannabis beverages; including a number of cannabis-based wines, such as the new luxury brand coming to market SAKA.

Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Like other industries, cannabis has fallen head over heels for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. Due to the disconnect between state and federal cannabis laws, some companies have resorted to launching Initial Coin Offerings as a way to raise money. Additionally, larger cannabis companies have begun to develop blockchain-based software systems to help manage seed-to-sale tracking as well as point-of-sale technology.

International Trade
Cannabis’ newfound legality in Canada has led several cannabis companies to seek out international markets. A lack of infrastructure in medical cannabis markets, such as Germany, have presented an opportunity for cannabis companies to gain some short-term profit and some long-term benefits. By setting up in developing markets, larger cannabis companies have the chance to establish a footprint before local businesses even get off the ground.

Music Industry & Cannabis
A growing number of famous musicians are starting to stake a claim in the cannabis industry. Legends like Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson have launched their own cannabis brands, and business savvy rock stars like Gene Simmons have started to make investments in this growing industry. Some aspiring musicians are also hoping to make a name for themselves by using cannabis itself to spread awareness of their music.

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

 


Debra BorchardtJune 15, 2018
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4min2190

The ladies of cannabis are crushing it lately. From Tilray naming a woman-led board to these women and their accomplishments.

Dr. Michele Ross was just named to the board of NanoSphere Health Sciences. She has a doctorate in Neuroscience and is the author of Vitamin Weed: A 4-Step Plan To Prevent and Reverse Endocannabinoid Deficiency. In 2013, she founded IMPACT Network, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to clinical research, education, and advocacy on cannabis for women’s health.

Dr. Ross has helped patients around the world and she has trained the next generation of cannabis healthcare professionals. She speaks from personal experience as having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, neuropathy and chronic pelvic pain. Cannabis was the only thing that reduced her symptoms and allowed her to return to work.

Naomi Granger announced this week that her company DOPE CFO now has students in 26 states. Granger is a former “Big 4” accounting professional with over 12 years of experience in both public and industry accounting.

Granger recognized a knowledge gap in the cannabis industry and co-founded DOPE to provide educational tools for accountants and financial professionals to enter the cannabis industry. She coaches CPA’s and other cannabis industry professionals on how to succeed as they deal with laws and regulations that vary from state to state.

Kim Sanchez Rael just launched her line of Azuca CBD edible product in New York last month. Azuca is a fast-acting chef-quality edible food additive that can be used for medical or adult-use consumption. It is a line of cannabis-infused sweeteners and syrups with flavors like almond, ginger, grapefruit, and vanilla. Rael is the CEO of the company and she has teamed with famous NYC chef Ron Silver, the owner of Bubby’s restaurant in Tribeca.

Rael joined the cannabis industry after 20 years of experience in entrepreneurial startups and venture investing experience. Rael has an MBA from Stanford and led the Flywheel investment in MIOX Corp. a water disinfection company whose technology treats water using only salt, water and power to generate a dilute disinfectant on site. She was a co-founder and investor in Qynergy, worked at Intel and served as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate.


Debra BorchardtJune 11, 2018
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3min1050

Toronto-based 48North is set to begin trading on Monday on the TSX Venture Exchange with the symbol NRTH. Led by Chief Executive Officer Alison Gordon, this cannabis company is a vertically-integrated house of brands focused on
women’s health and wellness.

So far the company has raised $27M between 2014-2016 via non-brokered private placements. $16M was raised in January 2018 via
bought deal private placement of units. It is going public transaction by way of three-cornered amalgamation with Kramer Capital Corp., a capital pool company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange

“48North is a future-focused company on track to serve the female health and wellness cannabis market with innovative next-generation products and brands,” said CEO Alison Gordon. “As Canada’s first female CEO of a now publicly-traded licensed producer of cannabis, 48North will provide an intrinsic and authoritative view to a valuable demographic that is currently underserved in this industry.”

It is the parent company of DelShen Therapeutics Corp., an ACMPR licensed producer with a 40,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility in Kirkland Lake, ON with 2,500 kg/yr production capacity. In addition to that, it has 800 acres of owned land with a two-phase expansion
plan for an additional 200,000 sq ft with 40,000 kg/yr production capacity.

“In addition to our market position, we have an exciting and unique strategy that aims to leverage 48North’s cultivation facilities with our expertise in the consumer packaged goods space,” continued Ms. Gordon. “The TSXV was built to facilitate entrepreneurial companies like us and within this reputable and highly regulated environment, our public listing will increase visibility and access to capital, while providing liquidity for our shareholders.”

As of March 31, 2018, 48North has C$14 million in cash, no outstanding debt and approximately 77 million shares outstanding. The company said in a statement that its goal is to have licensed CPG products available in Canadian retail upon legalization of adult recreation in accordance with the Cannabis Act.

While the company stated it is targeting the female market, there was little information as to the products it plans to produce.

 


StaffJune 11, 2018
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4min1930

Canadian medical marijuana company Tilray has busted the bro culture in cannabis by naming three accomplished women to the board of directors, making it one of the few woman-led boards in cannabis.

Tilray Inc. announced the appointment of Rebekah Dopp, a Principal in Global Partnerships at Google; Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood, CEO of the Canadian American Business Council and a Principal at Dentons; and Christine St.Clare, founder of St.Clare Advisors and formerly a Partner at KPMG, to the company’s Board of Directors. Tilray is owned by private equity company Privateer Holdings.

“We feel honored to welcome these directors to Tilray’s Board and proud that their appointments will create one of the first majority women led Boards in the cannabis industry,” said Brendan Kennedy, Tilray CEO. “Rebekah, Scotty, and Christine each bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that complement and enhance our current Board. Their established track records of success guiding global companies in rapidly evolving regulatory environments is a huge asset to Tilray as we strive to expand our operations around the world.”

Rebekah Dopp brings media gravitas to the board. She heads up Principal, News, and Local Media – Global Partnerships at Google.  According to the company statement, prior to joining Google, Rebekah was Senior Vice President, Advanced Services for CBS Corporation (CBS). She began her media career at Home Box Office, Inc. (HBO) where she spent 14 years in leadership positions in technology and distribution, culminating in her role as Vice President, Global Technology Business Management.

Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood brings her governmental expertise to the board. She currently serves as CEO of the Canadian American Business Council and as Principal at Dentons U.S. LLP (Dentons) in the firm’s Public Policy Group and as co-leader of the practice’s Advocacy and Government Affairs team. According to the company statement, before joining Dentons in 2001, Scotty spent four years as chief of staff of the U.S. Embassy in Canada as a Presidential appointee.

Legal eagle Christine St.Clare founded St.Clare Advisors, LLC in September 2010 and currently serves as its President. Prior to founding her own firm, Christine was a partner at KPMG LLP, where she was an Audit Partner from 1986 to 2005 and Advisory Partner from 2006 to 2010. She currently is an Independent Director of Fibrocell Science, Inc., and AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. and was an Independent Director for AVINTIV, Inc. (formerly known as Polymer Group, Inc.) prior to the sale of the company.


Debra BorchardtMay 21, 2018
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4min870

The Cannabis Women’s Empowerment Society, founded by CEO of Kalogia Simone Cimiluca-Radzins, held a workshop in Santa Monica on Sunday to address women in a program entitled “Reaching Financial Freedom” in the cannabis industry.

One issue that hit close to home for the audience was the lack of licenses being awarded to women in the newly legal California market. Public Affairs Official Elizabeth Ashford said, “Cannabis is supposed to be better with more opportunity for women, but where the women’s businesses in California? Of the 143 licenses awarded in Los Angeles, only 16 went to women.

This statistic hurt especially because women were overwhelmingly involved in advocacy for licenses, but as Ashford noted, they weren’t getting the benefits of their hard work. She and other noted leaders in the cannabis scene were giving women financial advice about running their businesses.

Khadijah Adams, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of C.E. Hutton said that one of the biggest mistakes that female entrepreneurs make is that they try to be perfect first. C.E. Hutton is a minority-focused business development and management company.  “Just get out and do it,” she advised the audience. “Don’t wait for it to be perfect. Men don’t wait.” 

Adams also told the crowd that they had to have a crystal clear vision of where they wanted to go. She did note that people need to be willing to tweak the plan, but they will always need the plan. In addition to that, she had advice about choosing a team for the company.

“You have to look for three things in choosing your team. They have to be loyal,” Adams said. “You have to ask for references and check them twice. You also have to make sure they have the rights skills for your particular needs.” 

Ashford, who has worked with Senator Kamala Harris (when she was Attorney General) and was Governor’s Brown’s Chief Deputy Press Secretary. Has strong words of advice for the women in the audience. She told them to “Inflect Down.” Meaning not to end sentences with a questioning tone. Men rarely speak that way and people mostly react favorably to the sense of confidence. 

She went on to tell the women not to apologize all the time and instead of saying ‘you’re sorry’, women should “unconform.” In other words, make the world conform to you.

The event was filled with women who seemed very positive and willing to listen to what it will take to maintain their positions within the cannabis industry.


Debra BorchardtMarch 8, 2018
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3min3151

It’s International Women’s Day and there are probably some women celebrating with cannabis, but you wouldn’t know that because many women are hesitant to discuss it. Cannabis consumption among women is on the rise, yet there are several reasons why women continue to stay away from it.

Van der Pop, a Seattle-based publication that focuses on female cannabis consumers recently conducted a survey to better understand the female cannabis consumer. April Pride, the Van der Pop founder said that cannabis is still stigmatized. Her survey found that 70% of women believe cannabis consumption carries a stigma and 66% hide their usage. The study was done in conjunction with CVI and it surveyed 1,530 women across North America. It focused on women who had consumed cannabis or were interested in trying cannabis but hadn’t consumed it yet. The age range was over the age of 19 in Canada and 21 in the United States.

Fear of judgment was the driving factor behind hiding usage. Women said that they were worried that others would question their decision making and possibly label them a “stoner.” Pride said, mothers especially worry about what others will think. “They worry their kids will find it at some point,” she said. “Maybe parents won’t let kids over for a playdate.“ Pride also thinks that the state a woman lives in also determines how people will react. “Living in a state like Washington, it may be no big deal, but if a woman lives in a state like Alabama, it could definitely be a problem,” she said.

The Van der Pop survey found that women mostly look at cannabis for medicinal use and not recreational. This surprised Pride, but then she thinks that many women categorize stress and anxiety as a medical condition and not an adult-use condition. “I was surprised sleep wasn’t in the top four,” said Pride.

One unique response from the survey was that Van der Pop learned that one in 10 women were using cannabis for their sex life. “It was a way higher number than I thought it would be,” she said. “It’s the two topics women are very reserved about, sex and cannabis.”


William SumnerJanuary 30, 2018
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5min1370

2017 was a big year for women. Between powerful movements like #MeToo or the Women’s March in Washington DC, millions of women across the country have discovered a newfound empowerment unlike anything ever seen before; and there is no place where that is more evident than in the cannabis industry.

Although the cannabis industry has traditionally skewed male, both in terms of executive leadership and consumer spending, a new report by the cannabis technology company Eaze, which analyzed the consumer habits of over 15,000 survey respondents and 350,000 cannabis consumers in the state of California, has found that women are one of the fastest growing consumer groups in the industry.

In the fourth and final part of our series, Analyzing Eaze Insights 2017, Green Market Report will examine the growing power of women as consumers in the cannabis industry. If you missed any of the previous parts, you can catch up by clicking here: Part One, Part Two, Part Three.

When examining the difference between male and female consumers, Eaze found that women generally prefer cannabis products that meet a variety of health and wellness needs, while men tended to prefer cannabis products that delivered potent efficiency.

For example, the top three cannabis products Eaze sold with the highest ratio of female or male were:

Female

  • Om Lavender Bath Soak
  • Select CBD Lavender All-in-One
  • Rose OG Headwaters Flower

Male

  • Pax Era Jack Herer Bloom Farms
  • Silver Label Banana Dream Concentrate
  • Candy Jack Cake Batter Concentrate

In terms of consumer spending, women spent approximately 20% more on cannabis in 2017 compared to the previous year. Women also made up a larger portion of Eaze’s customer base, rising from 25% in 2015 to 35% in 2017.

The growth of female consumers in Eaze’s report mirror other surveys which reveal that women make up a larger percentage of cannabis consumers than previously thought. According to one survey conducted by the Cannabis Consumers Coalition, approximately 53% of women are consuming cannabis, compared to 42% of men.

Women are not also just making up a larger percentage of cannabis consumers; they’re also starting to fill more executive positions. According to one survey by Marijuana Business Daily, approximately 27% of executive-level roles in the cannabis industry are held by women; well above the national average of 23%.

Although the report does not specifically examine why women are beginning to make up a larger portion of cannabis consumers, report authors credit the growth to greater product selection as well as improvements to safety and access.

Another key component to the expansion of the cannabis industry’s growing demographics is education, according to Devika Maskey, founder of the luxury cannabis brand TSO Sonoma.

“Education is a key component to broadening the demographic spectrum for cannabis consumption. Teaching people that they can improve their overall wellness with safe and discreet ways to consume begins to open the door to new users,” Maskey said. “Coupling education with sophisticated branding is appealing to women that are looking for healthy alternatives to prescription pills or alcohol. By creating a more elevated experience we can make cannabis more approachable to a larger audience and destigmatize women and cannabis, moving away from that ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype.”


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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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