GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES
DINA ROLLMAN – SVP GOVERNMENT & REGULATORY AFFAIRS, GREEN THUMB INDUSTRIES
What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
I started working with Green Thumb Industries when Illinois’ cannabis industry was just taking off, so I’m proud to have played a part in building out and launching this market while at the same time normalizing cannabis law as a profession. Working at Green Thumb has allowed me to use my legal experience in new ways by creating and running our social equity License Education Assistance Program (LEAP) and securing several competitive licenses.
Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunity for female-identifying people than other industries?
When I co-founded Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) in 2014 with Green Thumb’s board member Wendy Berger, our motto was that this is “an industry too new to have a glass (or grass) ceiling.” We were optimistic that by raising awareness of the professional opportunities in a nascent industry, we would see women leading from the start rather than having to play catch up. Unfortunately, statistics today show that women are a minority in ownership of licenses and the C-suite, so there is still much work to be done.
Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
I do not think I have to work twice as hard as male colleagues. In general, I have had very professional and respectful conversations and relationships with the men in the industry. Additionally, we all understand the importance of making diversity, equity and inclusion a priority in cannabis.
However, I hope that certain industry players will move past marketing campaigns centered around objectifying women. While there is certainly an overlap between cannabis and sex that deserves more research and attention, it’s important to remember that women are fighting hard to be taken seriously in this industry as owners, operators, suppliers, customers and more. We can do more than look sexy while consuming cannabis!
What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge has been the lack of predictability in this industry. It seems like every Monday morning I go into the week with a set agenda, and I have to recalibrate immediately because of another industry curveball. I now have a mindset of expecting the unexpected and I try to remember to stay loose and ride the wave as it comes.
What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
In 2014 I co-founded IWC with Green Thumb board member Wendy Berger. It is a nonprofit that provides networking and educational opportunities for women seeking to start or advance their role in the regulated cannabis industry. We have grown our membership and have established IWC as the leading cannabis networking organization for cannabis in Illinois.
What are your personal goals for 2022?
Now that travel is opening up again, I’m itching to learn how to surf in Hawaii. In the meantime, I’ll be working on improving my joint rolling skills – I’ve been working in cannabis for almost eight years, after all!