Dr. Christine Skibola, Co-Founder Cosmic View
1) What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
We are proud to be one of the first cannabis companies in California to create meaningful cannabis products for women. Women have traditionally been ignored as cannabis consumers and, given our experiences as women who struggled with endometriosis and reproductive cancer, we knew how much high quality plant medicine could really change the lives of women. Also – winning first place at the Emerald Cup with our Deep Down pain topical in 2020 was pretty exciting!
2) Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?
Early on, cannabis opened the doors wide for women to enter the field. Women have traditionally been medicine makers and caretakers and the industry under 215 really gave us an opportunity to thrive as entrepreneurs. Sadly, this has changed with venture capital – which is designed for profit maximization rather than supporting people and communities in a holistic way. In practice, most legacy businesses were pushed out, many of which were female founded collectives. We feel it’s important for Cosmic View–and other female founders–to continue to play a leadership role in the industry so that the needs of women consumers are met.
3) Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
Everyone is struggling in cannabis right now, but we definitely have experienced having to work harder and smarter to get by in this industry, especially as women who didn’t come heavily resourced. We experience the same issues with access to capital that women face in every industry. Being New Yorkers comes in handy though–it gives us the ability to navigate the residual misogyny still lingering in cannabis with grace–and major attitude.
4) What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
I had a long career as a scientist in academia, which,funnily enough, was a cake walk compared to the challenges we face in this industry. The California regulations around cannabis stifle small business owners with a regulatory system that isn’t designed for us to succeed. This challenge is ongoing but we have forged really important relationships with cultivators and allies in the industry, which supports our growth and allows us to be incredibly nimble. We also have chosen to remain small and being scrappy has definitely been an advantage during the past few years.
5) What have you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women? We hire women, we support our female colleagues in the industry and we support women’s health by making high quality and effective products that women can trust.
6) What are your personal goals for 2022?
To continue to grow and get the kudos we deserve after hustling with unwavering integrity for so long.