KATRINA SKINNER – GENERAL COUNSEL AND CHIEF BANKING OFFICER, SIMPLIFYA
What is your proudest accomplishment in the cannabis industry?
With the ongoing conflict between federal and state marijuana laws, I pride myself on regularly working within legal confines to create sound solutions for clients who are taking incredible risks to build this industry.
Do you feel that the cannabis industry has more opportunities for female-identifying people than other industries?
I do, largely because as an industry it’s very new and has attracted participants who are not as concerned with limiting opportunities. Instead, there seems to be a common reflex to look to individuals, regardless of gender, who can bring their skills, passions, and resolve to make things happen. With so many shared goals, it’s not a space with much room or time for prejudice.
Do you feel you have to work twice as hard as male colleagues or do you think the industry has moved past that?
In this particular industry, I think everyone has to work at least twice as hard as they do in traditional industries to find success, because it’s cannabis. Most people in this environment seem to understand that many of the hurdles this industry faces, on both social and federal levels, are due to ignorance – so I have not encountered much of it on this side of the table.
What was your biggest challenge in business and how did you overcome it?
It’s very difficult navigating such a complex set of regulations, which vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, in a space that violates federal law. So far, knock on wood, we have overcome any hiccups by taking a more conservative approach that still embraces measured risk.
What has you or your company done to help give more opportunities for women?
It’s really all about providing the space. Simplifya has been sure to not only establish leadership roles for women, but to build a professional team that is nearly halfway comprised of women.
What are your personal goals for 2022?
I’m focused on leveraging long-term relationships within the cannabis industry to create valuable partnerships. In turn, such partnerships will spark new and collective growth opportunities for those involved, likely in innovative and unexpected ways.