Women in Cannabis

Whichever way you turn, it seems marijuana, CBD, and some conversation about this topic is taking off. People are discussing it more than ever now states are legalizing access to medical marijuana. With so much happening in the cannabis industry, it is easy to overlook the entrepreneurs running things behind the scenes. Many female entrepreneurs, for example, go unnoticed in this field yet contribute to a huge amount of success.

Women have taken their rightful place at the top of the cannabis industry. According to one study, close to 37 percent of senior-level jobs in cannabis are held by women. This puts the national average for other industries in the country-21 percent-to shame. Learn more about a few of the women taking the cannabis industry by storm.

Wanda James

Wanda James is the founder and CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary. Along with her husband Scott Durrah, they became the first African Americans, legally licensed in America, to own a dispensary, a cultivation facility and an edible company. As a leading advocate in the cannabis industry, Wanda’s political and entrepreneurial work on cannabis reform has led to her being named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Cannabis by High Times magazine in 2018, one of the 2016 Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) 50 Most Important Women in the Cannabis Industry, and has been featured in numerous shows including The BBC, Democracy Now,The Atlantic, MIC.com, MSNBC, Smile Jamaica, ViceLand, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CBS Sunday Morning Holiday Special, “Eat, Drink and be Merry” and CNBC’s Marijuana USA.

Mary Pryor

Mary is the co-founder of Cannaclusive, the New York Chapter President of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, and the Chief Marketing Officer for @tonic_cbd and @tricollafarms. She actively works on the front lines of dismantling systemic racism in the cannabis industry by working to educate and provide accessible conversations for people who are unsure of how to navigate. Cannaclusive was created to facilitate fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. They were inspired by the growing opportunities yet disappointed by the diversity issues taking root in mainstream cannabis culture. They celebrate the cultures of this thriving community through curated experiences, groundbreaking insights, thoughtful content and dynamic visuals. 

Dasheeda Dawson 

Dasheeda Dawson is a global cannabis industry educator, senior executive leader and strategy expert, and author of the bestselling workbook, “How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry”. She is a co-host of the @she_blaze podcast and the founder of the Cannabis Education Advocacy Symposium & Expo (CEASE). 

Founded in 2016, The WeedHead™ & Company is a lifestyle brand. Originally conceived to document Dawson’s experience transitioning into the legal cannabis industry, the company has grown to encompass education, empowerment and e-commerce for professionals curious about and working in cannabis, with a mission to make the industry accessible and equitable for all, particularly those communities disparately impacted by America’s war on drugs.

Dr. Chanda Macias

Dr. Chanda Macias is the CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare and Chairwoman of Women Grow. She is not only a Ph.D. and MBA, but the first black female entrepreneur to own a multistate cannabis operation, including grows and retail storefronts, across the country. Dr. Macias is a world-renowned research scientist in the biomedical space. Her most pioneering role to date may be as CEO of Ilera Holistic Healthcare founded in 2015 in Louisiana. Ilera recently partnered with Southern University to launch the first national CBD brand by a historically black university. Dr. Macias was even crowned Queen Zulu of Mardi Gras in 2020. 

Ophelia Chong

Ophelia Chong is the founder of Mogu.Care, CEO and Founder Stock Pot Images and the Co-Founder Asian Americans for Cannabis Education. Chong is a breath of honest air in the California cannabis industry, of which she is a veteran since founding cannabis and psychedelic image resource Stock Pot Images in 2015. Chong is well-known for her photography, graphic design, art direction, and education. She teaches Marketing and Self-Promotion at the Art Center College of Design and has been an art director at CalArts since 2008. Chong also co-founded Asian Americans for Cannabis Education with Monica Lo and Tiffany Wu in 2015. 

While this is just the tip of the iceberg, these women are making inroads in an industry that has not seen this much growth in a long time. Cannabis is giving people something to think about as they look to grow in their understanding of how it works, why it supports better health, and ways people can tap into the industry for themselves. The possibilities are endless for those who seek to learn and grow in their knowledge of cannabis and the industry. To learn more visit https://maryandmain.com/

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