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Get to Know: Women Building Their Empires with Cannabis

Stacey Wellington

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Cannabis Entrepreneurs

In history, women don’t enjoy the same privileges as compared to men who were entitled to a myriad of opportunities. Up to this day, gender inequality still exists in some parts of the world, but women are starting to recognize their rights and stand up for each other and change the perception of society.

In light with this, women around the world are now making a name for themselves in different fields and industries. More importantly, some women are engaging in the cannabis industry, a multi-billion-dollar business that will soon change the world. These women are already successful in their respective careers, inspiring others to find their passion, go for their dreams and not be afraid of challenges.

Since marijuana’s legalization in some parts of the globe including Canada and selected states in the US, people have access to alternative medicine. Cannabis is known and proven to be great for alleviating pain and inflammation, so people suffering from arthritis, muscle soreness and body pain can benefit from this wonder plant.

Get to know the women who are building their empire with cannabis:

Maya Elisabeth

(CEO, and Founder of Whoopi and Maya)

Ever since college, Maya Elisabeth had a ‘very deep love’ for cannabis medicine. After graduating from the university, she started working at a local dispensary where she had the opportunity to get to know more about this plant and how patients are benefiting from it. From there, she started to study and create her own medicine and eventually founded her company, Whoopy and Maya.

The type of business she’s engaged in is mainly for medicinal purpose. The products range from cannabis oils, body balm, bath soak, edibles, and tincture. These products offer relaxation and aid to women experiencing severe pain brought on by menstrual cycle and PMS. The body rub and balm are also good for the skin and promote ease to mind and body.

Since Whoopi and Maya’s release last 2016 in California, the brand already received good reviews from customers in California and is now licensed to distribute products to Colorado. CEO and Founder Maya Elisabeth also won eight High Times Cannabis Cup awards since 2008.

Sara Batterby,

(CEO marijuana networking organization Women Grow and Hifi Farm)

Women Grow is founded in 2014, which has the goal of educating leaders on the potentials of cannabis. Sara Batterby helps shape this organization and encourages more women to rise and start cannabis businesses in different US states. Members of Women Grow get access to monthly and annual leadership events that help them expand their cannabis business and develop newer techniques.

Sara Batterby also founded Hifi Farm, which is a sustainable marijuana plantation in Oregon. According to Esquire, it is one of the ‘coolest cannabis farms in Oregon.’ Moreover, she recently founded her very own company, which is Batterby Group, which aims to support start-up investing and distributing capital. In this platform, she’s able to help passionate, driven and strong leaders who need support in their business.

Sara continues to thrive in these platforms, promoting empowerment to women who are already dominating the cannabis industry.

..some women are engaging in the cannabis industry, a multi-billion-dollar business that will soon change the world.

Jewel Zimmer

(Founder of Juna)

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Jewel was once a pastry chef, working at renowned restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Her background to THC and CBD inspired her to discover more about marijuana and its healing properties. Being a chef too has helped her to know the importance of good ingredients to develop a good end product. One good thing about California, she has access to the best sun-grown cannabis flowers which are truly important in making cannabis products.

Currently, with Juna products, Jewel emphasized that she extracted all the botanical actives from the plant and created formulas that work for body pain and even for beauty. Microdose formulas in the form of a tincture and drops are good mood enhancers and designed to boost creativity.

The line currently enjoys international following and receives multiple good reviews from customers in San Francisco.

Jamie Perino

(Founder of Denver-based dispensary Euflora)

Before starting her own dispensary, Jamie had a realization that most dispensaries offer poor customer service which makes her uncomfortable. She emphasized that budtenders aren’t patient with her, and you must wait a long time before you get your supply. This has made her eager and determined to create something that will not just offer premium cannabis but also quality service.

She wanted clean lines, more interaction between a customer and the budtender and of course, empower women. Because she sees a great potential to this industry, Jamie wanted to revolutionize how people get their supplies and go home feeling comfortable and satisfied.

Currently, Euflora has a total of six dispensaries serving Aurora, Denver, and Longmont. It carries top-quality strains, flowers, edibles, CBD products, concentrates, topicals, and vaporizers. Its success has now reached international news and continuously enjoys high sales each month.

Olivia Mannix

 (co-founder of Cannabrand)

Starting out as a marketing officer, Olivia thought it would take her years just to ‘get a pay raise and a title change.’ So, in 2014, she and her partner started a marketing agency that’s mainly for cannabis. It is now the world’s first marketing agency of its kind and has been making headlines since.

They are providing full-service marketing services to cannabis businesses to boost their sales, get better digital presence and improve their overall branding. Moreover, they help create campaigns that work for people who are still unaware of the potentials of cannabis.

Right now, Cannabrand is a distinguished marketing agency with clients all over the United States.

Role of Women in Multi-Billion Dollar Cannabis Industries

The legalization of marijuana has brought development to the cannabis industry as more have access to medical and recreational use. Women, specifically, have seen lots of potential to marijuana in curing symptoms related to PMS, menstruation and even menopause. Those who suffer extreme symptoms can simply rub, consume or smoke cannabis to numb the pain so they are in a better mood.

Although it’s still a fact that more men are into the cannabis industry than women, the number is gradually decreasing as more women are engaging in marijuana-related businesses. In fact, according to Marijuana Business Daily, the percentage of women who held executive positions in the cannabis industry for 2015 is at 36%. This is a good number and is expected to rise through the years. Lots of opportunities await females as long as they’re committed and continue to support the cannabis industry.

Women are also seen to create a softer side on the marijuana industry, with more dispensaries providing care and education to its customers. Take the Euflora for example, the founder Jaime Perino is pushing for top-quality service aside from merely providing people with the supplies that they need. Older people with complications can benefit from this change, as long lines can be reduced, and they can learn more products that can help deal with arthritis, muscle spasms, skin, and mental conditions.

What’s in Store for Cannabis Industry

The future looks green, both literally and figuratively for the cannabis industry, with Americans spending roughly $40B annually for marijuana products and strains last 2018. In Canada, the amount is slightly lower but is significant at $6B for 2018 alone. Imagine how much more this number can increase if the whole of America and other Asian countries legalize the recreational use of this plant.

It is no wonder why CBD products are also on the rise with its non-psychoactive claim, unlike the THC compound. There are tons of products in the market ranging from beauty and skin care, cosmetics, body oils, topicals, vaporizers, edibles, and even beverages. Start-ups are also increasing in number, offering new and improved cannabis supplies that don’t need a permit to buy. In fact, in some US states, ordering marijuana supply can be as easy as ordering a burger from a fast food chain.

Indeed, the industry is fast-growing, thanks to the minds behind every brand, plus the loosening of laws and regulations in different states and Canada.

One thing is for sure there will be more innovations in the coming years with the help of researchers and scientists who are continuously unveiling the capability of marijuana. We can expect to see more findings on the plant’s healing powers and nourishing properties that are truly beneficial for the human body. Who knows, researchers can validate marijuana’s potential to eradicate life-threatening diseases such as cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and neurological conditions. And finally, stigma to cannabis use can be removed, with more people becoming aware of the properties of marijuana.

For now, people can enjoy cannabis for both medical and recreational use, providing they observe proper dosage and purchase quality strains. This is essential to the experience to get the desired effect for a specific period of time. It is also important to store strains in proper places, to preserve its quality, taste, and effect.

 

Cannabis Legalization

Washington State Legislators OKs Cannabis Social Equity Bill

Jordan Webber

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Washington’s cannabis industry is poised to welcome diversity among licensees after state legislators approved a bill last week that would introduce the state’s first Marijuana Social Equity Program. The measure, named House Bill 2870 (HB 2870), now awaits on Gov. Jay Inslee’s desk for final approval.

If signed into law, the bill will enable the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to issue forfeited, canceled and revoked retail licenses to applicants that are members of communities excessively impacted by the War on Drugs.

As written in the bill, the measure’s main objective is to benefit “individuals who have been arrested or incarcerated due to drug laws, and those who have resided in areas of high poverty, suffer long-lasting adverse consequences, including impacts to employment, business ownership, housing, health, and long term financial well-being.”

The program is set to last for eight years, spanning from December 1, 2020 to July 1, 2028, and will cost applicants a total of $1,480 for new social equity licenses.

Prior to the approval, The House originally passed an earlier version of the bill in February this year, with the intention to address racial inequity within the cannabis industry.

Democratic Rep. Eric Pettigrew, the one who sponsored the bill, described the road towards the final bill as a long yet worthwhile struggle.

“I had a chance to meet with some proponents and opponents a little more … and really came to understand that this is beyond the issue of licenses,” Pettigrew said. “This is potentially a different distribution of wealth as we move forward in this industry.”

He, along with the help of stakeholders including Paula Sardinas of the Commission on African American Affairs drafted the proposal.

“We believe we need an LCB that is more reflective of the community it serves,” she said. “It should also have a culture that mirrors the Department of Financial Institutions where education, compliance, and training are priorities along with enforcement,” Sardinas commented.

In 2012, Washington became the first U.S. state to legalized recreational use of marijuana. However, eight years after, the state’s cannabis industry is still struggling with diversity. In a report from the Washington State Commission on African American Affairs, less than 1% of the state’s over 500 recreational cannabis licenses were owned by African Americans.

“Initiative 502 missed an opportunity to incorporate a focus on social equity,” said Rick Garza, the director of the LCB, at the time the bill made its way through the legislature. “The history of cannabis prohibition shows abundant evidence there was disproportionate harm in communities of color, and that those harmful effects remain with us today.”

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Cannabis News

Cannabis Firms Experience Boost in Sales Amid Covid-19 Panic

Daniel King

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Cannabis Firms Experience Boost in Sales Amid Covid-19 Panic

As the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus called COVID-19 a pandemic, cannabis firms in the United States have experienced an exponential boost in profits as users increase their stocks. Stockpiling cannabis supplies amid the coronavirus pandemic comes as news of a prolonged self-quarantine threatens the country.

A number of marijuana dispensaries and cannabis businesses in different states have reported an increase in buyers and orders as the pandemic plagues the country, including Los Angeles-based NUG and Massachusetts-based firm New England Treatment Access (NETA).

In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, head of sales for NUG, Steve Lilak said the reason why individuals are stockpiling is that they “are in scarcity mode. The streets are emptier, but specific businesses like grocery stores and dispensaries are seeing more people than usual – and people are stocking and purchasing in bulk. I’ve seen regular customers buying three or four of what they normally buy in just one of in L.A. dispensaries.”

Covid-19, Cannabis Sales, Marijuana

Increase of Stockpile for Impending Covid-19 Quarantine

Apart from corralling goods in a case of quarantine, individuals may be increasing their cannabis stash primarily because these offer calming effects to its users, remarks a Lowell Farms representative to The Hollywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, patients such as Mary K. Murray feel that they can better manage their pain and conditions with the help of marijuana, thus stockpiling the drug rather than waiting for her monthly prescription medication, reports WGBH.

Other cannabis firms who have a reported increase in sales include Caliva and Calexo. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Caliva is a delivery-based firm in California, while Calexo dabbles in sparkling cannabis drinks.

The same sentiments are echoed by Brookline’s New England Treatment Access, which has seen a boost in its number of buyers. However, in keeping with the national and community guidelines in place, the NETA will only accommodate customers who place and reserve their orders in advance, notes WGBH.

Cannabis businesses are also urged by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) to practice remote work, avoid travel, as well keeping records of transactions. Moreover, the ICC, in partnership with the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) also highlighted alternatives such as a utilizing a pick-up and drop-off service, home deliveries, or drive-by services to reduce contact time with buyers, thus preventing further spread of the disease.

NETA’s practices fall in line with the guidelines posted by healthcare providers and industry professionals to practice social distancing as well as sanitizing and disinfecting places of business. Employees are equipped with disinfectants and latex glove, and the dispensary is disinfected every night.

Despite the boost in cannabis sales, industry experts believe the pandemic could potentially derail the development in the industry. Businesses, investments, as well as stocks, could see a change in their portfolio’s as the disease continues to spread, states Forbes.

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Cannabis News

California Cannabis Taxes Hit Over $1 Billion

Jordan Webber

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California Cannabis Taxes Hit Over $1 Billion

More than two years since the industry kicked into gear in 2018, commercial cannabis sales in California has already scored more than $1 billion in taxes as of February 2020, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration (CDTFA) revealed last week.

As indicated in the figures released, cannabis tax revenues have totaled to $1.03 billion, with $498.1 million extracted from cannabis excise taxes, $123.4 million from cultivation taxes, and $403.1 million from state sales tax.

Most of the money, aside from covering regulatory costs, has been used to finance a variety of state-sponsored programs, including cannabis research, public safety grants, childcare for low-income families, and environmental clean-ups due to illegal cannabis grow, the official explained.

While the high record suggests a celebration for industry insiders and advocates, many were still concerned over the sluggish growth of California’s legal cannabis industry, especially with the ongoing competition between the legal industry and the thriving underground cannabis market.

“It’s an industry that was supposed to be huge, going gangbusters with the green rush,” said Zachary Pitts, the chief executive of the Ganja Goddess delivery service and president of the California Cannabis Delivery Alliance. “It has been growing, but it’s not nearly where I think people were expecting it to be.”

In 2016, California voters approved the legalization of recreational cannabis and state officials projected around $1 billion a year in taxes once the legal industry matures. However, two years since the industry launched, growth has been found to be lower than expected.

As presented by the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, growth in the industry in the fourth quarter of last year only scored about $2.6 million increase or 1.5%, a record that has been marked to be the smallest quarter-to-quarter gain in tax revenue since the market launched in 2018.

To date, under the current state law, those who engage in the legal cannabis market are to pay a 15% excise tax, a cultivation tax based on weight, and state sales tax. Cities and counties have also been allowed to tack on their own taxes, which can hit as high as 20%.

Jerred Kiloh, President of the United Cannabis Business Association, the premier cannabis retail association in California, said lowering those taxes could help advance the growth of the legal market, especially in competing against underground operators. California was able to seize a total of $1.5b worth of illegal marijuana in the past few months.

“Somewhere along the supply chain, we need to lower the cost of doing business,” Kiloh commented.

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