From politics to entertainment, women throughout history have shaped the state of the world. And with the relaxation of U.S. cannabis laws, a new industry has emerged that women are dominating: marijuana. Here are a few trailblazers worth watching in the weed industry. From creating tasty concoctions to revitalizing the job market, these women are transforming the world of cannabis.
Photo courtesy Margolis Legal
Alison Gordon is revolutionizing the medical cannabis industry in Canada. She currently serves as chief executive officer of 48North, a cannabis company with a focus on the health and wellness market. Before her days at 48North, Gordon co-founded the nonprofit organization Rethink Breast Cancer, a group dedicated to educating, empowering and advocating for people affected by breast cancer. According to Marijuana Business Magazine, Gordon's passion for the medical cannabis industry transpired from witnessing a family member use marijuana after being diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer.
Photo courtesy 48North
When it comes to cannabis laws, Amanda Ostrowitz is a name you need to know. Ostrowitz is the conceiver, developer and founder of CannaRegs, a platform that assists attorneys, government officials and businesses with the tools needed to track local regulatory issues. Once a bank examiner in the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas, Ostrowitz is now a regulatory attorney dedicated to helping individuals stay on top of cannabis laws.
Photo courtesy CannaRegs
Amanda Reiman is the vice president of community development for Flow Kana, a company that partners with small farmers in the Emerald Triangle - the largest cannabis-producing region in the United States - to give them a platform to "tell their stories" and deliver their products statewide. But when she's not assisting with the management of Flow Kana, the list of roles under Reiman's belt is long. She is a member of the International Cannabis Farmers Association, a board member for the California Cannabis Tourism Association, the Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, the Mendocino County Fire Safe Council and The Initiative - an incubator for women-owned cannabis companies.
Photo courtesy Amanda Reiman
Amy Margolis is a pioneer in the cannabis and legal law sphere. She is the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association - one of the largest state marijuana trade groups in the nation - and the founder of the eponymously named Margolis Legal, a company that legally represents individuals in the cannabis industry. When not working with clients, Margolis directly influences state policies around medical and recreational cannabis usage. She has served as a member of the Portland Marijuana Task Force, Clackamas County Marijuana Task Force, HB 3460 Rules Advisory Committee, Oregon Health Authority Medical Rules Advisory Committee and The OLCC Licensing, Enforcement, and Compliance Rules Advisory Committee.
Photo courtesy The Initiative
As the founder of AxisWire (one of the cannabis industry's leading newswire and entrepreneur tech suites), the CEO of Salar Media Group (a cannabis industry-focused public relations and consulting firm) and co-founder of Green Market Media (most recognized for its financial news of the growing marijuana industry), Cynthia Salarizadeh is a force responsible for driving the marijuana news cycle. And to top it off, Salarizadeh is also the founder of House of Saka, the world's first line of luxury, cannabis-infused products - like wine and sparkling drinks - made by and for women.
Photo courtesy Cynthia Salarizadeh
If you're searching for a high-paying job in the marijuana business, Karson Humiston is the innovator you need. After noticing a lack of information on jobs in the cannabis industry, Humiston founded Vangst, the leading hiring platform in the cannabis field. Vangst has connected individuals across 14 states with more than 10,000 jobs. More than 600 companies have partnered with Vangst, and the company's newest app, GIGS, gives individuals access to jobs.
Photo courtesy Vangst
Nancy Whiteman was recently dubbed the "Queen of Legal Weed" by Inc. magazine after her company, Wana Brands, was ranked as Colorado's No. 1 edible distributor. With products available in Colorado, Arizona, Oregon, California, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, Wana Brands is dedicated to creating sweet candies that will help individuals "enhance their lives physically, creatively and emotionally" through marijuana usage.
Photo courtesy Wana Brands
If you've ever seen stock photos of cannabis imagery, chances are you've seen Ophelia Chong's work. Chong is the founder of Stock Pot Images, the first Cannabis-related stock photo agency that has partnered with the likes of Adobe, SmartFrame and Haystack to provide images of "real users and the communities of cannabis." Chong is also the founder of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE), an organization that connects, unites, uplifts and informs Asian communities about the world of cannabis.
Photo courtesy Ophelia Chong
Wanda James and her husband became the first African Americans in the U.S. to legally own a dispensary, a cultivation facility and an edible company. She is the CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary, one of Colorado's most recognized dispensaries, known for defending the rights of cannabis patients and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. James also works in the social justice community to protest the arrest of individuals possessing the plant. James is a celebrity of the cannabis community. For more like her, here are celebrities that are entering the cannabis business.
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