Female entrepreneurship in the U.S. is on the rise in general. In the cannabis industry, women are holding down 36 percent of all executive positions and that number is rising. Women are joining the industry at record speeds, and those of who are already established, a large percentage of them are staffing their companies at 50 percent female or higher. Cannabis networking groups for women are also seeing major increases in membership. As this trend continues, women could very well dominate the industry within the next 10 years.
1. Infinite Wellness Center
Owner: Cristine Romarine
Specializing in top shelf medical cannabis flower, edibles and topicals, Infinite Wellness Center’s two Colorado locations (Fort Collins and Lakewood) offer a “professional, comfortable, non-judgmental and relaxing experience for every customer, every time.”
In 2014, Infinite Wellness Center’s College Avenue location became the second cannabis business within city limits authorized to sell recreational cannabis.
2. TreatWell Cannabis
Owner: Alison Ettel
Founded in San Francisco, TreatWell began by making edibles that were not only delicious but contained organic ingredients to better serve medical cannabis patients. They’ve now branched out to making high-quality CBD extracts, tinctures, and top shelf flowers available in select California shops.
Ettel originally used marijuana to recover from bacterial meningitis, which inspired her to get involved in the cannabis industry.
3. Cannabis Buyers Club Berkeley (CBCB)
Director: Aundre Speciale
CBCB is Berkeley, California’s largest medical cannabis dispensary. Their facility goes beyond the norm with trained counselors and staff who, ‘helps its members identify the most effective cannabis strains and delivery methods to meet each member’s individual needs.”
Speciale is a longtime cannabis advocate and board member of the Marijuana Policy Project.
4. Treat Yourself
Founders: Leone Posod and Cindy
Based in California, Treat Yourself “creates cannabis-infused health and beauty products with women in mind.” Treat Yourself designs products specifically made for female well-being.
They’ve created a space for themselves in the medical marijuana marketplace by combining healthy edible options with strains that tackle PMS symptoms, menstrual cramps, and other feminine issues.
Executive Director: Salwa Ibrahim
Based in Oakland, CA, Blum is a rapidly growing medical marijuana dispensary with an emphasis on self-care. With locations spanning California and Nevada, Blum offers a wide range of cannabis flowers, edibles, clones, concentrates and hash for sufferers of chronic conditions.
Ibrhahim began her career working for Oakland’s Cannabis University and ultimately applied for her own dispensary license (Blum) at the age of 25.
CEO: Meg Sanders
According to their website, “MiNDFUL is committed to providing the highest quality medicinal cannabis for our members and other Colorado medical cardholders.” MiNDFUL runs four dispensaries throughout Colorado and raked in $18M in sales for 2015.
CEO Meg Sanders was integral in Colorado’s fight for legal cannabis and is a national leader within the industry.
Co-Founders: Jazmin Hupp and Jane West
WomenGrow is an organization formed to support the inclusion of women entrepreneurs and business women in the cannabis industry.
Founded in Denver, CO, the organization provides programs, resources, activities, events, networking conferences, industry education, sponsorship and meetings to promote female empowerment on the executive level.
8. Poseidon Asset Management
Managing Director: Emily Paxhia
Emily and her brother, Morgan founded Poseidon Asset Management in 2013. The company is one of the only investment funds exclusively dedicated to the cannabis industry.
Poseidon has built a portfolio of over 25 diverse marijuana companies within the industry. Emily Paxhia previously spend 15+ years working with Fortune 500 companies before diving into the cannabis sector.
9. Sweet Releaf
Founder: Didi Davis
When a loved one of Davis’ got into a serious accident, she watched as they suffered through a host painful surgeries and harmful pharmaceuticals that did little in providing relief. This led her to create homemade salves and balms made with the compounds found in cannabis.
Her products are considered to be some of the most effective topicals on the market for pain, inflammation and skin conditions.
Founder: Jamie Perino
Colorado’s Eufloria is one of the top-visited dispensaries in Denver. Called the ‘Apple Store of Cannabis,” the dispensary displays their marijuana in plastic containers so that customers may browse, examine and sniff their variety of buds without touching them.
Euflora is committed to “the philosophy of enabling our clients to maintain or improve their health and well-being by using natural remedies.” Perino had never opened a dispensary prior to 2014, but cashing out her savings to operate in a downtown Denver location has proven to be a very successful venture.