Influential Women in Cannabis

In a world dominated by men, it’s refreshing to know that the cannabis industry hasn’t become an old boys club. Cannabis, and specifically, medical marijuana is a fairly new industry so there are plenty of opportunities for women to be at the forefront of the emerging business.

In fact, Marijuana Business Daily, a publication based out of Denver, Colorado, conducted a study and concluded that women hold 36% of executive positions in the industry, and 63% of executive positions within testing labs across the United States.

If you are following the cannabis industry closely and watching as advocates speak out on both sides, chances are, you’ve heard a few names pop up.

Alison Holcomb, Betty Aldworth, Kate Brown, and Meg Collins are at the forefront of the conversation in their respective US states; not to mention, some established female CEO’s, like Meg Saunders, Patricia Rosi-Santucci, Ah Warner and Toni Savage Fox who have all been successful as producers, processors or retailers, also across the US. Perhaps, you’ve even heard of master herbalist, Dr. Lakisha Jenkins or superstar attorney, Rachel K. Gillette. What seems to be missing are the women at the forefront of the industry in Canada.

Everyone knows that “weed” isn’t just for college students and hippies anymore; especially taking note of the wide range of female-specific medicinal benefits. Let’s take a deep breath, pull it all in and take a moment to appreciate some of these ladies who work north of the border, and their contributions.

1. There are many key players in the cannabis industry in Canada, one of which being Aphria, one of the largest licensed producers who promises to deliver 100% greenhouse-grown products. On the Aphria Board of Directors, you’ll see a familiar face in Arlene Dickinson, most well known for being one of the Dragons on Dragon’s Den and for being the CEO of Venture Communications.

2. Across the playing field, we have Tilray, another licensed producer, who has been operating in Canada since 2014 and boasts being the “leading provider of high-quality medical cannabis in the country.“ Catherine Jacobson acts as Director of Clinical Research to help fulfill Tilray’s goal of increasing knowledge of cannabinoid science through partnerships with other physicians and medical institutions to study and develop best treatment practices.

Also working for Tilray is Christy Zhou, who acts as general legal counsel for the organization. Sitting on the Tilray Advisory Board are Elizabeth K. Hale, who specializes in laser surgery and cosmetic dermatology, and Catherine Lord, who is a professor of psychology in psychiatry and founding Director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain (CADB).

3. Last but certainly not least, we return to south of the border to profile the lovely Dr. Dina, aka “the Real Nancy Botwin”, who is not only Snoop Dogg’s doctor and medical marijuana prescriber, but also a pioneer of the medical marijuana movement in LA and the person that the hit television series Weeds is based on.

As legislation for legalization continues across North America, there will always be the people who call for bans, but hopefully some of the stigma surrounding its use will disappear and people will be able to talk about it more freely and make informed choices about using it. That is what these female powerhouses are fighting for. Just remember, the cannabis industry is thriving with some major female players, and Walter White is not a real guy, but the lady from Weeds is.

Do you know any ladies who are absolutely killin’ it in the cannabis industry? We want to hear your stories below.