With as many glass ceilings women have had to break throughout history, it comes as no surprise that they are completely dominating the cannabis industry. It just simply would not be what it is today without a number of female leaders paving the way for its success. From activism and politics to researchers and marketers, the cannabis industry is offering more opportunities for women than other more established industries.
According to a report done by Marijuana Business Daily, there are around 37 percent of senior-level jobs being occupied by women in the cannabis space. This surpasses the national average of all other industries at 21 percent. While the list could be endless and still not highlight every important player, here are some of the most influential women that the cannabis industry has seen.
Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve, a leading multi-state cannabis operation that has seventy-five stores and counting in Florida. In 2020, she was awarded the 2020 Women Business Enterprise of the Year award which celebrates the work of businesses and leaders in Florida’s Big Bend area who are driving innovation, expanding a business, and fostering job creation in the majority-minority community.
In addition to Trulieve, Kim is involved in quite a lot of other endeavors! She serves on the Minorities for Medical Marijuana’s Champions for Diversity Advisory Board, is the second vice chair for the National Cannabis Roundtable, and a member of the Benzinga Cannabis Advisory Board. She also mentors other female CEOs through the Canaccord Genuity Advisory Program for Women Entrepreneurs.
Another Floridian female has made quite the impact in the cannabis industry: Roz McCarthy. Roz is the Founder and CEO of Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc., She is responsible for the day-to-day operation of M4MM and is the helps develop advocacy, education, and marketing campaigns to promote and educate the masses about the efficacy of medical marijuana. In 2018 she was named High Times 100 Most Influential People in the Cannabis Industry.
Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization focused on advocacy, education, and outreach as it relates to the social, medical, business, and public policy aspects of the cannabis industry. [a] M4MM is a membership-based organization making sure people of color have an equal opportunity to participate in the cannabis space and are afforded access to care despite their economic situation. M4MM currently has a presence in 27 states throughout the country.
Rosie Mattio is the Founder and CEO of MATTIO Communications. Founded in 2005, MATTIO has grown into a dominating strategic Marketing and Public Relations firm that has taken over the cannabis space on a national level. In fact, MATTIO placed the first cannabis article ever to appear in both Vogue and Oprah Magazine.
As a result of all of her hard work, MATTIO was voted the number one cannabis firm by the Green Market Report. In 2019, the company was ranked on Green Entrepreneur’s Top 100 Cannabis Companies and awarded MG Magazine’s Best Workplaces. Rosie Mattio was also named one of Forbes Fifteen Powerful And Innovative Women In Cannabis and received a High Times Female 50 award.
Ellen Komp is the Deputy Director of California NORML. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) , is a non-profit that focuses on both medical and recreational marijuana laws. It was first founded in 1970 and has since gone international, with several branches in other countries such as France, Canada, and the UK.
Ellen Komp began her journey as a marijuana activist in the early 1990’s and has helped both destigmatize cannabis with the public and helped change cannabis policy.
Nancy Whiteman is the co-founder of Wana Brands, the top producer of cannabis edibles in Colorado. Wana Brands has also made its way into the Florida Medical Marijuana program at MUV dispensaries throughout the state.
In December of 2019, Nancy was named MJBizDaily’s 2019 Industry Impact Award Winner and was one of six women included in High Times 100 in March 2019. In May 2019, Nancy was listed as No. 3 in Cannabis Business Executive’s 2019 Power Women in Cannabis.
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins is a key player in the world of alternative therapies with the goal of finding the best ways to incorporate cannabis into other herbal therapies to promote overall health and wellness. She has a Doctorate in Naturopathy and is a Professional Member of the American Herbalist Guild. She has been an active member of the medical cannabis industry since 2006 and is a founding board member of The California Cannabis Industry Association and was their first elected President. She also served on The National Cannabis Industry Association’s Board of Directors.
The overall landscape for women in the cannabis industry is very strong. While only five women are mentioned above, there are hundreds of women who are making a huge impact throughout the world.