The cannabis space wouldn’t be what it is today a number of female trailblazers paving the way in all sectors of the industry, from activism to politics to entrepreneurship. As an emergent global industry, the cannabis space offers more opportunities for women than other, more established industries, and still, female leadership in cannabis has dropped from 36 to 27 percent as the industry becomes more mainstream. (For context, women occupy 23 percent of leadership positions outside cannabis.) That said, these women have continued to spearhead their efforts toward directing cannabis to be more open and accessible to women and minorities. While no list could adequately cover the efforts of everyone involved, here are 22 of the most influential women in cannabis.
Amanda is a maven of all things marijuana. As vice president of community relations for Flow Kana, and formerly the manager of marijuana law and policy for the Drug Policy Alliance, Amanda also serves as secretary for the International Cannabis Farmer’s Association — a nonprofit that advocates on behalf of sun-grown cannabis cultivators for favorable policies and research. Not only that, Amanda is also on the board of the California Cannabis Tourism in Association, The Mendocino Cannabis Industry Association, and The Initiative, an incubator for women-owned cannabis businesses.
With nearly 20 years’ experience as an attorney and founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, Amy has dedicated her work to helping women grow and thrive in the cannabis industry. She also founded The Commune, a cannabis-friendly gathering space in Portland, Oregon, and The Initiative, an incubator/accelerator for women in the industry.
As founder of Van Der Pop, a female-focused cannabis lifestyle and accessory brand, April is also releasing a podcast called Of Like Minds, which uses story telling to convey the culture around cannabis. A pioneer in closing the gender gap within the industry, April is a self-described “serial creative entrepreneur.” Having sold Van Der Pop in 2017, she’s continuing to make headway in normalizing, sophisticating, repositioning the plant as an upscale consumer product.
As executive director of Los Angeles’ Department of Cannabis Regulation, Cat has worked tirelessly to lead the world capital of cannabis into a legal future. Before taking the role of LA’s cannabis czar, Cat served as California policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, where she focused on equity in cannabis policy reform.
Not only has the comedian been long out of the closet about her love for cannabis, but Chelsea has also recently partnered with NorCal Cannabis Company, based out of San Francisco, to launch her own line of cannabis. She called her motivation for the line “female-centric,” with the goal of reintroducing women to the marketplace.
Constance was inspired by her struggle with chronic illness to found her own cannabis line, Constance Therapeutics. She had nearly died from pharmaceutical pain medications when she finally tried cannabis to soothe her pain, and soon became fascinated with the science behind medical marijuana.
An award winning journalist, Debra is also CEO and editor-in-chief of Green Market Report, a financial news site following the cannabis industry. An expert on all financial aspects of cannabis, Debra has appeared on Yahoo Finance TV, Cheddar TV, and Bold TV as a thought leader in the space.
Published: July 24, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News