Meet 5 of the Most Powerful Women in the Pot Business

Meet 5 of the Most Powerful Women in the Pot Business

It’s high time women took on the industry. The newest industry in the U.S. may also be the most female-friendly. In corporate America, women hold about a quarter of leadership roles and less than 5% of CEO positions. But in the fledgling cannabis industry, women make up about 36% of leaders, including 63% of high-level positions at testing labs and half of leadership roles at infused products and processing companies, according to a survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily. In honor of 4/20—the 20th of April, which has become an unofficial marijuana holiday in the U.S—Fortune took a look at some of the pot industry’s female pioneers, including a “cannabusiness” investor, a dispensary owner, a grower, and a professional connector. A “genius entrepreneur,” Jazmin Hupp launched six different companies before entering into the cannabis industry in 2014. Just two years later, WomenGrow, the professional network for women in the cannabis industry that she helped found, has grown to 30 chapters across the U.S. The network’s goal is to increase the number of female business leaders in the nascent industry and keep it from becoming yet another male-dominated corporate sector. Read...
Women In Weed: Legal Marijuana Could Be The First Billion-Dollar Industry Not Dominated By Men

Women In Weed: Legal Marijuana Could Be The First Billion-Dollar Industry Not Dominated By Men

It seems fitting that a plant called Mary Jane could smash the patriarchy. After all, only female marijuana flowers produce cannabinoids like the potent THC chemical that gets users buzzed. Pot farmers strive to keep all their crops female through flowering female clones of one plant, called the Mother. And women are moving into the pot business so quickly that they could make it the first billion-dollar industry that isn’t dominated by men. …In Colorado and Washington, the key demographic in the legalization movements were 30- to 50-year-old women, according to a study by the Wales-based Global Drug Policy Observatory. “I think women can help demonstrate that it’s a reasonable choice for a lot of people,” Title adds. “And it’s not going to turn you into Cheech or Chong.” …As pot legalization spreads, women are taking over more roles in the industry. There are female cannabis doctors, nurses, lawyers, chemists, chefs, marketers, investors, accountants and professors. The marijuana trade offers women a shortcut to get ahead in many avenues, and women in turn are helping to organize it as a viable business. Eloise Theisen in Lafayette, California, started the American Cannabis Nurses Association. Emily Paxhia analyzes the cannabis financial marketplaces as a founding partner at the marijuana investment firm Poseidon Asset Management. Meghan Larson created Adistry, the first digital advertising platform for marijuana. Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco founded Cannabrand, a Colorado-based pot marketing company. In Berkeley, California, three female lawyers—Shabnam Malek, Amanda Conley and Lara Leslie DeCaro—started the National Cannabis Bar Association, and Conley and Malek also started Synchronicity Sisters, which hosts Bay Area “Tupperware parties” to sample pot products made by women...
Mother of All Highs

Mother of All Highs

At a soirée on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, one woman greets her fellow guests with a delicate bowl of vanilla sea-salt caramels, each one laced with marijuana. “It’s quite subtle,” she insists. “I just keep a few in my bag for when I’m feeling stressed out.” Over light chat about family and work, the group quickly cleaned up the bowl. It is a scene Americans will be accustomed to by about 2025, according to Jazmin Hupp, head of Denver’s Women Grow society. “Once moms are on board, that’s it,” she explains, taking a drag on a hot pink e-cigarette filled with cannabis oil. Her battle cry explains the recent surge in products such as vegan weed bonbons, cannabis kale crisps, cannabis spiced almonds and “high tea”. Read On The...
Weed Entrepreneurs Woo Women In Bid To End The Ganja Gender Gap

Weed Entrepreneurs Woo Women In Bid To End The Ganja Gender Gap

When Jazmin Hupp was searching for a container for her marijuana at the Cannabis Cup trade show in Denver, all she could find were boring, utilitarian glass jars. So she asked a vendor at one of the booths if he had anything more elegant. He offered to make her a jar in pink. Her immediate conclusion: “You guys need some help.”  Hupp’s experience may shed some light on why women account for only about a third of heavy and moderate cannabis users, even as they make up about half of occasional consumers, according to the Brightfield Group, a market-research firm. Women like Hupp say that’s partly because current pot purveyors aren’t offering the products they want and are marketing in ways that annoy them. She’s now among a group of entrepreneurs seeking to close the ganja gender gap, which represents a huge sales opportunity in an industry that researcher ArcView projects will grow more than sevenfold to $21 billion in the next five years. Winning over women will require more than just churning out pink bongs. Women use marijuana differently, often preferring alternatives to lighting up joints. Health foods like cannabis-infused juices and raw salads are becoming increasingly popular, as are creams and salves containing the drug. For women who still want to inhale their pot, vaporizers have become the go-to method. Read On...
The Women Hoping to Become New York’s Pot Moguls

The Women Hoping to Become New York’s Pot Moguls

Last year, whenever women asked Jazmin Hupp about starting a medical-marijuana business in New York, she responded with a question: “Do you have a million dollars?” Hupp is the founder of Women Grow, a professional network for women with marijuana businesses, and she’s used to helping others get their start in a male-dominated industry. New York, however, was especially daunting. The state was licensing only five companies to participate in its medical-marijuana program, and each would be required to grow its own marijuana, process the flowers into a pill or oil at a manufacturing plant, and then sell the final product at four dispensaries around the state. The costs of vertical integration are enormous, and it is historically more difficult for women to raise capital than men. None of the women who called Hupp had the funding they needed — until Amy Peckham and her daughters Hillary and Keeley called her last September. “Do you have a million dollars?” Hupp asked. “Yes,” said Amy. “Yes, we do.” The Peckham women are like characters from a Jenji Kohan script that was workshopped by a Lean In circle. They come from a wealthy family in Westchester County. Amy Peckham is a compact blonde woman who raised four children; sat on the board of Peckham Industries, her husband’s construction-material company; and started a family foundation. When the New York legislature was poised to pass a medical-marijuana program in the spring of 2014, she called her daughters Hillary and Keeley and suggested the Peckham women branch out on their own. She had been waiting for New York to legalize medical marijuana after watching her mother...