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...
The Women of Weed: 3 Innovative Female Entrepreneurs of the Marijuana Industry

The Women of Weed: 3 Innovative Female Entrepreneurs of the Marijuana Industry

Some of the most successful companies in the cannabusiness were founded by women. Check out the stories of three founders who have already made a significant impact on the burgeoning industry. While it’s certainly not easy to achieve success in the heavily regulated legal marijuana industry, it’s a field that remains highly accessible to savvy entrepreneurs. That’s especially true in Colorado, which unlike other emerging markets doesn’t have a limit on the number of licenses to grow and sell pot. The result is an industry with a diverse set of business owners, including a significant contingent of women. Data is hard to come by, but anecdotal evidence suggests that it is far more inclusive than tech and many other hot startup fields. To ensure the continued presence of women, people from the cannabis industry in 2014 founded Women Grow, a Denver-based network that now has 29 chapters across the United States. Women Grow estimates that about 20 percent of cannabis business owners are women, a number higher than tech but one that still needs work. Co-founders Jane West and Jazmin Hupp tell Inc. that while it’s certainly a challenge, gender equality is a much more attainable goal in the marijuana industry compared with what they encountered in the tech startup world. “The entrenched patterns were so entrenched that I don’t think technology will ever be an equal playing field for women,” says Hupp, who founded female-focused tech media brand Women 2.0 15 years ago. “When we started to get into cannabis, we realized the industry was already an equal battlefield from the beginning. We had an enormous number of women already in the industry.” From software companies to...
The Top Businesswomen in the Cannabis Industry

The Top Businesswomen in the Cannabis Industry

Jazmin Hupp – Women Grow was founded in the summer of 2014 by Jazmin Hupp and Jane West. WomenGrow is a national professional network that connects leaders and entrepreneurs in the marijuana industry. The group cultivates female leadership through programs and events across the country. In just a short time the group has grown to 30 chapters nationwide. Hupp is the Executive Director and spends a whopping 35 weeks of every year on the road. “We were attending these cannabis events and we weren’t finding our tribe,” said Hupp. “So we decided to set up these events meant to welcome women into the industry and be the first place they come when they are interested in the industry.” The group is sponsored by companies within the industry and has received commitments from fifty different companies and uses the #First50 to recognize this campaign. Read the article on...