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Top 5 Influential Women In The Cannabis Industry


Growing cannabis has never been an easy task. To ensure a high-yield crop, it requires a thorough process, a delicate balance of nutrients, water, lighting, and several other key environmental factors. On top of that, the continually growing cannabis industry has had to overcome a lot of challenges, from law enforcement, political restruction, and ongoing research factors.

It may not be known to some, but there are resilient, industry-leading, and inspirational women campaigning relentlessly towards the legalization of marijuana. Here is a list of the top five influential women that are paving the way for a more accepting society for the cannabis industry.

1. Emily Paxhia

As an alumnus of New York University with an M.A. in Psychology, Emily Paxhia dedicated her time and energy to advocating policy groups and served on the Board of Athletes for CARE and Treehouse Global Ventures and the Board of Directors of the Marijuana Policy Project. As the co-founder and managing partner of Poseidon, she has reviewed thousands of cannabis companies in the industry.

She has also worked and collaborated with founders in many capacities, held board seats for three portfolio companies, and participated as an adviser to various multiple teams. Emily also ensures proper governance at the company level and creates impactful deal structures, thus being active in investment decision-making and processes on investment oversight.

2. Chanda Macias

If you ever heard of National Holistic — a cannabis and hemp healthcare enterprise — then Chanda Macias should ring a bell as she is the CEO and the owner of this very company. With an MBA and Ph.D., Chanda expanded her footprint as the Chairwoman of the Board of Managers and CEO for Women Grow. She also became more influential as she took over through Ilera Holistic Healthcare, a partner of Southern University, a cultivation/processing facility in Louisiana state.

As a proud member of Americans for Safe Access, she also serves as the Treasurer and Secretary of the DC Medical Cannabis Trade Association, as well as one of the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association.

3. Emily Skrobecki

"There's a reason this is the fastest growing industry the world has ever witnessed. Not a single plant on Earth has the same synergistic effects as cannabis does, and scientists have barely scratched the surface of its abilities. It's great to be a part of this maturing industry, especially as a scientific influence." - Emily Skrobecki.

Emily's are seemingly dominating this list as another one enters the top influential women in the cannabis industry. CannSTEM, an organization that connects women professionals in the cannabis field, has only been possible with the support and guidance of its founder, Emily Skrobecki. She is also the Manager of Process Engineering at SōRSE, where she experiments with the water solubility of cannabis.

This organization also has technological advancements that improve the stability of cannabis, the bioavailability of cannabinoids, and more dosing consistency to create a better and safer tasting for consumers. SōRSE played a vital role in the development of several edible cannabis products and even some female sexual lubricants.

4. Amanda Ostrowitz

Before conceiving, developing, and founding her current enterprise, Amanda Ostrowitz worked as a bank examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank, Denver branch. Aside from being the founder of CannaRegs, Amanda is also a regulatory attorney and entrepreneur in Cannabis regulations and banking law.

She is a Colorado College alumnus, where she took B.A. in Economics and continued taking up law at the University of Denver Sturm until she began serving as the CEO and founder of CannaRegs.

5. Amy Margolis

Named one of the 50 Most Important Women in Cannabis by Cannabis Business Executive (CBE) and on The Political 100, Amy Margolis is also known as the "Pot Power Woman." She is the Founder and Program Director for The Initiative — the world's first business accelerator for female-founded cannabis businesses. Amy has been assisting several states for both medical and adult-use programs to implement adult-use cannabis legalization.

The cannabis industry has undoubtedly undergone tons of struggles and political disputes, but these women are the answers to such conflicts. Although the cannabis field still has a long way to go for their actual goals, women like these five can achieve these goals sooner rather than later. If you're a woman who wants to promote the use of cannabis, you can start by growing your own plants at home to inspire those care about marijuana.

Courtesy of The Weekend Gardener

Courtesy of The Weekend Gardener

3 Min Read

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.