Like many industries in the United States, the cannabis industry is a male-dominated one. However, a handful of women are evening the playing field. Fighting on the front lines to educate the country about cannabis, promote change and acceptance, and encourage and facilitate groundbreaking research. Let’s take a closer look at the most influential women in the cannabis industry.
Alison Holcomb has had and continues to have, a tremendous impact on the cannabis industry, both across the country and especially in Washington state. She was the campaign director for marijuana legalization Initiative 502, which was passed by voters in 2012 in Washington state.
She has advocated for legislative and regulatory improvements to Washington’s medical marijuana law. Holcomb has also served on the Seattle City Council’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel, where she examined a variety of law enforcement policies and procedures as they relate to marijuana. Holcomb currently serves as the director of the American Civil Liberties Union Campaign for Smart Justice where she continues to move the cannabis industry forward in Washington state.
Jane West is the founder of Women Grow, the largest professional network in the cannabis industry.
West founded Women Grow in 2014 in Denver, CO, and this organization offers programs, community events, and educational resources in hopes of empowering women and educating them about the cannabis industry.
Women Grow also provides a way for women to connect with other women in the cannabis industry. This network has successfully created a space for women in a predominately male-dominated industry.
Ophelia Chong is the founder of Stock Pot Images, LLC., and the co-founder of Asians American for Cannabis Education. Stock Pot Images is a stock photo agency that specializes in cannabis-related images. Before Stock Pot Images was created, an internet search yielded little to no images related to cannabis. And the images that did pull up were stereotypical stoner pictures and pot leaves.
Now there are thousands of authentic images that portray the beauty and diversity found in the cannabis industry. Chong shoots photos of cannabis farms, various strains of marijuana, and the people who grow and use cannabis.
Ophelia is also the co-founder of Asians Americans for Cannabis Education. This is an organization that encourages Asian communities to educate the public on cannabis issues, news, and policies as they relate to Asians communities.
Meg Sanders is the founder of a network of dispensaries in the Denver, CO area called Mindful. Sanders has worked very hard to change the image of dispensaries. From the way she packages the products, to the name she gives the strains, her goal has been to appeal to all walks of people. Whether a client is the most liberal or the most conservative, Sanders tries to appeal to both.
This has been huge for the cannabis industry. For so long the stereotypical stoner was the image was what many people thought of when they imagined a dispensary. But thanks to Sanders, and many other women, dispensaries and the cannabis industry is taking on a new, more sophisticated look that appeals to a variety of clientele.
Dale Sky Jones
Dale Sky Jones is the Executive Chancellor and instructor at Oaksterdam University. She is focused on cannabis policy reform throughout the country.
Jones was also the spokesperson for the Prop 19 California legalization initiatives and the Chairwomen of the Coalition for Cannabis Reform. Jones has been a huge influence in educational realm and continued to encourage the debate for cannabis policy reform.