Women's Cannabis Chamber of Commerce

Why Compliance Audits Matter in your Licensed Cannabis Facility

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Cannabis Businesses, Women Owned Cannabis Businesses, Women Who Inspire

Why Compliance Audits Matter in your Licensed Cannabis Facility webinar is part of a monthly series on compliance.

This is an opportunity for anyone in a licensed legal State who works in, owns, or is considering starting a cannabis business. 

Topics covered in this webinar are:

*What is an Audit and Why do you need one

*Audit Types

*Third Party Audits

* How to Self Audit

* What does auditing do for your business

*How to prepare for your State Inspection

Jenny Germano is the founder of ICS Consulting Services, national speaker and is one of the instructors for the Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce online business courses: 

How To Open A Dispensary

How To Open An Edibles Company

How to Open A CBD Product Company

ICS Consulting Services

Join us for our next upcoming ICS Webinar Series for June 26th 2019

@ 11 am MST.



Madam C. J. Walker

Madam C. J. Walker Creating Success for Women

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Women Who Inspire

Madam C. J. Walker is my business mentor, inspiration, and motivator. Born Sarah Breedlove in 1857, she was orphaned at the age of seven. She often said, “I got my start by giving myself a start.” Sarah Breedlove went from picking cotton to changing the role of all women in business.

Struggling financially, facing hair loss, and feeling the strain of years of physical labor, Walker’s life took a dramatic turn in 1904. That year, she not only began using African American businesswoman Annie Turbo Malone’s “The Great Wonderful Hair Grower.”

In 1915 at the age of 58, she renamed herself  Madam C. J. Walker and with $1.25, launched her own line of hair products and straighteners for African American women, “Madam Walker’s Wonderful Hair Grower.” Madam C. J. Walker paved the way for Mary Kay, Avon and home parties like Tupperware. Two years later she opened a beauty school in Pittsburgh. In 1910 she opened the Madam C. J. Walker Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis,

Madam C. J. Walker created successful marketing strategies, training programs and distribution models that were considered innovative for the time.  She organized clubs and conventions for her representatives, which recognized not only successful sales, but also philanthropic and educational efforts among African Americans.

Madam C.  J. Walker was an advocate of economic independence for black women. She opened training programs in the “Walker System” for her licensed sales agents. She paid generous commission and employed over 40,000 African American women and men in the US, Central America and the Caribbean. The “Walker System” provided lucrative incomes for those whose main options were jobs as farm laborers or servants

Madam C. J. Walker founded the National Negro Cosmetics Manufacturers Association in 1917. She was an active part of the  social and political culture of the Harlem Renaissance.  Her philanthropies included educational scholarships and donations to homes for the elderly, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, NAACP, and the YMCA.

Cassandra Farrington

Cassandra Farrington, CEO and Founder of Marijuana Business Daily

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Women Who Inspire

When the federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011 began to scare off would-be entrepreneurs, Cassandra Farrington, CEO and co-founder of a brand new marijuana trade newsletter didn’t blink. She and her business partner “kept the lights on” in their small Denver publishing house while their only competitor went dark. They ended up building what they hoped would be “The Wall Street Journal” of legal cannabis.

Reposted from Forbes.com written by 

“It always made sense to keep going,” says the former Citigroup exec,Cassandra Farrington.  who helms the website, print and email publication Marijuana Business Daily, a.k.a., MJBiz Daily, plus its mega trade conference that will draw more than 14,000 attendees next month in Las Vegas. The Marijuana Business Conference & Expo is the largest B2B gathering in the burgeoning landscape of legal weed and was named to Trade Show Executive’s “Fastest 50” the last two years.  With 843% overall growth across its verticals in 2016, MJBiz Daily won accolades as a top media company by Inc., landing on its Inc 5000 list

“We’re not a lifestyle publication or a culture magazine or a celebration of the plant type publication. We are truly all about the dollars, cents, actions, partnerships: the business side of the industry,” Cassandra Farrington explains of her company’s position in a market that has seen an explosion of media startups devoted to covering all aspects of legal weed like Merry JaneWeed WeekGreen Rush Daily, and Marijuana Investors News.  With some form of pot legalized in 29 states plus the District of Columbia and consumer spending across North America projected to jump from $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021, the race is on to cash in on cannabis.

“It is a huge industry, not just in the United States, but globally and getting bigger every day,” says the mom of two who laughs that she was “outed” to her neighbors and friends as a cannabis entrepreneur one evening as she was co-leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop meeting.  It was November 2012, in the days following Colorado’s historic vote to end pot prohibition and after the local media covered MJBiz Daily’s very first conference in her hometown. That night, curious parents recognized her from the news.  One dad shyly asked if he could take her to coffee to learn more about the industry. Another parent wanted advice on where to buy a joint.

“Between those two interactions, I was like, ‘This is going to be just fine,” she recalls.

In the years since, the legal market has swelled and so has the appetite for business content. Farrington saw early on that founders and investors venturing into the new terrain of legal marijuana needed news and timely information to navigate the changing scene. When a 2011 article in The Atlantic reported there were more marijuana dispensaries in Denver than Starbucks, she and her partner knew they were on to something big.

“We had a set of criteria that we judged everything against. Is [an industry] growing at a certain pace, at least 7% a year? Does it have a certain number of actual businesses with actual employees, not solo entrepreneurs or consultants or individuals, but people who actually have to make payroll every two weeks or every month? Pay rent on a facility that sort of thing that shows their level of investment,” she explains of the metrics they used to measure the market. What they discovered was a demand for unbiased news affecting the practical aspects of running a business, including tax policy, licensing and regulation.

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceWomen’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce moving women beyond empowering and inspiring into action and business success.


Former Overstock.com President Goes Her Own Way With Cannabis & Diamonds

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Women Who Inspire

When Stormy Simon—yes, that’s her real name—joined Overstock.com as a temp, the company was a start-up just two years in. Granted it was already at $18M in revenue, but in 2001, there were plenty of internet businesses booming.

Reposted from Forbes.com written by 

In Simon’s case, she had a front-row seat to the evolution of an industry—e-commerce. Everyone was trying to move shopping online and making it up as they went.

Simon put off going to college because she thought Overstock.com was going to revolutionize the world. And she helped it do that with an intrapreneurial spirit and loads of energy. She says she ‘raised her hand a lot.’

Being an intrapreneur is often the best training for future entrepreneurs

Overstock.com was growing at 70% to 100% at a clip, and there was no shortage of things to be done. Simon learned early not to ask someone for help because that just ‘made the snowball bigger.’

So Simon had an idea. It was a campaign actually, ‘Discover the Secret of the Big O.’ Internet businesses weren’t marketing on TV, and she thought it would be a great way to introduce women to a new way of shopping.

She pitched her idea to the board in the midst of a flurry of agency pitches. And the board chose her idea. Then they gave her a small budget and encouraged her to figure it out in her usual style—guerrilla.

She enlisted German actress, Sabine Ehrenfeld, and flat out begged a director to help her with it. And what did that campaign get Overstock.com? It got them from $250M in revenue to $500M.

Throw your passion at all the problems you see

So in 2004, she got her first big executive title, the VP of Branding. Not bad going from a temp to VP of Branding in three years. And she loved what she did, but she was attracted to something else that needed fixing. The Customer Service Department.

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceWomen’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce moving women beyond empowering and inspiring into action and business success.


weed wedding

Weed wedding planners manage couples’ high expectations

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Women Owned Cannabis Businesses, Women Who Inspire

Cannabis loving couples say “I do” with a few added edible arrangements compliments of Irie Weddings & Events, a Colorado-based business with weed wedding planners adding some extra greenery to the big day.

Reposted from New York Post written By Jeanette Settembre, Moneyish

“We’re a one-stop shop that helps canna couples find the right vendor and venues for their weed wedding,” says Bec Koop, co-founder of Irie, who helps pot smoking partners — or, as she calls them, “canna couples” — toke with party guests. “There’s so many ways you can incorporate it.”

In 2014, Colorado’s legal marijuana market reached total sales of $700 million, and that’s when Koop started up Cannabis Concierge Events and Buds & Blossoms, devoted to incorporating weed into events and decor. She merged the two businesses as a one-stop weed wedding planning shop with Irie in 2017, an all-female run business in Denver working with a range of local cannabis-friendly vendors. They’ve planned weddings for people ranging in age from 21 to mid-60s.

“I’m a daily medical marijuana user and I was not going to go through one of the most stressful and exciting days of my life without the way that I manage my pain,” says Lauren Gibbs, who hired Irie last year to serve weed and provide the decor and flower arrangements at her wedding.

“Weddings create a really great opportunity for people to be exposed to cannabis in a really classy setting. People were so excited to try it, and it really created a festive atmosphere that I couldn’t have gotten with alcohol alone,” she adds.

Couples simply visit a dispensary of their choice and select and purchase cannabis in their favorite strains. An ounce of it can cost around $100 to $250 at Colorado dispensaries. Irie offers cannabis packages that will incorporate weed in bouquets, flower arrangements, centerpieces and cocktails, complete with bud-tending services. (That’s a weed bartender, btw.) Budtenders offer up strains to achieve ideal highs and serve up weed cocktails to enhance the experience. Couples can choose a build-your-own “Bud Bar” complete with joints, glass pipes, small vaporizes, and edibles.

If you’re unfamiliar with the kind of weed you want, Irie serves as a consultant helping customers create a customizable strain menu catered to the intended wedding vibe. For those looking to get a body high there’s “BC Height,” which is an earthy blend of vanilla and berry. “Cherry Lime Haze” gives off a more uplifting high that’s great for guests looking to party. Another more relaxing strain is “Good Medicine,” a sweet mango flavor that gives off more subtle high.

“Sativa is more uplifting. It’s going to make you get up and dance,” assures Madlyne Kelly, co-founder of Irie. “Indica is much more relaxing and has more of an effect on your body,” she explains of the two cannabis plant varieties.

Bud Bar packages cost between $250 and $500, not with cannabis but including lighters, cleaning materials and selected smoking apparatuses like bowls or bongs. For weddings with more than 30 guests, an additional budtender is required for $15 an hour. Planning packages start at $200 and cost as much as $5,000 depending on customization. The $3,000 O.G. Kush plan, for example, offers everything from coordinating vendors and the $420 Elopement Plan includes an officiant, photographer and dinner reservation for the couple. For a steeper $5,000 Irie will plan your entire event from venue selecting to floral arrangements, party favors and all other stressful logistics.

“Might as well enjoy it on the biggest and most stressful day of your life especially if it helps with anxiety and puts you in a better headspace for your big day,” says Koop.

Women's Cannabis Chamber of CommerceWomen’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce moving women beyond empowering and inspiring into action and business success.



Are Women Taking Charge of the Cannabis Industry Leadership?

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Women Owned Cannabis Businesses, Women Who Inspire

The Cannabis Industry is a burgeoning industry, and as pioneers in this exciting new world, we have the honor of breaking ground and setting standards to pave the way for generations to come. One of the most fascinating developments in the cannabis industry is the rise of women in the workplace, most notably in positions of power and leadership at the head of cannabis companies.

Reposted from Leafly.com written by Lisa Rough

Women Holding Leadership Positions

The cannabis industry is comprised of scrappy, tenacious individuals who aren’t opposed to taking a risk, and in a sector that’s struggling to break free of former stoner stereotypes and debilitating social stigmas, women are leading the way. According to a 2015 survey from Marijuana Business Daily, women held 36% of leadership positions in the industry, including 50% of leadership roles in processing and infused product companies, and 63% of executive roles at testing labs.

When MJBiz conducted an updated survey on the topic in August 2017, the number of women in leadership roles had fallen to 27% of executive-level roles, although the presence of women in leadership roles in ancillary sectors of the industry holds strong: 42% of women held executive roles in supplemental cannabis services companies, and women still own and operate 35% of medical and retail cannabis shops.

No matter how you slice it, when comparing these numbers to women in the general US workforce, the difference is stark. Women hold 52% of professional level jobs, but make up only 26.5% of executive or senior-level roles, hold only 21% of board seats, and comprise just 5.2% of American CEO positions.

Why are women so prominent in leadership roles in the cannabis world? One factor could be related to the relatively low barrier for entry―because the industry is still growing and there’s no concrete blueprint for success, right now anyone can try their hand at making it big with some overhead cash, grit, and a little creativity.

Secondly, although cannabis consumption generally skews male, women are becoming increasingly interested in the plant for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. In a 2017 study published by the Drug and Alcohol Journal, the percentage of women regularly consuming cannabis is on the rise, although the gender gap still remains prominent. Between 2002 and 2014, the percentage of women using cannabis increased by 3% overall, and Leafly saw a significant increase in female interest between 2015 and 2016, with 27% more visits from female consumers than male consumers.

Attracting female consumers means making a new space for women to co-exist in the industry, and who knows how to do that better than women themselves?

Challenges and Complexities

Leafly recently attended Intersection, an event designed to confront and discuss how women can impact technology in the cannabis sphere, featuring an all-female panel to gain a better understanding of the complexities and challenges confronting women in the cannabis industry. AC Braddock, the CEO of Eden Labs in Seattle, was one of the foremost panelists who offered some advice for women in the cannabis industry.

“In order to move forward, you have to understand the rules and regulations, you have to understand the legislative process,” she recommended. “You must be politically savvy and understand the political process, and you’ve got to be mainstream.”

Sarah Blankinship, CEO of Right Sciences, expressed her surprise at ending up in the industry. “If you would have told me that I was going to end up in the cannabis industry, I would have definitely thought you were smoking what we are here to talk about tonight.”

Dr. Janice Knox, one of the founders of the American Cannabinoid Clinics, after being contacted by former patients who were seeking assistance entering the medical marijuana program and looking for answers from a certified physician, found herself at a bit of a loss. “How could I be a doctor and not be able to answer questions about the endocannabinoid system?”

Six years after her formal retirement, Knox re-entered the medical world, this time as a medical marijuana-certifying physician and advocate. “My mission now as a scientist is to spread as loudly and as far as I can that cannabis is medicine,” she explained.

Medical Cannabis First

Knox’s mission seemed to be a consensus across the group. “This industry will not flourish, will not move forward, unless it’s on a medical platform,” emphasized Braddock.

Mara Gordon, a cannabis researcher and founder of Aunt Zelda’s and Zelda Therapeutics, described her frustration entering the medical marijuana realm as a patient. “When I came in as a patient, I entered into an industry with no lab testing, and no dosing,” she said.

Rather than leaving empty-handed, the lack of specialization inspired her. “I was going to solve the dosing conundrum,” she told the Intersection audience. “This was why I had to create all these companies. I had to create a medical practice, I had to create medicines that were well-understood, with testing labs, software to allow the doctor to make dosing recommendations.”

Braddock spoke up about the importance of vigilant patients, as well. “Get politically involved. Go into the dispensary and ask for organic cannabis, ask for the medicinal products that they’re required to have…The average consumer spends about $70 per month as a recreational consumer, compared to about $800 per month as therapy. Wellness products should range from ‘I just wanna feel good,’ to ‘I want to treat my cancer.’”

She also brought up the stigma that still plagues women who are curious about cannabis for treatment or therapeutic purposes. “There’s such a stigma―50% of women on pharmaceutical drugs who try CBD stop taking the pharmaceuticals and they start to see real change. You have to really think about raising your hand, not just as a retailer, but as a patient.”

The Future of Women in Cannabis

“Hopefully, what we’re seeing is the last flash and burnout of an old way of politics and medicine,” Braddock speculated. “It comes from a very patriarchal basis of power our world has been run from for thousands of years―forever. I feel like people are holding onto that as hard as they can, and just showing who they really are, and I really hope that it’s their last dance.”

“What’s going to come from that is a new modern way of doing business, of healthcare, of everything.” She paused. “I would love to see this industry change the social justice system.”

With women taking the driver’s seat and the industry evolving at a breakneck speed, it’s only a matter of time before we see women and cannabis changing the way businesses are run, and, hopefully, taking aim at the glass ceiling.

“All we have to do is keep backing it and keep doing this, because,” Braddock surveyed the audience, “we are at the precipice for a massive change.”

Women's Cannabis Chamber of Commerce“If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.” —Margaret Thatcher

Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce


Women-owned dispensaries

13 Fantastic Women-Owned Dispensaries to Support

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Women Owned Cannabis Businesses, Women Who Inspire

There’s a lot of discussion about diversity in the cannabis industry, but in terms of a gender gap, cannabis is actually more welcoming for female leaders and women-owned dispensaries than many other career paths. That said, there’s still a definite gap. The best way to help close it? Support the many fantastic women-owned dispensaries already out there. After considering countless submissions, the following are thirteen of our favorites across North America.

13 Women-owned dispensaries

3D Cannabis Centers (Denver, CO / Salida, CO)

Founded by Toni Savage Fox, 3D Cannabis Centers cemented its spot in cannabis history as the site of the first legal recreational cannabis sale, at the Denver location on January 1, 2014. Since then, Savage Fox has opened an additional location in Salida and used her fame and influence to make waves in the industry through organizations including NORML, NCIA, Women Grow, Marijuana Policy Project, and many more. The 3D team ensures their cannabis is of utmost quality by keeping a full-time scientist and full-time engineer on staff, and backing their products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. When you stop by the Denver store in particular, be sure to peek into the state-of-the-art on-site grow room to see plants and clones being coaxed toward full maturity.


MiNDFUL, headed up by CEO Meg Sanders, has been recognized by Women Grow as the largest woman-led cannabis company in America. The dispensary chain, which is dedicated to growing exceptional craft-quality cannabis, has five locations spanning the medical and recreational industries in two very different states, Illinois and Colorado. In Colorado, visit stores in Denver (medical and recreational), Colorado Springs (medical), Berthoud (medical), or Aurora (recreational); in Illinois, check out the Addison location on the fringe of Chicago.

Simply Pure

As the first black female dispensary owner in Colorado, Wanda James is an industry pioneer as well as an inspiration. In fact, James didn’t even realize she was a first until someone told her, and rightly asserts that there should be far more like her in the industry. Prior to owning a dispensary, she served on Barack Obama’s finance committee in 2008, and currently works as CEO of Simply Pure, which she co-owns with her husband Scott Durrah. A trailblazer at the epicenter of America’s legal adult-use cannabis culture, James, along with her team, places an emphasis on procuring the highest-quality cannabis available on the market.

Read Entire Article written by Brett Konen, an editor at Leafly specializing in lifestyle content, at Leafly

Marijuana Marketing for Businessess

Marijuana Marketing for Businesses is limited to four entrepreneurs. It is an intense one day workshop that provides you with a personalized marketing plan and strategy, the tools to initiate and maintain it, and marketing resources. The workshop is a cost-effective solution to launching a successful marketing campaign Marijuana Marketing for Businesses is an investment in the success and growth of your company.

For more information visit The Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce