Equality creates opportunity. International Women's Day helps to empower those who identify as women by celebrating their accomplishments and contributions, raising awareness of current gender bias, and inspiring action to enable equal rights across the globe.
According to the United Nations, International Women's Day “is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political” [*].
The first International Women's Day was celebrated in the early 1900s, and since then it’s become a global movement [*]. This annual celebration helps to support the fight for women's rights and participation in industries ranging from economics to the political sphere [*]. Today, this international holiday is a reminder to recognize women’s achievements and rights while shedding light on where there is still work to be done to create a gender equal world.
In honour of International Women's Day March 8, we’re highlighting a few inspiring women making headway in the cannabis industry.
Tiffany Soper, founder of Nine Point Agency
Once realizing the need to create a PR and marketing agency focused on elevating cannabis brands, Tiffany Soper founded Nine Point Agency based in Vancouver, BC. With an emphasis on social and digital marketing, influencer campaigns, content creation, branding, event production, and graphic design, this boutique agency helps to eliminate the stigma around cannabis while helping to expertly tell the story of each unique brand. Tiffany feels that working as a woman in the cannabis industry “is an opportunity to forge a path for others to follow, to demonstrate the value women can bring to the table, and to act as a role model for others looking to get into the industry” [*].
Molly Peckler, founder of Highly Devoted
With a deep passion for cannabis, love, and connecting like-minded people, Molly Peckler founded Highly Devoted, an executive cannabis matchmaking company that focuses on dating, lifestyle, and coaching -- all while helping to undo the stigma around cannabis consumption. The company’s aim is to facilitate connection between people who have integrated cannabis into their lives, and Molly’s background in psychology as well as 13 years of marriage allows her to do so skillfully.
Chanda Marcia - CEO of Women Grow and owner of National Holistic Healing Centre Medical Marijuana Dispensary
With a PhD in cell biology as well as an MBA specializing in supply chain management, Chanda Marcia has taken her extensive education and experience to create a National Holistic Healing Centre Medical Marijuana Dispensary (NHHC), which is dedicated to providing individuals suffering from health conditions with medical cannabis. She is also the CEO of Women Grow, a non-profit organization founded in 2014 in Denver, Colorado, that helps to empower women in the cannabis industry. After recently launching a line of hemp CBD products, she disclosed in a Marie-Claire interview that women getting into the hemp CBD industry is a great way to enter the market because it “generally offers a less stigmatizing and expensive way to be a part of the rapidly growing industry” [*].
Annie Holmes, CFO of Namaste Technologies
Our own CFO, Annie Holmes, came to Namaste Technologies with over 15 years of executive experience and a decade of Board work. Excelling in strategic analysis, risk identification, and problem solving, Annie has worked in diverse industries, such as manufacturing, technology, professional services, financial services, manufacturing, resource sectors, real estate, and now cannabis. Annie is excited about working in the cannabis industry, and feels that as an emerging market, the growth opportunities are exponential. When asked why she chose to work with Namaste Technologies, she responded, “Namaste allows me to leverage my diverse background, skills and experiences to truly impact the growth of the company, and establish it as a primary player in the market. It’s also great to be part of a team, where the strategic and ethical goals are aligned.”
Danielle Jackson, founder of cannatourism.ca
In an interview with The Georgia Straight, Danielle Jackson, who goes by ‘Miz D,’ said she considers herself a ‘boomer consumer.’ Danielle has pioneered cannabis tourism in Canada and beyond by combining her past 30 years of tourism experience with 40 years of cannabis usage. Since understanding the unique challenges of being a travelling cannabis consumer, she works to curate the best of Vancouver’s cannabis culture for people visiting the city. By collaborating with local businesses and events, she aims to create an experience where people can easily access the plant when they’re away from home. When asked her favourite part about starting her business, she responded, “I love to work with people on holiday—they’re so much more open with their minds, and their hearts.”
Rosie Mattio, founder of MATTIO Communications
Rosie began her communications firm as a one-woman show, and quickly saw the need to enter the emerging cannabis marketing space. Her business rapidly grew to be a top player amongst cannabis PR firms, and is ranked #1 by the Green Market Report. With notable accomplishments including gaining the first cannabis article in Oprah Magazine, as well as serving over 25 successful cannabis companies, Rosie has set the standard for what it means to stand out in the industry. When asked about what it means to be a cannabis entrepreneur and mentor others in this space, Rosie replied, “To me, a cannabis entrepreneur is collaborative not competitive, and wants to help move this industry forward” [*].
Jamie Shaw, partner at Groundwork Consulting
Canadian Jamie Shaw is a female powerhouse with an impressive wealth of experience in the cannabis industry. Not only is she a partner at Groundwork Consulting, she is the director for the BC Independent Cannabis Association, an advisor to NICHE Canada, the former director of BC Compassion Club Society, and co-founded the first Canadian chapter of Women Grow. When asked about what the future of working in the cannabis industry will look like in an interview with Leafly, Jamie replied that the future is looking positive. She continued on to say “this is a newly developing field, and we have a chance to consciously choose industry practices that are better than the norm, and that can show other industries how to be more compassionate and inclusive” [*].
Monica Lo, founder of Sous Weed
Photographer and creative director Monica Lo is the brains behind Sous Weed - a platform that shares cannabis-infused recipes and information to help to educate people about consuming cannabis and how it can be approached as a culinary challenge. Monica shares innovative recipes on Sous Weed that pay homage to her Taiwanese-American roots, and is a recipe contributor at KQED Bay Area Bites. Plus, she’s shot and styled for the award-winning Sous Vide at Home and Sous Vide Made Simple cookbook, has photography published in Dee Dussault’s Ganja Yoga, and has recipes published in Stephanie Hua and Coreen Carrol’s Edibles: Small Bites for the Modern Cannabis Kitchen.
Cat Packer, executive director of Los Angeles’ Department of Cannabis Regulation
Before becoming the executive director of LA’s Department of Cannabis Regulation, Cat worked to build equity in cannabis policy as California policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. For years, Cat had been an activist for the Drug Policy Alliance, focusing on how the war against drugs had deteriorated communities of colour [*]. Her work has been revolutionary in helping to support communities that have been the most affected by the criminalization of cannabis benefit from its legalization [*].