Tell us about WEiC and how you came up with the idea for the community?
Women Empowered in Cannabis was originally Women Entrepreneurs in cannabis and was launched as a Facebook group for a course I created. At the time, there wasn’t really much out there for women in the industry so some of the most influential women in the industry joined and started participating in the conversation. The course eventually was abandoned as the community grew. Eventually we had to break out into four groups: WEiC, Supply Chain, CBD & Hemp, Women of Color and changed the name to Women EMPOWERED in Cannabis to be more welcoming to all Women Working in Cannabis.
What are some challenges you face as a female cannabis entrepreneur?
FUNDING is the number one issue. I’ve had to fund WEIC entirely on my consulting business. Even now, I haven’t been paid in years. I can’t take out a loan from anyone, I can’t find anyone willing to invest as I generate under $1million a year. 100% bootstrapped.
PERSONNEL and how to manage is also a challenge. I’m doing the best I can and learning daily how to build a strong team of employees who are thriving. It’s a challenge daily. Am I making the best decision for the company, for the team? How do I handle differences with employees, etc. It can be a real challenge to be a good leader!
Who should join WEiC?
Any woman, anywhere in the world, who is working in or interested in working in the cannabis, hemp, CBD and psychedelic industries.
What advice do you have for women looking to work in the cannabis industry?
VOLUNTEER. It’s hard to win trust in this industry. You can tear down walls fast and develop strong networks when you show that you are here to help the industry grow. There are so many great organizations that need volunteers.
BUILD YOUR NETWORK. This is more important in cannabis than any other industry I’ve been in. Everything cascades from your network.
What do you hope to see for the future of the cannabis industry?
In the United States: 1. Banking 2. Record Expungement 3. Interstate Commerce. I believe with these three things in place the industry will be healthy and able to retain its renegade spirit as it won’t be crushed under federal legalization and the Wall Street Wolves.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned working within the cannabis industry?
That the women drawn to work in the cannabis industry are some of the most dynamic, generous and brilliant people I’ve ever met. They consistently blow me away with their accomplishments, ideas and ambition. It makes me so proud to be among them as a woman and a cannabis professional. I’ve never felt such pride working in an industry before.
Who are 5 womxn to follow in Cannabis?
There are so many! Check out my podcast – Women Leading in Cannabis – for interviews with some of the most powerful women in cannabis.
Ann Marie Sorrell
Scheril Murray Powell