Did you know that women in the cannabis industry hold more C-suite positions than in any other industry? Currently, the number of women in the cannabiz that hold a senior-level or executive position sits at about 37%, which is 16% higher than the national average across all industries. The cannabis industry has long been heralded as a female and minority-friendly industry, and although the numbers are promising, there's always more work to be done.
This International Women’s Day (March 8), we want to celebrate some of the women in the cannabiz who are from the DMV area. Read on for some local cannabis advocates we can’t help but admire.
We couldn’t write an article discussing influential women in the cannabiz without mentioning our very own Michelle Sprawls. She currently acts as the Director of Science at CULTA, one of the few cannabis labs in the country that a female heads. She started her cannabis career as a budtender at The Clinic Medical Marijuana Center. She later went on to become the first female extractor to lead at Green Dot Labs, one of the most renowned concentrate labs in Boulder, Colorado.
Before being promoted to Director of Science, she worked as an Extraction Engineer at our Cambridge grow facility and is often referred to as the “Brilliance Behind the Brand.” If you’re a CULTA patient and enjoy our selection of high-quality cannabis, concentrates, and extracts, you can thank Michelle and her fantastic team!
Lyndsey Odachowski, the owner of Positive Energy, has been on our radar for a while. Like CULTA, her dispensary was one of the first to be part of Maryland’s initial application process. After graduating with a degree in International Business and Spanish, she was able to hone in on her business development and marketing skills while waiting for her dispensary’s pre-approval. A medicinal cannabis patient herself, Lyndsey believes in the healing power of cannabis and works effortlessly to educate her patients.
Karly Ziegler, our Wholesale Account Executive, had the pleasure of interviewing her in September -- for even more insights into her career and background, check out the full interview with Lyndsey here.
You might be familiar with Hope Wiseman from her segments on WAGS Atlanta, but there’s so much more to Hope than her reality TV appearances. Hope owns the Mary and Main medical cannabis dispensary in Maryland, making her the youngest African American female to own a cannabis dispensary -- in the entire country! She was born and raised in Prince George’s County and graduated from Spelman College with a degree in Economics.
In addition to Mary and Main, Hope co-founded Compassionate Herbal Alternatives with her mom, which seeks to create new opportunities for minorities who have been incarcerated for minor cannabis infractions. To learn more about how you can advocate for cannabis legalization, check out What You Can Do to Legalize Cannabis in Your State.
Leslie Agpar and Gina Dubbe
Typically, cannabis advocates have a history that’s rooted in Eastern medicine and holistic healing philosophies. Enter the atypical pairing of Leslie Agpar and Gina Dubbe. Leslie Agpar studied (and practiced) traditional Western medicine as an OB-GYN before joining forces with her business partner, entrepreneur Gine Dubbe. Together, Leslie and Gina founded Blissiva, a company that specializes in producing medical cannabis products that are formulated specifically for women.
Geared towards addressing chronic pain or boosting a woman’s sex drive, the Blissiva line of products is formulated with older female consumers -- women in their mid-40s and older -- in mind. Their dispensary, Greenhouse Wellness, is located in Ellicott City.
The Future is Female
Women have always been crucial to the success of the medical cannabis industry. Some business analysts believe that, in time, cannabis may eventually become a female-dominated industry. As more states and countries move toward the legalization of cannabis for recreational use, the influence of these famous female cannabis advocates will continue to grow. With medical cannabis legal in Maryland, it’s evident that more and more women-led companies are coming into prominence and supporting fellow women in the industry.
To read about more female cannabis advocates we admire, check out this blog post.