Part 2 of our Breaking the Grass Ceiling Series Focuses on the Top Female Leaders of Public Cannabis Companies
Nowadays, women are just as likely to use cannabis as they are to crack open a bottle of wine to unwind. They have embraced it in their daily lives for both medical/recreational uses. The social stigma around the consumption of cannabis for women has been a barrier previously, but the amount of women who are now open to discussing their personal use has exploded.
Women make a lot of decisions about spending, lifestyle, and health in their households. They’re an important market to consider and because of this, women are influencing the types of products that are being developed within the industry, with a number of femme-focused cannabis brands popping up. There are finally products in the cannabis marketplace that reflect the wants and needs of women.
Interestingly, the industry isn’t just cultivating cannabis it is also cultivating female leaders. In fact, female presence as executives in the cannabis industry is larger than many other industries. According to Marijuana Business Daily, “In certain sectors of the industry, females hold a significantly higher percentage of executive offices relative to the national average. Women comprise 42% of the executive positions at ancillary services companies, for instance, and 35% of medical dispensaries/recreational stores.”
These female executives bring a wealth of knowledge about the female consumer. They know about how women spend money and what’s important to them in relation to cannabis products for themselves and their families.
It’s no wonder women hold management roles or are at the helm of some of the most successful global cannabis companies.
Here are the top females running public cannabis companies today:
Alison Gordon is the Co-CEO of 48North Cannabis (TSXV: NRTH) (OTCPK: NCNNF), a licensed producer of medical and adult-use cannabis in Canada. The company focuses on the health and wellness market, specifically on the cultivation and extraction of cannabis. 48North also creates innovative cannabis brands. Previously, Gordon was CMO at 48North, and prior to that held the position of Co-founder and Executive Vice President of Rethink Breast Cancer. She has been named one of Canada’s top marketers by Marketing Magazine.
Jeanette VanderMarel is an early entrepreneur in the cannabis industry, as co-founder and CEO of both Good & Green and The Green Organic Dutchman (TSX: TGOD) (OTCQX: TGODF), one of Canada’s leading licensed producers of organic cannabis. She is now the Co-CEO along with Alison Gordon of 48North Cannabis (TSXV: NRTH) (OTCPK: NCNNF). which acquired Good & Green in 2018. Following her own personal experience including her daughters battle with Dravet’s syndrome and her own career as a critical care and pediatric intensive care nurse, VanderMarel has seen first hand how cannabis can improve the lives of patients.
The 48North cannabis flower is the source-ingredient for all of their cannabis products. The F8 branded as lifestyle cannabis essentials, including a stylish grinder and pipe set. Their Mother and Clone nanospray works in 60 seconds and lasts one hour. They have also created Latitude, a women’s cannabis publication and platform which empowers women to connect and learn through their personal experience with cannabis. Avitas premium vape cartridges, the popular U.S.-based cannabis brand, is exclusive to 48North in Canada.
Kim Rivers is the CEO of Trulieve Cannabis (CSE: TRUL) (OTCQX: TCNNF), the largest fully licensed medical marijuana company in the state of Florida. Previously, Rivers ran successful businesses in both the finance and real estate industries and has also spent many years as a lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions for large companies. Her time at Trulieve has been impressive and her experience has made her the ideal person to steer Trulieve through the complicated cannabis legal landscape. Since becoming CEO of Trulieve in 2015, Rivers has helped open 30 Trulieve dispensaries in Florida, further proving the brisk growth pace of the company. The company sells between 60-70% of the states overall volume, with more than 2,100 physicians ordering product in the state of Florida alone. Rivers also helped Trulieve acquire dispensaries in California and Massachusetts.
Trulieve develops its own cannabis products in-house and distributes their products in their own Trulieve branded dispensaries. The selection of products are available in a variety of delivery methods, including full flower cannabis, concentrates, tinctures, topical creams, vaporizers, and more. According to their website, the products are designed to help alleviate seizures, severe and persistent muscle spasms, pain, nausea, loss of appetite, and other symptoms associated with serious medical conditions such as cancer, PTSD, and AIDS.
Jill Swainson is the Chief Legal Officer & Corporate Secretary for Aurora Cannabis (TSX: ACB) (NYSE: ACB). Previously, Swainson served as Aurora’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. In this new role, Ms. Swainson will be responsible for overseeing Aurora’s in-house legal team while minimizing legal risks to Aurora by advising the company’s officers and board members on any legal and regulatory issues.
As Corporate Secretary, Ms. Swainson will be responsible for ensuring the integrity of Aurora’s governance framework, compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements and implementing decisions made by the Board of Directors. The company is headquartered in Edmonton, Alberta and is one of the largest global cannabis companies. Aurora is involved in the production and distribution of medical and recreational cannabis. Formerly a Partner lawyer for Brownlee LLP business practice, Swainson has worked with Aurora since inception and has years of experience navigating strict cannabis regulations.
Since 2016 Aurora has grown their plant in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, their state of the art facility in Cremona, Alberta is where they harvest only the highest quality plants for medical and recreational purposes. They also have three other facilities including one in Pointe Claire, Quebec, Aurora Sky at the Edmonton Airport and another in Lachute, Quebec. Aurora’s products range from Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains. Their strains come in the form of dried cannabis, cannabis oil, and soft gels.
Dara Redler is the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Tilray (NASDAQ: TLRY). In this role, Redler helps with overseeing the strategic global growth of Tilray and all its subsidiaries with the legal team and work cross-functionally with all teams within the organization. Tilray is a global leader in cannabis research, cultivation, processing and distribution. Previous to Tilray, Redler held multiple senior counsel roles within The Coca-Cola Company for over 18 years. Most recently her role at The Coca-Cola Company was Vice President and Senior Counsel – Worldwide Marketing and Growth Function. While the company is headquartered in Nanaimo, BC, Redler is based out of Tilray’s Toronto office. As the cannabis landscape shifts into legalization 2.0 in Canada, Redler uses her many years of experience to help navigate cannabis regulations for Tilray.
Currently, Tilray products are available in ten countries across five continents. Tilray works closely with patients and physicians to provide a range of effective cannabis products. Their Full Spectrum Cannabis Extract contains extract cannabis oil with active ingredients refined to 80% purity along with other natural plant compounds. In contrast, their Purified Cannabis Extract contain API refined to 98% purity without other natural plant compounds, solubilized in oil. In addition, Tilray cultivates and produces a range of dried cannabis products available as cured and trimmed whole cannabis flower or precise blends of ground cannabis.
Featured image source: MJ Biz Daily
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