Program Encourages Women to Get Involved in Marijuana Production

It’s one of the fastest growing industries in the nation, legal and medical marijuana. According to one report sales of weed are on track to top $3 billion nationwide this year. Now there is a seminar teaching women how to break into the industry.

It’s an industry that is dominated by men and continues to expand. Four states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana so far, and half the country allows medical marijuana.

Many budding entrepreneurs think now is the time to nab a piece of the pot pie, they’ve started a program to get more women started in the business.

“I’ve met people that are basically doing every kind of business, it’s just gearing that business toward marijuana,” said Lisa Francine Carter.

Lisa Francine is one of about 100 attendees at the Women Grow Networking event. She’s at the event to learn more about the cannabis industry, in which men account for 85% of the power players.

“Women account for 80% of household purchases, and 85% of healthcare decisions, so Women Grow felt like the feminine touch was left out of the industry a bit,” said Sara Gullickson.

The events provide both men and women with connections in the industry.

“It’s a safe place for people involved in the industry to go and share ideas about the cannabis industry,” said Gullickson.

Right now there are only 126 facilities in Arizona that cultivate and sell medical marijuana.

“Here there’s like a huge opportunity for growth because it’s a small amount of dispensaries covering a large population,” said Carter.

The trajectory for the cannabis industry is on the upswing, and many are seeing green, hoping to capitalize on the industry which is in its infancy in Arizona.

“There’s no doubt this business is going to keep booming and why not get in while it’s a small group of people,” she said.



CWCB Expo In New York Was A Huge Success

The Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo took place this last week in New York, and by every measure it was a smashing success. The first Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo (CWCB Expo) took place four years ago, and so much has changed since that time. With so many different cannabis events popping up seemingly every week, the CWCB Expo stands out over the cannabis event white noise.

Keynoting the event was New York Senator Diane Savino, who has been an advocate for cannabis reform in New York for awhile now, and sponsored the legislation that legalized medical cannabis in New York. Senator Savino spent time preaching the merits of medical cannabis at the event alongside retired NFL player Marvin Washington, who also spoke at the event. The duo made headlines and did a lot to help educate event participants.

Reverend Al Sharpton also delivered a keynote address at the CWCB Expo, and had the soundbite of the event. “”We will not allow our people to be locked UP from the drug war AND locked OUT of the industry.” said Al Sharpton. Al Sharpton has made comments about opposing cannabis in the past, citing his upbringing in the church, but he has recognized that cannabis prohibition has a disproportionate impact on the African American community, and that it is time for a change. Al Sharpton’s message at the event was that there needs to be more diversity in the cannabis industry, which is something that I absolutely agree with.

Arguably the biggest news to come out of the event was the announcement of a new organization by another keynote speaker, political strategist Roger Stone. The organization is called the United States Cannabis Coalition. The main goal of the organization appears to be to convince United States President Donald Trump to end federal cannabis prohibition. More details were not revealed at the event, but at least one other keynote speaker at the event, former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, felt that the organization was on the right track enough that he expressed his support for the organization and planned to join it. With Roger Stone being a close ally of Donald Trump, it will be extremely interesting to see where things go.

I had several friends attend the event, and every single one of them said that it was awesome and that they plan on attending the CWCB Expo’s upcoming events in Los Angeles (September 13-15) and Boston (October 4-6). As the events draw closer expect me to blog more about who the keynote speakers will be, and other info about the event. The CWCB Expo has a proven track record of bringing out quality speakers and providing amazing education to the crowd in attendance, so I am eager to see who will be speaking at the next two events.



Women Grow live at MJBizCon with Dispensary Permits

Watch Leah Heise, the CEO of  Women Grow Interview Sara Gullickson with Dispensary Permits on How to Start a Medical Marijuana Business, Apply for a Permit, and How to Get Involved in the Industry.

Watch here:

Women Grow live at MJBizCon with Dispensary Permits.

Posted by Women Grow on Thursday, November 17, 2016

Scottsdale Medical Marijuana Certification Setting Up Alternative Medicine Fair

 – A Scottsdale Medical Marijuana Certification Center is setting up for a fair this weekend to spread the word about alternative medicine.

“Green Star Doctors” is opening its doors for a free event called “Indica-Life” on Saturday. It is an effort to share alternative healing methods with patients.

The center will have Chiropractors and holistic medicine practitioners, along with artwork, speakers, and livemusic from the Phoenix Afro-Beat Orchestra. No marijuana or alcohol will be at the event.

“I have a lot of different patients that are in pain, and I notice they could use healing methods that maybe they’re not aware of,” said Liz Valentine with Green Star Doctors. “I know how much they need just more options. Something that less invasive. No pills, no surgery, no shots.”

The event happens at Green Star Doctors, south of Scottsdale and Thomas, from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and it is open to all ages.



Marijuana public hearing brings out-of-state concerns

Sara Gullickson is a marijuana regulatory and industry consultant in Arizona.



Sara Gullickson flew in from Arizona to voice her concerns at the Medical Marijuana Commission’s first public hearing today in Little Rock.

“I really, really strongly urge Arkansas to consider for the dispensaries running a merit based program instead of a lottery based program. Lottery based programs definitely breed litigation, program delays, and really don’t set the state up for success.”

This public hearing, more than the commission meetings to date inside the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division conference room on the 5th floor of 1515 W. 7th St., revealed the diversity of business interests in the nascent enterprise. Nic Easley, a partner at Comprehensive Cannabis Consulting, flew in from Denver to urge the commission to consider pesticide regulation — and a range of other matters that may have seemedfar afield to many in the audience.

Nic Easley of 3C consulting in Denver warns the commission to consider pesticide use thresholds.


The five medical marijuana commissioners sat inside the lecture hall at the Bowen School of Law in Little Rock and said nothing. This was strictly an opportunity for the public to voice its concerns and suggestions, and about 200 showed up. Many were lawyers. Some, like Arkansans Melissa Fults, Gene Remley and Storm Nolan, have had their eyes on the prize for a while.

Dozens of emails have already come into the commission and the Department of Finance and Administration that largely coordinates its efforts. Many, like Gullickson, abjure the commission’s decision to pick the 32 dispensary licenses by lottery (an application process that includes background checks, a four-figure fee and appropriate paperwork precede entry into the lottery).

“I’ve been in the industry for seven years,” Gullickson said after, “and I’ve seen a lot of programs that weren’t set up for success, so the entrepreneurs sitting in that room deserve the fair chance of putting their best foot forward, and for the state to pick the best candidates. In any other business venture you can pick, it would never go to a lottery.”

Other concerns from the public hearing ranged from how far marijuana farms must be set back from schools or other public buildings, to how tall before considering plants “mature” to how to even obtain the seeds legally. In light of these concerns, Alisha Whitmore’s query seemed far ranging, even sociological.

“Will the commission consider awarding merit points for minority owned cultivation centers with the goal of trying to increase job availability in the minority areas?” she asked.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration lawyer Joel DiPippa (foreground) and marijuana amendment author David Couch (background, blue-checked shirt).


African Americans suffer a higher percentage of the qualifying conditions than do other races, she pointed out.

And, “this will help with the economic stimulus.”

According to the commission’s own timeline, a finalized version of the commission’s rules and regulations for medical marijuana licensing is expected in May.

This story is produced by Arkansas Public Media. What’s that? APM is a nonprofit journalism project for all of Arkansas and a collaboration among public media in the state. We’re funded in part through a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, with the support of partner stations KUAR, KUAF, KASU and KTXK. And, we hope, from you! You can learn more and support Arkansas Public Media’s reporting at Arkansas Public Media is Natural State news with context.



The Future of the Marijuana Industry

Ask The Thought Leaders: Where Will the Marijuana Industry be in 2030?

The future of marijuana is a heated topic.

Those who are pro-marijuana, highlight things like the medical benefits and potential government tax revenue while those who are against it highlight the potential  risks for children and the potential to lead them into more serious drugs.

While the debates go on, we wanted to find out where the industry was headed. So we asked the question:

Where will the weed industry be in 2030?

Take a look at what we learned…

Jake Browne, Cannabis Critic for The Denver Post & Founder of The Grow-Off

“By 2030, smokeable marijuana will be a novelty as scientists will have created special blends of cannabinoids like THC and CBD, along with the associated terpenes that give cannabis its flavor, that precisely mimic the flower. You want Sour Diesel? There’s a vape pen for that. Not only will these synthetic strains be custom made to treat individual disorders, but they’ll also continue to create certain moods in users, not unlike Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Instead of a glass of wine after work, someone might take a couple puffs of Relax before making dinner. The social aspect of gathering with friends to share a joint will be gone, with a more individual experience becoming the norm.”

Sara Gullickson,Founder & CEO of Dispensary Permits

“If the industry continues to grow like weeds, we will see marijuana removed as a schedule 1 drug which will ignite a major shift in Marijuana’s social and cultural narrative. The reference to WEED will be forgotten and it will instead be referred to as cannabis and given the clout (not street cred) it deserves. Once the Federal Government accepts marijuana, we will see opiate deaths reduce substantially. Marijuana will evolve into an Exit Drug, not a Gateway drug, and will be wildly accepted for its medicinal and wellness properties. It will become a standard household item, and not just another highly profitable tax generator. Most importantly, we, collectively, as industry activists, business professionals, politicians, patients, responsible humans, will take the stigma out of a plant that has been used for hundreds of years and has helped millions of people with dozens of medical conditions and/or ailments.”

Craig McLane, Owner of

“The most significant change in the weed industry in 2030 is that it will be legal in all of North America and Europe. The greater public acceptance of cannabis will heighten the current trend of consuming concentrates in preference to flower. As the legal landscape changes big business will become far more involved and inevitably dominate most growing, processing, distribution channels for the weed industry. This will have the benefit of lowering consumer prices and improving the quality of the final product through increased regulation. The big business dominance will drastically alter the community aspects of the current cannabis culture and as a result the anti establishment segment of the community will deepen. This will result in a small but strong home grower segment which will continue to push for personal freedoms related to cannabis.”

Alex Milligan, Co-founder and CMO at Nugg & NuggMD

“The cannabis industry in 2030 is going to look dramatically different than today. At Nugg, we predict: 

  1. Cannabis will be commoditized — mass production will have caused prices to decrease, large brands will be in perfect competition; a dedicated niche for specialty, artisan brands will flourish.
  2. National legalization and an acute distinction between recreational and medical marijuana; scientific research will have proven widespread medical benefits of cannabis. 
  3. Cannabis mega-brands will exist on a global scale, as U.S. legalization will encourage other countries to follow suit. 
  4. Hyper-personalized administration — AI, machine learning, and bio-sensors will come together to customize one’s medical cannabis regimen for maximum physiological benefit.
  5. Robotics and ag-tech will revolutionize how cannabis is grown & distributed, achieving economies of scale at rapid pace.
  6. Robotics (drones, automated delivery fleets) will cause home-delivery to be the primary method by which consumers acquire cannabis.”

Niki Romo, Creative Director for KronicSites

“As we continue to see the legalization of Marijuana grow in each state, there is no doubt that entrepreneurs, investors and venture capitalists are eager to break into the Cannabis industry and start new businesses. However, traditional marketing and advertising will still remain one of the biggest challenges for start-ups. So, I predict B2C companies like dispensaries and delivery services, are going to attract customers and increase revenue through mobile apps. 

Approximately, 90% of push notifications and SMS messages are read within the first 3 mins which is significantly higher than emails which could take up to 7 hours to be read. Not to mention, businesses who want to offer loyalty programs can also do so through an app. Plus, since mobile users tend to never lose their phone it’s a more reliable way to retain customers, build new relationships and directly communicate with consumers.”

Jake Heimark, CEO at Plus

“Over the next 15 years, the cannabis industry will split between medical and recreational. There will be a small number of cannabis derived medicines that have passed FDA drug trials by large pharmaceutical companies. There will also be a large number of recreational companies selling cannabis and cannabis derivatives in a highly regulated environment (similar to alcohol distribution). Major pharmaceutical companies will have interests in the medical offerings. Major food, tobacco and alcohol producers will have interests in the recreational market. Most of the market by volume will be recreational, but there will be very high margins on the medical side of the market. Hopefully, there will be quality, large, institution led research backing the current medical claims of cannabis (it appears to help with seizures and some forms of cancer). Hopefully, there will be clear federal regulations prohibiting the recreational from making pseudomedical and nutraceutical claims without drug trials.”

Jay Currie, Author of Start & Run a Marijuana Dispensary or Pot Shop

“By 2030 the legal marijuana industry will have gone from a novelty to a mature agricultural and retail business. I expect the production side will be dominated by a few very large, multi-jurisdictional, factory growers producing marijuana on an industrial scale – think Budwiser or Coors. There will be room for more artisanal growers but the bulk of the industry will be on a very large scale. 

On the retail side traditional retail outlets – Walmart, Costco, 7-11 – will likely sell pre-packaged marijuana in smokable and edible forms. Again, this is where the bulk of retail sales will occur. Boutique retailers and local chains of pot stores will compete for specific sectors of the business. 

The price of ordinary marijuana will fall steadily as greater efficiencies are achieved in growing and distribution. Tax and banking law will be changed to reflect the reality of legal marijuana.” 






Entrepreneur of the Week: Sara Gullickson

Each week we highlight entrepreneur’s in the cannabis industry so our viewers can learn who is behind the team of the upcoming and leading businesses, organizations and non-profits in the industry.

This week we would like to introduce Sara Gullickson. Sarah is the Executive Director of as well as a national leader in the medical marijuana consulting industry. As an influential woman in the cannabis reform movement, Sara has a vision for the medical marijuana industry of wellness and accessibility. It is with this vision, that she has passionately guided clients through every step of the medical marijuana process.

From application processes to logistics and cultivation practices, Sara has successfully advised numerous groups in eleven states’ medical cannabis processes over the last seven years. Combined with nearly a decade of experience executing online and traditional marketing campaigns, Gullickson has used her comprehensive knowledge to assist and consult on successful applications across the United States and currently is working with applicants in Michigan, California, Pennsylvania, Florida and Arkansas.

In our interview we asked Sara a variety of questions sharing about her experiences, she had some insightful information and advice to share with each of you.

Please share with our viewers, a little about offers consulting services with hands on support for medical marijuana entrepreneurs. Whether you are looking to break into the industry or you have previous experience with owning or operating a dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing or testing facility; our custom crafted solutions provide support and guidance for both novice and expert medical marijuana entrepreneurs. As one of the longest standing medical marijuana consulting firms, we have developing strategies to guide our clients through state regulated medical marijuana application processes.

Can you please share some advice that has influenced your entrepreneurial journey?

The industry isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for fighters and strategists that have a passion for the plant and the process.

How do you stay balanced? Any hobbies outside your work?

Yes, of course. While I was a young entrepreneur, I feared missing out. I wanted to take on every project and it was hard for me to sit a process out. Now that I have been in the industry almost 7 years, I have come to understand that this is a real career, a real business, something that has longevity. With that in mind, I recently have allowed myself to nurture my curious side. I love traveling and exploring other countries. Though I don’t teach, I am a certified yoga instructor, and I enjoy reading, relaxing, family, friends, hiking, running, and my pugs!

What is the best piece of advice you can give to others looking to launch a company in the cannabis industry?

In my opinion, this question is asked too frequently. If you want anything in life, how do you get it? For me, I go for it, and I don’t stop until I’ve turned some heads and made significant progress. The cannabis industry is the same. Others should first ask themselves, what they are passionate about, and then determine how they can apply that to the fastest growing industry in the U.S. Everything is doable. I have some total rockstar friends in the industry, we all have similar stories.

Is there anything that surprised you about being an entrepreneur in the cannabis industry?

In the beginning, it was very shocking to me how unethical people can be. I’ve been through the ringer in this industry which hasn’t stopped me, it has only made me stronger. The most important lesson I’ve learned is that there is only one me. People can take ideas, concepts, knock you off or tear you down, but in the end, no one has the style, grace, or skill set I do. I might not be for everyone, but it only takes one. When business vision, ideals, morals and ethics align, the sky is the limit.



Marimeds Gullickson to discuss “choosing the right investor” at women grow leadership summit, May 15

Sara Gullickson, VP of Marketing for MariMed Advisors (a subsidiary of Worlds Online) (OTCQB: WORX) and co-chair of the Phoenix Chapter of Women Grow, has been selected as one of 125 female marijuana business executives to attend the first annual Women Grow Leadership Summit, May 15-18 at the Edwards, Colorado Lodge & Spa at Cordillera.

Women Grow is a national network supporting women entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry. Gullickson will be speaking on “Choosing the Right Investor for You” as part of a three-member panel that includes representatives from Dutchess Capital and CannLabs. The first of its kind Leadership Summit is designed to bring entrepreneurial executives together for peer-to-peer learning, networking, leadership skill building and to develop a greater understanding of the national cannabis industry and issues surrounding it.

“Women Grow has become a catalyst to empower women to take leadership roles in the legal cannabis industry as both entrepreneurs and vocal advocates for legalization and fair policy,” stated Gullickson. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to participate in the event and panel at the Leadership Summit, as it is a powerful resource that will help executives collectively develop strong relationships and hone business skills to grow the industry and better advocate for favorable policy at the local, state, and national levels.”
Gullickson, also Executive Director of MariMed subsidiary, has four years of experience as a leader in the medical marijuana (MMJ) industry and has successfully assisted medical marijuana clients in eight states, including Ill., Nev., and N.Y., through the medical marijuana license application process, laying out every aspect of their business strategy from identifying locations all the way through developing product and tracking customer results. Visit MariMed Advisors at Booth # D311 at Marijuana Business Daily’s Marijuana Business Conference and Expo, May 19-21, Hilton, Expo Center, Chicago and hear Ms. Gullickson speak on “Tapping Big New Medical Marijuana Markets: NV, IL and NY” on May 20, 3 pm.

Dispensary Permits clients granted multiple Maryland dispensary licenses

National marijuana consulting agency, Dispensary Permits broadens license acquisition success to ten states, solidifying its role as one of the longest standing firms in the industry.

Baltimore, MD — Dispensary Permits, a national marijuana consulting agency, announced today that they successfully obtained multiple dispensary licenses in Maryland. The established firm has a proven track record in cannabis operations with license acquisitions in ten states.

“Maryland was one of the most challenging applications that we have worked on to date. It demanded attention to detail, requiring clear and concise messaging to over 180 questions. It’s exciting that the industry continues to raise the bar and favor the players that truly understand the industry and its operations,” – Sara Gullickson, agency founder and licensing expert

As one of the longest standing consulting firms in the industry, Dispensary Permits extensive experience allows them to guide clients through the rigorous licensing application process and give them a competitive edge.

“Maryland was one of the most challenging applications that we have worked on to date. It demanded attention to detail, requiring clear and concise messaging to over 180 questions. It’s exciting that the industry continues to raise the bar and favor the players that truly understand the industry and its operations,” said agency founder and licensing expert Sara Gullickson.

The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission announced 102 preliminary licensees out of more than 800 dispensary applications on December 9, 2016.

“We are ecstatic to have assisted our clients in another medical state process with successful results and look forward to seeing those business plans become a reality,” said Gullickson.

For more information or to set up an appointment with Dispensary Permits please visit or call 602-621-0648.

About offers seed to sale consulting services with hands on support to medical marijuana entrepreneurs. For those looking to break into the industry or those who have previous experience with owning or operating a dispensary, cultivation, manufacturing or testing facility, can create custom crafted solutions to provide support and guidance for both novice and expert medical marijuana entrepreneurs.

As one of the longest standing medical marijuana consulting firms, has developed strategies to guide clients through state regulated medical marijuana application processes.

For more information or to set up an appointment with Dispensary Permits please visit, email, or call 602-621-0648.



Recreational Marijuana Goes Up In Smoke In Arizona

More than half of Arizona said no to recreational marijuana, with 980,822 voting against Proposition 205 and 899,605 voting for it.

Business leaders, many of whom led the charge against the initiative, were pleased with the results.

“Employers can breathe a sigh of relief that they will continue to be able to maintain the drug-free workplace policies they have in place currently,” said Garrick Taylor, senior vice president of government relations and communications for the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “The chamber had deep concerns over Proposition 205’s effect on employers’ ability to keep marijuana out of the workplace, so we are very pleased to see the initiative fail. It was a hard fought campaign.”

Cathi Herrod, president of Center for Arizona Policy, said this is a victory for Arizona families.

““I said it early on and yesterday Arizona voters showed they are smarter than the marijuana monopoly. Marijuana marketers did their best to dress up Prop 205,” Herrod said in a prepared statement. “But selling it as an education funding and neighborhood safety measure stretched the limits of creativity and credibility.”

Of the five states with recreational marijuana on their ballots, Arizona was the only state where it didn’t pass. California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada legalized recreational marijuana use, setting the stage for Arizona to follow in the future.

It’s not over, said Sara Gullickson, CEO of, one of Arizona’s cannabis business entrepreneurs.

“I believe we will see 45 to 50 states with either medical or recreational programs in the next four to seven years,” she said in a prepared statement.

“While its unfortunate Prop 205 did not pass, Arizona has a very strong medical program serving about 100,000 patients in need,” Gullickson said. “Arizona’s time will come for full legalization. Our community will not stop educating and informing Arizona residents of the benefits of Marijuana. Arizona’s Medical Marijuana program is recognized Nationally and has been one of the industry leaders.”

By: Angela Gonzales