Cannabis professionals from all facets of the industry are set to make big strides
The 22 women selected for Marijuana Business Magazine’s Women to Watch list have crafted companies from the ground up, forged new woman-focused alliances and upended traditional business models as they’ve paved the way in this rapidly evolving cannabis industry.
But these women are alike in another way: In this new year, they are embarking on major undertakings as leaders in a nascent industry that, like the rest of corporate America, is dominated by men in the top jobs.
In 2017, women held 27% of the executive-level roles in the marijuana industry, according to a survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily. The figure was down from an MJBizDaily survey in 2015 when 36% of firms reported having females in leadership roles.
That leadership disparity makes the goals set by the women spotlighted in the following pages worth watching even more. As these women pursue their ambitions and business plans, they’re finding ways to lift other women as they climb.
From the launch of multimillion-dollar venture capital funds crafted to back women-founded firms to new business accelerators aimed at mentoring women entrepreneurs, these leading ladies of cannabis are blazing new trails in ways that are leaving a lasting mark on the industry.
– Lisa Bernard Kuhn
CEO, Item 9 Labs Corp. | Scottsdale, Arizona
Gullickson jumped into the cannabis industry at 26 and ran her own consulting firm from 2010 until 2018. In those eight years, she helped clients secure marijuana business licenses in more than a dozen states. Her business, Dispensary Permits, was acquired in late 2018 by Item 9 Labs, the company she now heads as CEO.
WHY TO WATCH
Last year, Gullickson pivoted to the plant-touching side of the industry, taking the reins at Item 9 Labs. The company operates a 50-acre outdoor medical marijuana grow in Arizona. It’s also focused on the development of technology and products that administer MMJ via an intranasal delivery system.
Under Gullickson, Item 9 Labs will serve as a parent company for multiple brands, including Nevada-based cultivation, processing and distribution firm Strive Wellness.
In addition, Item 9 Labs holds plant-touching licenses in three U.S. states, and Gullickson’s goal for 2019 is to acquire licenses in up to 10 markets: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington state.
– John Schroyer
BEST BUSINESS ADVICE
“Slow and steady wins the race. I see so many people trying to get rich quick. If you work hard, remain dedicated to your core values and make savvy business decisions, profits will follow.”