As public sentiment toward cannabis begins to shift, the oft-discussed ideal is that everyone will have equal access to the economic opportunities that come with any burgeoning industry. But the reality is that breaking into cannabis remains tough for a whole host of reasons: Financial barriers, vague laws, and social stereotypes can dissuade would-be entrepreneurs from entering the game altogether.

And for a lot of women, those obstacles are exacerbated simply because of their gender. The solution? In many cases, it comes down to trusting your gut and pushing forward with an idea even if it’s dismissed over and over again. Below, seven women working in cannabis share their stories of success, perseverance, and what it is to be a woman within the industry.

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Courtesy of Kristina Lopez Adduci

Kristina Lopez Adduci

FounderHouse of Puff

It’s been less than a year since Kristina Lopez Adduci launched House of Puff, an ultra-chic line of smoking accessories that’s tailor-made for a very specific type of consumer. “I’m a mom of two twin girls who likes to unwind by lighting a candle, having a glass of wine, or indulging in cannabis — it’s the new cannabis narrative,” Lopez Adduci tells High Times. “I had this voracious appetite to find a solution that worked for me and the women I know.”

But getting that solution off the ground wasn’t easy. “One of the reasons we chose the direct to consumer model is that many of the retail outlets we approached didn’t believe there would be demand for high-end, chic cannabis accessories targeted toward women,” she explains. “Some people just have a hard time associating women with this industry. Those people are in for a rude awakening.”

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Photography by Bradley Murray

Joline Rivera

Founder and creative director: Kitchen Toke

When the father of one of Joline Rivera’s closest friends became ill with lung cancer, she wasn’t exactly expecting to be the messenger who would deliver edibles to his doorstep. “I didn’t even know if he’d try it,” Rivera recalls. “At the time I was reading about other people’s stories and thought, why not?” That leap of faith resulted in a “life-changing” experience for everyone in the room. “I was able to see a very sick man be relieved of all his pain, eat solid foods—which he hadn’t done in nearly a month— and enjoy a cold beer, and an afternoon with his six daughters, wife, and three grandkids,” she says.

Not long after, Rivera got serious about starting a cannabis business. “There was a white space to be filled in food, health, and wellness for anyone who couldn’t or didn’t want to smoke and who needed to start at the beginning: What is cannabis? How can it help me? How can I use it? That’s when I started Kitchen Toke.”

Launched in November 2017, the publication is the first nationally distributed cannabis-focused food magazine. “I know that women and minorities are looked at differently, but to be honest, this doesn’t cross my mind when I’m talking about my company,” Rivera says. “I’m too busy creating excellence and making Kitchen Toke the absolute best brand regardless of gender or race. I stay focused, and I don’t let it get in my way.”

The publication is currently raising funds to design an app that will function as your cannabis companion. With a library of recipes, how-to videos, a dispensary map, a wellness tracker, cannabis glossary, and a dosing calculator, Rivera and the team at Kitchen Toke are passionate about helping people integrate cannabis into their lifestyles.

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Courtesy of Kimberly Dillon

Kimberly Dillon

Chief Marketing Officer: Papa & Barkley

What does Kimberly Dillon love most about working in cannabis? “There is no precedenta lot of surviving and ultimately thriving in this space is being persistent and not letting anything daunt you,” she says. That includes the “boys club” mentality that remains pervasive within the industry. “I still get invites to after parties at strip clubs,” Dillon reveals.

Many times, she explains, people assume that she’s more junior than she is, often talking over her. The joke ends up being on them. “Early on, I would let the men go on and on about their strategies so I could know how to better position our brand,” she says. “One competitor tried to recruit me to be a brand ambassador at his company, and in that process told me every detail about his strategy. We were super new in the market, and I still use some tactics from that convo.”

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Courtesy of Whitney Beatty

Whitney Beatty

Founder and CEO: Apothecarry Brands, Inc.

An unexpected suggestion from a doctor ultimately changed the course of Whitney Beatty’s life. “I had a health scare and ended up being diagnosed with anxiety,” she recalls. “My doctor tried several different medications with me and I didn’t like any of them. In an offhand remark, she mentioned that I should try cannabis. I was actually shocked— I hadn’t tried cannabis when I was younger because Nancy Reagan told me to say no to drugs.”

Once she became a consumer herself, Beatty noticed a gap in the market. “I have wine in a wine fridge, I have liquor in a bar, I have cigars in the humidor, but I was keeping my high-end cannabis in a shoebox under my bed,” she says. “That didn’t make sense to me.”

Beatty changed careers and launched Apothecarry Brands, which designs sleek storage solutions for cannabis users. The products have been wildly successful, but unfortunately, that hasn’t kept the naysayers away. “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had men who have no experience in my lane mansplain my business to me,” she says. “I’ve had people tell me that my business should be in an Etsy shop or only at craft shows, meanwhile we are growing 100 percent year over year.”

One of her hopes for the industry’s future? “I want to see more women in the C-suite across cannabis, in decision making positions.”

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Photo by Allie Beckett

Melodie Ling

Founder and designer: Blunted Objects

Fed up with the misconceptions surrounding cannabis use, Melodie Ling turned frustration into an entrepreneurial endeavor. “I was inspired by all the anti-cannabis sentiment stemming from years of oppression and propaganda, where one of the most functionally versatile plants ever to exist has been completely misunderstood,” she explains. That’s when she created Blunted Objects, a collection of jewelry and accessories for a “new generation of stoners,” as Ling describes it. “It’s exhilarating to imagine a near-future where cannabis is completely accepted by society,” she says.

Less exhilarating, however, is dealing with trolls. “Sometimes when I post a girl smoking on Instagram, I’ll get rude comments from guys accusing her of not inhaling, wasting weed, and just trying to look cute without knowing how to properly smoke,” Ling explains.

Last year, for example, a video she captured of her friend dropping a giant joint went viral. “You wouldn’t believe all the comments threatening her with violence and physical harm, just for dropping the joint,” Ling says. “As inclusive as this industry is, we still have a long way to go to change the old-school mindset where the whole industry is a competition, and women have no place in it.”

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Hope Wiseman

Hope Wiseman

Founder: Mary and Main

Like in many other work environments, women in cannabis regularly face more instances of being underestimated by their colleagues and peers. “A woman is often not considered someone who would have knowledge on grow techniques and other cannabis-specific topics,” Wiseman says. But staying focused on her primary objective— treating her patients— helps Wiseman maintain perspective: “I enjoy being able to improve a patient’s quality of life through this alternative form of medicine.”

Looking to the future, she wants the economic benefits of cannabis to be more widely accessible for the marginalized communities that deserve them the most. “We desire to benefit from the legalization of this plant that has incarcerated our people for far too long,” Wiseman says. “Because we are still at the grassroots level, women have the opportunity to make a man for themselves and establish their worth early.”

7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In Cannabis

Ariel Zimman

Ariel Zimman

Ceramicist and owner: Stonedware

As a regular cannabis user and ceramics maker, Ariel Zimman decided to fashion a pipe that suited her design tastes. “It dawned on me that if I wanted a different looking pipe than what was offered at most head shops, then chances were that other people — especially women — did too.” Enter Stonedware, a line of elevated, stylish pipes that look more like sculptures in a museum than something to smoke a bowl out of. They’re beautiful, to be sure, but unsurprisingly, not everyone understood what Zimman’s approach. “Multiple times I was told by men, ‘The bowl is too small,’ and nothing about the design or concept surrounding my work,” she recalls. “If anything, this feedback just steered me in the direction of designing specifically for women who value design in addition to function, as opposed to just shopping for a bowl that can hold an entire gram.”

Although she refers to her career in cannabis as a “happy accident,” Zimman wouldn’t trade it for any other job. “Now that I’m here, I can’t imagine doing anything else,” she says. “Combining my passion for clay and love of this plant is pretty magical. It has allowed me to empower other women, explore design, and take part in a flourishing community.”

The post 7 Women On What It Takes To Succeed In The World Of Cannabis appeared first on High Times.

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1. What is CBD? What is CBD Oil?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a naturally occurring constituent of industrial hemp/cannabis. Its formula is C21H30O2 and it has a molecular mass of 314.4636. It is the most abundant non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis, and is being scientifically investigated for various reasons.

CBD oil is a cannabis oil (whether derived from marijuana or industrial hemp, as the word cannabis is the latin genus name for both) that has significant amounts of cannabidiol (CBD) contained within it. Our CBD products and extracts are derived from industrial hemp, so they could be considered CBD-rich hemp oil, hemp derived CBD oil, CBD-rich cannabis oil, or plainly “hemp extracts” since they typically contain much more than just CBD. Again, cannabis doesn’t mean marijuana, but is the genus name, and general umbrella term which all forms of marijuana and hemp fall under. The form of cannabis we use for our CBD and hemp extracts is industrial hemp; we do not sell marijuana.

2. If a hemp extract is 40% cannabinoids, what’s the other 60%? What’s in your hemp extracts besides the naturally occurring cannabinoids?

Our Kentucky hemp extracts contain over 80 different phyto-cannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), CBC, CBG, CBN, etc.. In addition to the cannabinoids naturally present in our agricultural hemp extracts, there are also many other types of natural molecules and phyto-chemical compounds such as amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins (including B1, B2, B6, D), fatty acids (including omega 3 & 6), trace minerals (including iron, zinc, calcium, magnesium, potassium), beta-carotene, chlorophyll, flavanoids, ketones, nitrogenous compounds, alkanes, glycosides, pigments, water, and terpenes. The most common terpenes in our hemp extracts are Myrcene, Beta-caryophyllene, Terpinolene, Linalool, alpha-Pinene, beta-Pinene, Nerolidol og Phytol, trans-alpha-Bergamotene, Limonene/ beta-Phellandrene (Co-elution), and alpha-Humulene.

3. What’s the difference between Hemp and Marijuana?

Scientifically, industrial Hemp and Marijuana are the same plant, with a genus and species name of Cannabis Sativa. They have a drastically different genetic profile though. Industrial Hemp is always a strain of Cannabis sativa, while marijuana can be Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. The major difference is how industrial hemp has been bred compared to a marijuana form of Cannabis sativa. organic hemp seedsTypically speaking, industrial hemp is very fibrous, with long strong stalks, and barely has any flowering buds, while a marijuana strain of Cannabis sativa will be smaller, bushier, and full of flowering buds. However, newer industrial hemp varieties in the USA are being bred to have more flowers and higher yields of cannabinoids and terpenes, such as our Kentucky hemp we’re now using!

99% of the time marijuana has a high amount of THC and only a very low amount of CBD. Hemp, on the other hand, naturally has a very high amount of CBD in most instances, and only a trace amount of THC. Fortunately, the cannabinoid profile of hemp is ideal for people looking for benefits from cannabis without the ‘high.’ Hemp is used for making herbal supplements, food, fiber, rope, paper, bricks, oil, natural plastic, and so much more, whereas marijuana is usually used just recreationally, spiritually, and medicinally. The term cannabis oil can refer to either a marijuana or hemp derived oil, since marijuana and hemp are two different forms of cannabis.

In the USA the legal definition of “industrial hemp,” per Section 7606 of the Agricultural Appropriations Act of 2014, is “INDUSTRIAL HEMP — The term ‘‘industrial hemp’’ means the plant Cannabis sativa L. and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration of not more than 0.3 percent on a dry weight basis.”

4. Are hemp derived cannabinoids such as CBD as good as CBD from marijuana?

The short answer is yes. CBD is CBD, whether from marijuana or hemp. Most marijuana has a very low non-psychoactive cannabinoid profile (like CBD, CBC, CBG), so most of the time hemp would be much more preferable for anything besides THC. Marijuana is usually very high in THC (gives people the high) but usually very low in other non-psychoactive cannabinoids.

Nowadays in the USA, many farmers are growing industrial hemp flowers that are just as beautiful, odor-producing, and terpene rich as the best marijuana strains, such as our partnered farmers in Kentucky.

5. Why don’t you source your Hemp and CBD from within Colorado?

colorado growing operationWe feel that the hemp program in Kentucky is more well suited for our company in regards to growing hemp, and that because it’s 100% compliant with Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill (and the 2016 Agricultural Appropriations Act), procuring it from there is perfectly legal at the federal level. Kentucky’s ecology is perfect for hemp just as it is for tobacco. The growing season is longer than in Colorado, and the soil is richer, so the quality of the hemp and the yields are better.

6. What’s the percentage of cannabinoids and CBD in your product?

Our raw extracts have varying percentages of cannabinoid and cannabidiol (CBD) content, the range being 10%-99%. Each product has a unique formulation and uses varying ratios of our extract types. Our CBD Isolate is over 99% pure CBD.

7. What is the best method of use?

For our dietary supplements we can only recommend them for internal consumption. Our CBD isolate is for research purposes only. If you don’t like the flavor of the oil supplements, you can mix with something sweet like apple sauce or honey to cut through the flavor.

8. What’s the ideal serving size for me, and how often should I take it?

There is no easy answer to this. Our starting recommended serving size is 15 drops but we generally recommend experimenting to see what feels best to you. Some prefer 5 drops, some prefer over 50 drops per day.

9. What is the safety of your hemp extracts? Are there negative side effects?

Hemp is considered by many to be generally safe. We’ve never seen or heard of any significant or negative CBD Oil Extractside effects in our years in the industry. That said, we can’t rule them out. Please consult with your physician before using any dietary supplement including Hemp extract supplements.

10. Which of your CBD and hemp products should I get?

As a company who sells various dietary and food supplements, we can’t suggest any of our products for the prevention, treatment or cure of any disease or ailment.

When considering our different dietary hemp products, know that they all come in two strengths. Our Original Hemp blends (Classic Hemp Blend, Hemp Complete, Brainpower oil, & Signature Blend) all have 250+mg of cannabinoids per fluid ounce, and our concentrated blends have 1,500+mg per fluid ounce, six times the potency of our traditional oils. We’ve found that sometimes less is more, but nevertheless, some people like to take very large serving sizes of our hemp extracts.

The main difference between the four Original Blends is the additional herbal ingredients besides hemp. We suggest you research the separate components of each blend to determine which product may be most appealing to add to your dietary regimen. If you know it’s solely the hemp extract that you are looking for, with no additional ingredients, then Classic Hemp Blend or Classic Hemp 6x is what you’re looking for.

For dabbing and vaporizing or for research you can try our CBD Isolate.

THOSE WHO SUSPECT THEY MAY HAVE A DISEASE OR ARE SEEKING HELP FOR A DISEASE SHOULD CONSULT A QUALIFIED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

11. Why do people use Hemp Extracts and CBD? What are the benefits and uses of CBD?

In accordance with federal regulations we cannot make health claims regarding our dietary supplement products. We can only recommend our products for general wellness.

12. Is a standard hemp seed oil the same as a high-CBD hemp extract?

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Hemp Oil For Dogs

Absolutely not. Standard hemp oil, which can be found very cheaply at a grocery store, is a much different product than our CO2 hemp extracts (not from seed). Standard hemp oil is produced by cold pressing the seeds, whereas our hemp extract is a supercritical CO2 extraction of the hemp plant itself, not the seeds. Hemp seed oil is considered to be a great nutritive food, but it doesn’t have the naturally occurring terpenes, cannabinoids and other components that our extracts do have.

13. Do I need to move to Colorado to get your Hemp Extracts and CBD? Where do you ship?

No. We actually source our hemp from Kentucky, as it’s legal to ship across state lines. Many people are under the impression that the only way to acquire hemp extracts and CBD for themselves or a loved one is to move to Colorado or another cannabis-friendly state. Many major news outlets are misinformed and are unfortunately spreading the idea that you can only get CBD oil in the states where medical marijuana has been legalized. This is simply not the case though. Because our extracts comes from hemp instead of marijuana, we can and do ship to all fifty states, and no medical marijuana card is needed. There are some exceptions, like with Indiana, Missouri and South Dakota we can’t sell our concentrated products due to state legislation.

We also ship to Japan, Australia, the EU, Switzerland, and Brazil. For all EU orders contact our exclusive distributor thereCannawell.

14. Is your Hemp Extract Oil similar to Rick Simpson Hemp Oil?

Not quite. Ours are from hemp and RSHO is usually using marijuana, a different form of cannabis than industrial hemp. Our industrial hemp extracts are more standardized and will usually have a much higher content of non-psychoactive cannabinoids like CBD than one produced through the Rick Simpson method. And oils produced through his method will usually have a much higher THC content, as it’s typically marijuana that is used for RSHO.†

Generally speaking, most marijuana producers and sellers (especially on the black market) don’t test for contaminants (metals, pesticides, bacteria, etc.). Rick Simpson Hemp Oil is actually more a method of extraction than it is a specific product. People use the Rick Simpson method with hundreds of different strains of marijuana, so the THC, CBD and other cannabinoid content of the final oil is always varying greatly, depending on the cannabis the consumers are acquiring. Usually what’s used for Rick Simpson oil is a strain with an inferior CBD content (and high THC), because that’s what the vast amount of marijuana is nowadays.

15. Where do you source your hemp and CBD from?

We have partners in Kentucky who grew a dedicated plot for us this year (2016) which is being used in our products now. mjna message boardWe also currently source from Europe but we’ll be changing that soon.

16. What kind of testing/analysis is performed on your products?

We have an industry leading quality control system, and we have third party laboratories analyze all of our hemp extracts and our final products for cannabinoid potency, heavy metals, bacterial and microbial life, mycotoxins (fungus), and pesticides.

17. What is CO2 extraction? What’s the difference between subcritical and supercritical CO2 extractions?

CO2 extraction is an extraction process that uses pressurized carbon dioxide to extract phyto-chemicals (such as CBD, CBG, or terpenes, flavonoids, etc.) from a plant. CO2 at certain temperatures and pressures acts like a solvent, without the dangers of actually being one. It is the most expensive extraction method, and is widely considered the most effective and safest plant extraction method in the world.

Many hemp and CBD companies boast about their supercritical CO2 extractions, but that’s actually only one (and perhaps an inferior) method of using a CO2 extraction machine. There are also subcritical CO2 extractions, and ‘mid-critical’, a general range between subcritical and supercritical. Subcritical (low temp, low pressure) CO2 extractions take more time and produce smaller yields than super-critical, but they retain the essential oils, terpenes, and other sensitive chemicals within the plant. Supercritical, on the other hand, is a high pressure and high temperature process that damages most terpenes and heat sensitive chemicals, but can extract much larger molecules such as lipids (omega 3 and 6), chlorophyll, and waxes. A truly full-spectrum CO2 extract includes first performing a subcritical extraction, separating the extracted oil, and then extracting the same plant material using supercritical pressure, and then homogenizing both oil extracts into one. In the essential oil industry, an extract made using this specific process is referred to as a CO2 Total.

18. What is the endocannabinoid system (ECS)?

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors.” Wikipedia

There are two main types of receptors in the ECS, CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are primarily located in the central nervous system and brains of mammals, and CB2 are generally found in the peripheral nervous system. There are two main cannabinoids mammals produce- 2AG and Anandamide (named after the Sanskrit term “ananda” which translates to “peace”).

For hundreds of millions of years every vertebrate on Earth has been equipped with this ECS, a crucial system in the body, and it has been known about in the scientific and medical communities since the 1980’s. However, it’s still not taught about in most medical schools.

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