Canadian women continue to leave their impact in the burgeoning marijuana world, be it through their activism or savvy entrepreneurship.
However, in Canada, highly qualified females fill only 12 percent of leadership positions in publicly traded companies. Worst, women’s representation at board seats in publicly traded Canadian marijuana industry is much lower; it stands at a meager 5 percent only.
There are ladies, however, who have long made an impact. Here, we picked six Canadian women who are inspiring.
1- Jamie Shaw, the public policy lobbyist
Jamie Shaw from Vancouver has been a marijuana advocate for the past 20 years. She was successful in lobbying for dispensary regulations not only in Vancouver and Victoria but in other British Columbia municipalities.
In a previous interview with Straight, she said these regulations were not perfect, but she is proud of her impact. She said her contribution to a create regulatory framework had outpaced every other city in Canada.
“Sure, there are issues with them, but when you look at Toronto or Kingston or anywhere else, the only reason I think dispensaries even really have a chance right now is because of the Vancouver and Victoria models.”
She is currently a director for both BC Independent Cannabis Association and Advisory Board Member of Niche, a non-profit corporation to support public policy on cannabis.
She was also the founding vice-chair of the Vancouver chapter of Women Grow, a U.S.-based organization for female entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
2- Andrea Dobbs’s creative products for women
Creative and intuitive women know much better about the best way to improve their health, and Andrea Dobbs is one of them.
Andrea Dobbs started her cannabis journey after feeling the pain, cramps and other symptoms of the inevitable: perimenopause.
This led her to co-found her local dispensary The Village in Vancouver where she applied her creativity. A THC-infused massage oil was one of her first products to treat sore breasts and itchy skin for women.
On The Village’s website, she said that she came to cannabis rather “late” in life.
“It is important that I am able to share that experience with other women and their partners. That is one of the reasons The Village was conceived.”
3- Lisa Campbell, Sarah Gillies of Green Market
Lisa Campbell and Sarah Gillies were the two founders of Toronto’s popular Green Market event, which featured premium quality Canadian craft cannabis brands.
Lisa Campbell used her community activism and work to start her own cannabis PR firm.
Sarah Gillies, is the co-creator of Toronto’s women-focused promotions company, The High 5, and she is also the owner of Mary Jane’s Touch, a topicals brand.
It is worth to mention that Sarah Gillies sold a division of Mary Jane’s to the publicly traded MYM Nutraceuticals and has been contracted to manage and run a dedicated CBD extraction & production facility in Toronto.
There is a lot of creativity in the air when the conversation involves the Edmonton-based Alison McMahon. The entrepreneur has launched Canada’s first staffing agency with the aim to fill Canada’s growing marijuana industry with the right skills needed.
“When other substances came out of prohibition, like alcohol, women weren’t participating in the workplace (like) they are now,” the savvy businesswoman told the Edmonton Journal in an interview.
“To get involved in this sector in the context of it being an emerging market … women are better positioned than ever.”
McMahon is the past president of the local chapter of Canexions, an international group aimed at boosting female involvement in the cannabis business.
5- Jodie Emery, the face of Canadian women’s activism
Dubbed as the “Princess of Pot,” Jodie Emery is one of the prominent marijuana activists here in Canada. With more than 45 thousand followers on Twitter, she has long appeared on Canadian news channels, commenting and giving her independent critiques on policies governing marijuana. She also gave testimonies in both Canada and the U.S. to end marijuana prohibition.
Married to the “Prince of Pot” Marc Emery, the two are co-owners of Cannabis Culture, a business that franchised pot dispensaries, later deemed to be illegal. They also operate Cannabis Culture magazine and Pot TV.
She previously ran for provincial office as a B.C. Marijuana Party candidate in 2005, and again in a 2008 by-election.