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Women cultivate leadership, entrepreneurship in the Ann Arbor cannabis industry

See how a growing number of women are joining the cannabis industry in Ann Arbor

Photo: Pixabay
Photo: Pixabay

ANN ARBOR, Mich.Since the voters of Michigan decided to legalize cannabis for recreational and medical use, the cannabis industry has boomed. Leading the local charge on cultivating the Ann Arbor cannabis industry are the women of Ann Arbor.

With various businesses, dispensaries and consultancies popping up around the city, there is a growing trend locally and nationally -- more and more women in the cannabis industry. In 2018, 27 percent of executive positions at cannabis-related businesses were held by women, according to Marijuana Business Daily, a figure that is 4 percent higher than in most other industries.

Along with this boom are organizations reaching out to community entrepreneurs and offering opportunities for networking, education and empowerment in the industry.

Women Grow Ann Arbor is one such organization. Lead by a five-woman team -- Dori Edwards, Chandra Mitchel, Colleen Tracy, Trisha Stevens and Eva Wreford -- Women Grow Ann Arbor offers regular networking events for women (and men) to socialize, as well as opportunities to listen to prominent personalities in the field discuss trends and advice.

Attendance varies at each event but Dori Edwards, the local representative of Women Grow Ann Arbor and a founder of Bloom City Club, told us that there have always been a lot of women and men interested in the events.

“The networking events are meant for making connections with other entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. We have seen many individuals meet at the monthly events and then advance toward starting businesses together or just utilizing services from within the group.” Edwards said.

This Thursday Women Grow Ann Arbor will be holding a networking event with guest speaker and local activity Betty Lawson.

For anyone curious about joining the cannabis space, whether as a consultant or business owner, Edwards suggests a few things: “My suggestion to them would be to attend the monthly Women Grow networking events, read up on everything you can that has been posted by LARA, understand the law both locally and federally, get a few good contract attorneys, align with their passion and dive right in.”

Women Grow Ann Arbor is the local (and only Michigan) chapter of Women Grow, a national organization that encourages and educates leaders around the country in the cannabis industry. It is currently looking for businesses interested in sponsoring its monthly events.

Curious about how this year’s HashBash will be different since legalization? Read Meredith’s preview of changes for Saturday’s celebration.

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