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Women in Weed: 5 Women Changing the Cannabis Industry Landscape

Historically, the cannabis industry has a reputation for being male-dominated. But that image─and the reality─is changing. Today, there’s a growing number of women in weed, from industry visionaries to formidable business leaders. To celebrate the influence of women and advancements in weed, we decided to introduce you to a few of the top women in the cannabis industry today.

women and weed

Women in Weed: 5 Women You Should Know in the Cannabis Industry

We’d need an encyclopedia-size feature to cover all of the greatest women in weed. For now, we’ve selected five inspiring women leaders in the cannabis industry who are leveling the space.

Bridget Hennessey: VP of Government Relations for Weedmaps

Bridget Hennessey isn’t your average cannabis industry professional. In fact, the graduate of Fairfield University and George Washington University had never worked in the marijuana space before joining the Weedmaps team in 2017.

However, Hennessey’s background in public policy and legislative affairs quickly made her an invaluable asset to the cannabis tech company. She previously worked for several government-related organizations, which included landing an intern gig for Hillary Clinton while she was First Lady. As a result of all that public service, Hennessey brings more than two decades of experience in governmental relations to the regulatory nuances of the still-budding cannabis industry.

Imelda Walavalkar: CEO and Founder of Pure Beauty

Environmental stewardship isn’t always a top goal for a cannabis brand. But that’s exactly what Imelda Walavalkar focused on when in 2017 she founded Pure Beauty, an LA-based consumer cannabis brand. The company has carved a cool niche for itself in the competitive marijuana industry by focusing on environmental responsibility, social equity, and premium-tier products.

Pure Beauty is so dedicated to its mission that it tightly controls its cultivation process to prevent waste. Walavalkar’s brand hangs its metaphorical hat on the fact that it doesn’t waste any water and uses only natural fertilizers to feed its plants. Pure Beauty even goes so far as to use paper instead of plastic in its packaging whenever possible.

Wanda James: CEO and Founder of Simply Pure

Wanda James has been paving the way for black business owners in the cannabis space for more than a decade. She founded one of the country’s first black-owned cannabis dispensaries, Simply Pure Dispensary in Denver, as well as a cultivation facility and an edibles company.

That alone would be impressive, but it’s not her only achievement. James boasts an extensive and highly respected resume of accomplishments that includes both military service (as a lieutenant in the Navy) and time spent on President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee. In the cannabis sector, Wanda James is a name to know.

Olivia Alexander: CEO and Founder of Kush Queen

Olivia Alexander, founder of LA-based brand Kush Queen, is next up on our list of women and weed. Alexander launched her CBD-centered company after discovering her own love of cannabis. She has since expanded the Kush Queen brand to include both CBD-only and THC-infused products. 

Unlike many of the women in weed on this list, Alexander didn’t start her career in another industry before transitioning into cannabis. Instead, she’s been deeply involved in the marijuana space as an advocate for female industry inclusion since age 18, when she first began working in a dispensary. 

Koala Puffs: Social Media Influencer

With nearly a million followers across her Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter accounts, Koala Puffs is one of the biggest cannabis influencers on the internet.
The 27-year old Ukrainian-born influencer moved to the US in 2005. Puffs, whose real first name is Anjela, likes to keep her personal information private. But that hasn’t stopped her from garnering a rabid fanbase. She’s galvanized that fanbase to help promote cannabis products, events, and activism.
That’s not all, though. Puffs has also leveraged her following to release her own CBD and merchandise brands. She cites being original, rather than following trends, as the key to her success.

weed and women

Pass a Puff for Women and Weed

Inspired to raise a bud to toast the major contributions of women to the cannabis industry? Whether you’re a medical patient in Maryland, or Minnesota,  you can find what you need here!

Please note that qualifying conditions vary by state, and the information relating to qualifying conditions may not apply to cannabis patients in all states.

Product availability also varies based on state program restrictions and rules, so the products discussed may not be available in all states. Be sure to check with your local Green Goods location about the products available in your state!