On Thursday May 25, Wempowered met for the the first time at Gateway Incubator in Oakland. Wempowered, which stands for Women Empowered, is a new invite-only women's networking event intended to support women who are currently working within the cannabis industry. The ongoing event series was created and co sponsored Sava, Garden Society and HelloMD.
On this evening one hundred of the most influential women, who help to define the Bay Area cannabis industry, came together for an evening of community, collaboration and conversation. Primarily, the evening was meant to present and discuss key components of the newly proposed regulations, and to help women present take steps to make their voices heard. Erin Gore, Founder of Garden Society says, "In forming W Empowered, we were inspired by the collaboration and partnership between businesswomen in the cannabis community. Working together makes us much stronger in promoting the cannabis cause for our patients than working individually."
[youtube/watch?v=NBE659TkNvU] Watch the entire evening with keynote speaker Lori Ajax and Q and A session.
Pamela Hadfield, Co Founder of HelloMD added to this by saying, "We feel it's important that women within the industry come together to not only support each other in reaching our personal business goals, but also help to educate and provide community for one another during a shifting regulatory environment. The changing nature of the cannabis industry over the next 12 to 24 months will be especially turbulent, and by coming together, we will have a much better chance of surviving the storm. On top of that, it is just a powerful feeling to socialize and get to be among so many passionate and powerful women. We want to actively foster this type of community on an ongoing basis."
The keynote speaker of the evening was Lori Ajax, who is often called the 'drug czar' of California. Lori, has overseen the drafting of the new medical cannabis regulations in California and is making sure come January 2, 2018 the new regulations are in place. Following her keynote, an open Q and A session was held for a period of two hours with her and a notable group of panelists including Julie Mercer-Ingram of Beck Law, Tawnie Logan the Director of Sonoma County Growers Alliance, and Ellen Komp of CA NORML.
Andrea of Sava and Andrea of StashTwist
In regards to the proposed medical cannabis regulations which are in the process of considertation for revision, Andrea Brooks, Founder of Sava says, "It's going to be a challenging year ahead with regulations changing at lightning speed. The cannabis industry is tough - you not only have to run your business and deal with any normal challenges that arise, but you're also constantly navigating a changing environment and with rules that are always up in the air.
But it's also a really exciting time. Cannabis is coming out of the shadows, new patients are learning about its benefits every day, and women entrepreneurs are driving a lot of that change. Coming together to support each other feels like a natural step, as we will be stronger if we gather and advocate for sensible regulations. I'm excited to see how we as a group can drive positive change in the industry."
A group photo of Sava, Garden Society, HelloMD and Gateway following the first event
This was the first of many Wempowered events to come. Our mission is to promote and support growth, opportunity and community for women currently working within the cannabis industry. Emily Earlenbaugh, covered the first event in [Cannabis Now](Emily Earlenbaugh). The next Wempowered event is planned for Thursday July 27 in San Francisco, CA.
A photo of the event following the Q and A