Women Inspiring Us in 2021

8 mins read

As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we are proud to share a list of women that have inspired us in the past year. 

At Business of Cannabis, we have had the privilege of working directly with many of the women listed, allowing us to both be inspired and to see their work first hand. 

We watch what some of these women are building and we are in awe. For others, their deep knowledge of their particular area of expertise is unmatched. For others, it’s been the ability to pivot during challenging times. For all of them, we salute you.

In honour of International Women’s Day, we wanted to share fourteen women in the cannabis sector who have been an inspiration to the Business of Cannabis team over the past year. 

Lisa Bigioni

As an original Ontario cannabis retail lottery winner, Lisa Bigioni had a unique head start on learning about cannabis retail. But how Bigioni has leveraged that experience is an inspiration to watch. Now, she’s on to her own retail brand-building – having just opened her Stok’d Cannabis retail store in Scarborough, Ontario.

Watch a recent conversation with Lisa Bigioni a few weeks after she opened her Scarborough shop doors.

Sherry Boodram, PhD

Dr. Boodram is among the smartest leaders we have had the pleasure of dealing with. Her Health Canada background helps her and the CannDelta team provide best-in-class regulatory, compliance and science consulting to her clients – and to the Business of Cannabis audience.

Watch a recent conversation with Boodram on BofC Live talking about Cannabis Health Products.

Hilary Bricken

The cannabis industry’s twists and turns require nimble, thoughtful and tough lawyers. In the US, few touch all these bases more fully than Hilary Bricken of Harris Bricken. While a relatively new connection for BofC, we look forward to spending more time listening and learning from Bricken on April 22nd at a Cross-Border Cannabis event.

Andrea Dobbs

Making the transition from legacy to legal is a daunting challenge. The much-beloved, Vancouver-based, Village Bloomery has done just that. Dobbs, the Managing Director of Village Bloomery, leads the company and frequently shares her thoughts and experience through social media. First, we encourage a follow – but second, listen intently for what Dobbs thinks and says – her voice is critical.

In January 2020, BofC had the chance to visit the Village Bloomery and record an on-site podcast. Listen here.

Myrna Gillis

Sustainability, cannabis, aquaponics and Nova Scotia. That’s a recipe for awesomeness. But only when put together with amazing leadership does it truly sing. That’s what Myrna Gillis does.

On a recent BofC Live, Gillis shared Aqualitas’ latest advance in sustainability through their reclaimed plastic containers.

Fern Glowinsky

As the cannabis industry grows and matures, tapping into the top-flight talent from other, adjacent sectors has been critical to industry success. Glowinsky’s passion and unparalleled experience in payments has proven a critical component to the Canadian cannabis sector. She helms Merrco Payments that continues to build best-in-class payment solutions for the sector, especially the booming area of cannabis retail – here and (soon) in the US too.

Watch a recent presentation by Glowinsky about their payment solution for retailers.

Alison Gordon

As one of the original leaders in the Canadian cannabis sector, we have been inspired by Gordon’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Her newest venture, Other People’s Pot is entering the market as a needed go-between from brands to retailers to consumers. A perfect spot for Gordon and her team of other amazing cannabis leaders. 

Gordon joined BofC Live this month to talk about her Other People’s Pot.

Elisa Keay

The increased competition for cannabis consumer dollars is a real challenge for cannabis retailers. Large companies are spending millions to create an authentic feel inside the stores. Elisa at K’s Pot Shop went with what felt right to her, to the neighbourhood and to her customers. That approach has worked. Now, the entire Business of Cannabis crew is driving out of our way to get to K’s on the regular.

Watch a recent conversation with Keay about her shop.

Mimi Lam

What can be said about Mimi Lam that hasn’t already been written? Very little. But, we remain inspired by the retail vision she and her team are putting into the world through Superette. And for this, we are constantly inspired. 

BofC was able to join Lam and her team as they opened their first shop in the Summerhill neighbourhood in Toronto.

Alison McMahon

One the stalwarts in the cannabis sector in Canada is Alison McMahon and her leading recruiting and training firm Cannabis At Work. There from before Day 1, she is a relied-upon voice in the sector in order to understand hiring and salary trends, as well as placing talent in the most important roles driving the sector.

McMahon spoke at a recent BofC event focused on hiring for cannabis retail positions.

Christina Michael

Whether it is her work at Athletes for Care or the launch of her own cannabis retail store in Vancouver, Michael always leads with strategy, passion and deep knowledge. Few are as in-tune with what cannabis consumers want and need – and she answers the call daily.

Just before the opening of Michael’s cannabis store in Vancouver, she joined BofC Live to talk.

Krista Raymer + Leandra Reid

Raymer and Reid have been instrumental in helping educate the Business of Cannabis team and our audience on all things retail. They have been instrumental in setting the cannabis retail content, events and insights programming for Business of Cannabis for 2021. Raymer and Reid are super-star entrepreneurs and are setting the stage for their cannabis retail clients’ success.

The Vetrina Group team recently wrote about designing and building cannabis retail stores.

Ika Washington

Last summer, a clarion call-to-action for the cannabis industry came from Ika Washington of DiversityTalk. Struck and inspired by her piece: Hey, Cannabis Industry. Your Silence is Deafening.  We moved forward together with a summer-time event focused directly on equality in the cannabis sector. We continue to follow her progress and are learning and being inspired along the way.

Watch a recent conversation with Ika Washington on BofC Live.

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