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Honoring Some of our Favorite Women in WeedMarch 6, 2020
In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day on March 8th of this year, I wanted to take a moment and shout out some of the women I have had the opportunity of meeting or working with in the cannabis industry. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but all of these women have had a major impact in the way that I came to understand the cannabis industry, particularly with a focus on social equity. We’ll be sharing more about our involvement in social equity and continued advocacy for the inclusion of the most underrepresented communities in the evolving cannabis industry. Stay up-to-date with us by signing up for our newsletter at the bottom of this page.
La Wanda Knox, Make Green Go!
La Wanda Knox is the founder and leading consultant of the Make Green Go! Business Consultancy. Make Green Go! Has been the contracted provider of the Technical Assistance program to the City of Oakland Cannabis Equity Program since 2017. La Wanda and her team provide business consulting for hundreds of entrepreneurs involved in Oakland’s equity program as well as community outreach and resource development for potential participants of Oakland’s program.
Through her work at Make Green Go! La Wanda has helped to connect equity entrepreneurs, not only with each other, but with other connections and resources within the industry. She is currently the President of The Allyance, a non-profit focused on connecting cannabis equity applicants with the resources they need to succeed in the industry. The Allyance is the organizing force behind the Annual Cannabis Equity Summit and Expo in Oakland. This year’s summit will be Saturday June 13th, 2020. Tickets can be purchased here.
La Wanda’s advocacy was pivotal in the creation of Blackbird’s own social equity initiatives and we’re proud to support her work.
Noni Goldman, Four Trees MA.
Noni Goldman is the President of Four Trees Management LLC. Four Trees Management is a consulting group based in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Contracted by the state of Massachusetts, Four Trees provides consulting on cannabis cultivation for participants of the nation’s first state-wide cannabis equity program. Through their classes, Four Trees Management teaches participants of the state’s cannabis equity program everything they need to know about running a large-scale cultivation as well as some regulatory processes around testing and supply chain management.
In addition to their community work, Four Trees Management offers consulting to other companies outside of the social equity program and is in the process of opening their own cultivation and cannabis dispensary in Holyoke. Noni also serves on the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Cultivation Committee. Noni is a tireless advocate of social equity and social justice, with a strong belief in collaboration and coming together to make things work.
Eve Robinson, Green Releaf Collection
Eve Robinson is the founder of Green Releaf Collection, a cannabis brand based in Oakland. Green Releaf Collection focuses on making topical cannabis products like therapeutic oils, cannabis massage bars, and infused whipped shea butter with essential oils.
Eve’s story is truly remarkable. She had never used cannabis until she had been hospitalized with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an auto-immune disorder in which your body’s immune system attacks your nerves. She was bed-ridden in the hospital for just over two years. She was 70 pounds and believed that she was on her deathbed. That is when doctor’s prescribed Marinol, a synthetic form of THC that is FDA approved. The Marinol made it so Eve was able to eat again and regain some of her energy. After seeing how effective Marinol was, Eve started to use cannabis oils and cannabis topicals all over her body; eventually regaining some of her mobility and regaining her health to a point that she could return to her home and resume her life.
Fast-forward another two years -- Eve has created her own business from the ground up. She converted her ceramic studio into a licensed manufacturing space where she makes her product by hand. Eve’s focus is on providing quality, healing products to her community while educating those around her on the misinformation and stigmas surrounding the plant. You can find her product here.
Kinchasa Taylor, Cannavation Analytics
Kinchasa Taylor is the principle consultant for Cannavation Analytics, an organization that offers consulting for social equity entrepreneurs and for folks interested in engaging in and advocating for the inclusion of underrepresented communities, specifically Black communities in California and the South, in the next chapter of the cannabis industry. Cannavation Analytics also manufactures high quality luxury cannabis products including bath soaks and canna syrup, as well as run a sustainable cultivation site.
In addition to being involved in the cultivation and manufacturing processes, Kinchasa has created an initiative focusing on including Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the cannabis equity conversation. HBCUs are centers of innovation and influence within the Black community in the United States. Due to their geographic location in the American South, a historically socially conservative region, HBCUs are often left out of the conversations and organizing happening within the cannabis industry around social equity. Kinchasa works to bring the leaders in the industry to the HBCUs to educate not only the students, but the staff and faculty on the different moving parts of the cannabis industry; developing resources for students from HBCUs to get jobs in cannabis or create their own cannabis companies. You can get involved with the HBCU Cannabis Equity initiative by reaching out to Cannavation Analytics here.
Dr. Marion McNabb MPH, C3RN
Dr. Marion Mcnabb MPH is the CEO and co-founder of Cannabis Community Care and Research Network (C3RN). C3RN is a public benefit corporation (B Corp) providing contracted research, analytics, education, and strategic advising services for the cannabis industry as well as the academic and healthcare industries in the realm of cannabis.
Dr. Mcnabb is a community health advocate with years of experience in implementing large-scale community health projects around sexual and reproductive health. Her goal with creating C3RN along with co-founder Randal MacCaffrie was to bridge the gap between the medical and academic communities and people who use cannabis medicinally. Dr. Mcnabb and her team at C3RN consistently advocate for the expansion of research into the science of cannabis and its medical use not only for patients and clinicians, but also potential patients, researchers, and the broader community connected to cannabis science.
C3RN is also a contracted technical assistance provider for Massachussett’s groundbreaking social equity program providing education around agent recruitment and training to participants interested in manager and executive level positions in the cannabis industry. You can find out more about their work and ways to support them here.