Incredible moms who’ve earned their place within the cannabis industry

Published May 19, 2020 01:00 p.m. ET
iStock / Talaj

Strong women within the cannabis industry have earned the respect of many who operate in the green space. The stigma around cannabis and the cannabis industry is still raging its ugly head. Cannabis jobs have been the bread and butter for many strong women who have sole handily maintained a safe, healthy environment in which to raise their children. Do you know any of these women, and are they a positive role model for future young women going forward?

Who has made the cannabis industry stronger?

Erica Daniel

Erica is the co-founder of Hope Grows for Autism. Her path to the cannabis industry was spurred by the need to get help for her autistic son. She turned to cannabis and found that it helped not only her son but also another family that was not judgmental about the choices she was making for her son's health.

Erica’s path to a successful life for her and her family has not been without pain and despair. Advocating for medical cannabis for her son started the beginning of her career in the cannabis industry. Cannabis jobs or anything related to marijuana was the furthest thing from Erica’s mind. Today she runs a successful cannabis-related business and would not change the path that her life has taken.

As a mother, her work is integrated with her primary job of caring for her autistic son. As such, her responsibilities and values as a mother are integrated within her career. She finds that this does not add stress to her life but perhaps calms the anxiety around her.

The mission of Hope Grows for Autism is to improve the lives of families affected by autism. The goal is the advocacy of natural treatments. Erica Daniels is a recognized medical cannabis activist, author, and devoted mother.

Jessica Billingsly

The chairman of the board and chief officer of Akerna is a strong woman who was the first to carry her cannabis company on a major U.S. exchange, the Nasdaq. Jessica has words for the budding woman who wants to make the cannabis industry home. Tenacity is the name of the game, and she strongly advises women to be ready to roll with the punches adapt and to be prepared to change if you are sure that the cannabis industry is where you plan on heading.

Jessica knows well that no other can do that juggling better than a strong woman. She is the mother of a young girl first before her professional titles take over. It is her daughter who gives her work purpose. Jessica declares herself as an adventure seeker, and she saw an opportunity to be one of the first license holders in Colorado.


This state is the first to license and regulate cannabis businesses. Jessica saw the opportunity to bridge her passion for computer expertise and the cannabis industry. She saw "seed to sale" technology as a solution for the needed monitoring and managing of the cannabis industry. MJ Freeway, her company, became an official business in January of 2010.

Mara Gordon

Mara is a strong woman, a pioneer in the cannabis therapeutics field. Her company Aunt Zelda's aims to create patient-centered marijuana extracts that are tailored to assist specific conditions. She has bought nuance and clarity to an industry that was dominated by guesswork; she advocates for full-spectrum extracts and organic preparations.

Well known for her documentary Weed the People, she documents her journey of providing critically ill patients with marijuana extracts. She has educated hundreds of people around the world, discussing how critical data-driven treatments are. She offers advice to keep the cannabis industry moving forward.

Aunt Zelda’s mission is through the use of medical cannabis pain would be alleviated. The mission helps patients to live a full and healthy life. The expertise in the correct medicinal cannabis dosing of the highest purity products is paramount for this company.

The constant consultations with world-renowned researchers and physicians are always a priority for the company. This is how the supportive and positive medical cannabis community transpired. Aunt Zelda is aspiring to be a safe, responsible, and productive resource.

Some of the most influential women in the cannabis industry have found their names on the list of top women in the cannabis space. Women represent about 37% of senior-level cannabis jobs. The executive positions that women hold in the cannabis industry have consistently outpaced the businesses operating in the traditional economy space.

Women in weed in 2020


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