Women have become a driving force in the cannabis industry. As the market continues to expand, so do opportunities for females to break stigma and build equality. Gone are the days of a marginalized, male-dominated cannabis industry, thanks to the women — the pioneers, the advocates, the business owners and the scientists — like these.
Forward by Melissa Hutsell | Biographies by Ed Huddson
Founder and Consultant of Emerald Heritage Farms, Treasurer for Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce
As founder and consultant at Emerald Heritage Farms, Dani is focused on helping local cannabis farms comply and transition into legalization. She is an advocate of the Emerald Triangle’s local cannabis industry, and works toward redefining stigmas surrounding cannabis cultivation. She also works with the Humboldt County Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, “building bridges in the community between the conventional business community and the developing legal cannabis industry,” as she put it. Former Assistant Executive Director of California Cannabis Voice Humboldt, Dani coordinated meet-the-industry tours for the Board of Equalization Chair, Fiona Ma, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, and other distinguished figures from California legislature and regulatory agencies.
When it comes to cannabis, there are a plethora of reasons Dani is passionate about the plant. From the intoxicating smells, colors, tastes, and effects of cannabis to the diversity of individual lives touched by the plant, for Dani, cannabis is about community and the experiences we all share. In her words, “I’ve had so many beautiful and unique experiences being around the industry for the last decade, […] I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This community and all of its citizens mean the world to me. It’s a labor of love,” she adds, “Every important and life changing experience I’ve had in the past decade was somehow affiliated with cannabis. We’re in a rare time in history and the opportunities available are changing lives everyday – medically, professionally and on an interpersonal, human level.”
For More Info, visit EmeraldHeritageFarms.com
Editorial Director of Eris & Edrington Writing Company, Cannabis Editor at The Clever Root, Co-Founder and President of the Humboldt County Cannabis Chamber of Commerce
As Editorial Director of Eris & Edrington Writing Company, Allison works with business clients to create the content they need for web or print. She also contributes to a number of publications including The Emerald and The Highway. Allison was a founding member of the Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, which offers education and services to local cannabis start-ups. She is also part of a group of women called the Humboldt Think Tank working toward community-focused solutions as the cannabis industry moves toward legitimacy.
Her Story (in her own words):
“We are at an unprecedented time in history to make great change in how cannabis is received and perceived. Years of advocacy and education paired with an invigorating new generation of advocates are beginning to undo years of Prohibition-era propaganda at an ever-quickening rate. Small farmers and entrepreneurs have an opportunity to thrive, and it’s important to me that they preserve that in this brand new industry as it comes out of the shadows. I’m excited to be a part of that movement with the skills that I have. I help facilitate conversations and move things forward in my community, and I get to use my communication skills to help cannabis brands build their new images. On a personal level, cannabis is a part of my everyday experience, both for helping me manage severe pain and anxiety, and for the pleasure of a better perspective.”
For More Info, visit Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce website at HumboldtCannabisChamber.com or her website at AllisonEdrington.com
Cannabis Writing Services, SKUNK Magazine’s Top 100 Women in Weed
Emily Hobelmann M.S. specializes in copy writing, ghostwriting, brand development, photography, and technical writing. She contributes cannabis related content to a number of media outlets. In her words, “I’ve been writing about cannabis for almost 10 years now — the plant and the culture around it are a great muse. And the industry itself is so rapidly evolving — who isn’t fascinated by people reclaiming their right to commune with the herb?” Check out her monthly column Pot Talk with Emily Hobelmann (on pg.40) where she regularly reviews select strains from various farms.
Her Story (in her own words):
“Cannabis is an impressive herb with well documented medicinal and practical uses. I grew up being told how bad it is, only to discover authority figures were all about feeding me prohibitionist lies — probably because being anti-cannabis is so ingrained in our society. I know better now, having experienced the herb’s healing powers and having spent time participating in many facets of modern cultivation and distribution. There is good and bad to be found with cannabis, like with any other power plant. But it can be a powerful healer and ally and I’m glad to see it becoming more mainstream in that respect.”
For More Info, find her on Instagram @emily_hobelmann or reach her by e-mail at EaHobelmann@gmail.com.
Sales & Business Development Officer, Hemp Production Services (HPS), Principal of The Ridge International Cannabis Consulting Agency, Internationally Renowned Hemp Expert, Activist, and Businesswoman
With over 15 years experience in the international hemp market, Anndrea dons many hats. She has experience in almost every facet of hemp production, including fiber and seed agronomy, field trials and sampling, quality control and testing, research, sales, marketing, product development, certifications, and licensing. Anndrea sits on the board of a number of hemp related businesses and organizations. She also teaches an industrial hemp course at Oregon State University. Anndrea has irons in so many fires that it’s not possible to list them all here. In 2011, she was selected as Champion of the New Rural Economy in Manitoba, Canada. She’s promoted and advocated for cannabis for over 20 years and continues to do so.
Anndrea graduated from Missouri Southern State University in 2002 with a B.GS is Hemp Ecolonomics. She acquired an internship with Parkland Industruial Hemp Growers in 2001 and was selected as a Manitoba Provincial Nominee under the Unique Skilled Worker Program (Hemp Technicians) in 2003. In 2008 she competed a Masters of Science in Hemp Fibre Agronomy at University of Manitoba. She became a Canadian/American dual citizen in 2012. She’s authored articles, edited and co-authored books, chapters and industry reviews. Not only is hemp a career for Anndrea, it is also a lifestyle. Her daily life is intertwined with the cannabis plant. She eats hemp, wears hemp, builds with hemp, speaks about hemp; she’s simply all things hemp.
For More Info, visit HempProductionServices.com
Watershed Resource Specialist, Hollie Hall and Associates
After obtaining her PhD from the University of Florida and writing her dissertation on protecting watersheds, Hollie moved back to Humboldt County with the objective of applying the principles of Adaptive Resource Management in the advancement of sustainable watershed resource use through the integration of science and social values. Although she works with all land owners, she regularly works with cannabis farms to improve watershed management, and helping growers to gain compliance. Hollie is very active in the cannabis community. She’s authored numerous articles and presented at many educational events. Currently she works as a consultant at her own firm, Hollie Hall and Associates.
Hollie grew up in Humboldt County surrounded by the culture of cannabis. Yet, during her time around cannabis, she grew to appreciate more than just the plant. She grew up appreciating all plants, mountains, and rivers: all of Mother Nature, people included. For Hollie, environmental wellbeing and social security are two pillars of sustainability. She has a desire to understand the macro relations between biologic systems and humans. During a trip to Jamaica she noticed how cannabis shaped culture and social divides. She also noticed that cannabis shaped human relations with nature. Building upon this lesson, Hollie spent the next 15 years researching soil, plants, water, and animals. All her experience and research has culminated in an expertise in watershed systems, specifically how cannabis cultivation affects those systems. She feels the burgeoning cannabis industry is a perfect opportunity to create an industry defined by sustainability and adaptive watershed management. For More Info, visit HollieHallAndAssociates.com
Principal of Hemp Ace International
Professional Industrial Hemp Educator,
Advisor, Legal Support, and Public Speaker
As the founder of Hemp Ace International, Joy provides comprehensive professional hemp education, paralegal, consulting, networking, and presentation services to both domestic and foreign firms. She offers renowned online training through a network of accomplished hemp agrologists, breeders, processors, manufacturers, and experts. Joy also wholesales hemp products including: raw and processed fiber, bulk food, building material, textiles, apparel, paper, body care, etc. She also instructs Hempcrete courses for Hemp Technologies. Joy received the Hemp Industries Association’s “2014 National Hemp Activist of the Year” award and Seattle Hempfest’s “2016 Regional Cannabis Activist of the Year” award.
At a Grateful Dead show in 1990, Joy was handed a flyer on hemp. Little did she know, this flyer would change her life. Joy didn’t realize that cannabis, hemp specifically, could help our planet. Hemp is a renewable resource and carbon scrub. Joy had just discovered what a revitalized hemp industry could mean to the world. It was at this point that Joy began her research on cannabis, hemp, and its prohibition. She has been a hemp advocate ever since – highly decorated, I might add. From starting her first hemp store in Woodstock in 1994, to her appointment to Vermont’s Hemp Council after passage of the inaugural hemp bill in 1996, Joy is at the forefront of hemp advocacy. Per Joy’s insistence, as a cannabis industry and community, we all need to “push back on the August 12, 2016 Joint Statement of Principles that the USDA, DEA, and FDA all put forth regarding section 7606… because they are attempting to redefine hemp and limit [the Farm Bill’s] intent.” For More Info, visit HempAce.com
Owner of Kiskanu Humboldt, Herbal Medicine Specialist
Through her small family business, Kiskanu Humboldt, Gretchen offers herbal therapy consulting in conjunction with a newly created a line of products. Her service “determines if cannabis is right for [clients], and develops personalized treatment programs that fit their health needs and lifestyle.”
Currently she has three products: a trauma rub, a suppository, and a lubricant. Gretchen also creates custom products for clients including non-cannabis options. She’s attended a number of cannabis/herbal medicine classes and certificate programs. Gretchen also works with Women Cultivating Community, a women’s cannabis think tank turned business development group.
Gretchen has a passion for the plant’s medicinal capabilities and has committed herself to studying cannabis as medicine. From her passion with cannabis, she has expanded her knowledge and dedicates time to researching the therapeutic properties of all plants. She is excited to share her knowledge of cannabis and all plants in general. When asked specifically about the cannabis industry, she feels the industry is quickly evolving and changing, and in the current climate, she has fashioned Kiskanu Humboldt as a high-end, local and organic company. She hopes that her company can become more involved in the community in the future by pushing the boundaries, to discover the possibilities of cannabis in the years to come.
For more info, visit Kiskanu.com
Owner of Humboldt Harvest
Esther uses CO2 extraction techniques to create high CBD products from Humboldt sun-grown cannabis. They reintroduce plant based, steam distilled, solventless terpenes back into the tincture for optimal taste and effect. Esther has created a variety of tinctures to aid with ailments such as pain, inflammation, stress, anxiety, menstrual cramps, insomnia and degenerative autoimmune disease.
Wellness, one of Esther’s tinctures, placed first at the Emerald Cup for non-psychoactive CBD tincture. Humboldt Harvest also offers vegan snacks that support an anti-inflammatory diet. Their snacks are completely organic and natural with no preservatives or artificial colors. In addition to managing the growth of her small business, Esther works with Women Cultivating Community and she dreams she can one day facilitate cultivation or manufacturing jobs for women in need.
Esther moved to Northern California and immediately found herself working in plant medicine, cultivating plants and living an alternative lifestyle. After her first child was born, Esther developed an autoimmune disease, curtailing her adventurous attitude toward life. An avid surfer and athlete, her quality of life was greatly diminished due to her new condition. Working with cannabis, specifically CBD, Esther was able to heal her body opening new doors and passions. She became aware of people living in pain throughout society and wanted to help. With this in mind, Esther has worked with cannabis to create her line of tinctures. She wants people to live a quality life, with less pain, and she will always be working toward that goal.
For more information, visit HumboldtHarvestMedicinals.com
Associate Professional Soil Scientists, Co-Owners Dirty Business Soil (DBS)
Sarah and Joanna started DBS laboratory in 2012. They saw a growing need for farmers to cut costs and reuse soil, DBS began offering testing along with custom nutrient management plans to amend and reuse soil. Four years later, DBS have earned a reputation in the industry. A few of their clients have placed in well-known cannabis cups across California.
DBS’s soil analysis has now become integral for cannabis farmers. When Humboldt County passed the new cannabis cultivation ordinance, it became mandatory for new farmers to test soil in order to comply with new regulations. Due to this new mandate, Joanna and Sarah have begun soil mapping through site suitability assessments. They are respected by government agencies and look forward to working with any agency to help farmers gain compliance. They are excited about expanding as educators to build bridges between regulatory agencies, environmental advocates, and farmers alike.
Sarah and Joanna had been involved in the cannabis industry long before they began DBS. Their desire to start a soil analysis lab came from their passion for cannabis and the environment. For DBS, a lack of information and resources are the source of the environmental inequities within the industry. After seeing farmers throw away soil year after year, they realized that someone needed to educate farmers.
Sarah and Joanna’s primary goal is to help farmers take advantage of their resources and to change the negative stigma surrounding cannabis farmers. It’s DBS’s view that cannabis farmers don’t have the resources that other farmers do, so it’s their intent to fill the gap. In their words, “Getting information out there is just as important to us as the science. We have a passion to share our knowledge.”
For more info, visit DBSanalytics.com
Founders of Cannabicas Latinas, Cannabis Advocates
Partners and fellow cannabis activists, Daniela and Belen, began Cannabicas Latinas in Chile, an advocacy group dedicated to providing low-income female cannabis users a voice. The groups aim is to create content “from women for women.” They feel there’s a lack of cannabis content written by Spanish-speaking women and seek to fill the void. They hope to create a space where female writers across Latin America can write about cannabis issues. At the moment, they are building strong bonds and allies in the cannabis community. Besides cannabis, Belen is an anthropologist and Daniela works as a translator. They use what they have learned in their respective fields and apply those skills to their cannabis advocacy. They are in the process of building CannabicasLatinas.com, a site that will make their goal possible.
Chile has a strong cannabis culture along with a history of hemp production. For Daniela and Belen, cannabis has always been a large part of their lives. When they noticed a lack of cannabis content for women, by women, they decided to dedicate themselves to writing. They realized that the image of woman, when it comes to cannabis marketing has been sexualized and “reproduces damaging stereotypes.” When they searched “Mujeres y Cannabis” (Women in Cannabis) they only saw scantily clad women instead of professionals, entrepreneurs, and advocates. It was this realization that led them to start Cannabicas Latinas – gathering women from their network to talk and share what they have in common, creating an alternative image for women in cannabis across Latin America. For More Info, visit CannabicasLatinas.com
Founder of Space Gem Candy, Cannabis Candy Maker
Wendy at Space Gem Candy produces handmade, single-batch candies with de-carbed ice water hash. De-carbing refers to the heating of the hash to render the THC psychoactive. Once de-carbed, they mix the psychoactive THC into one of their proprietary candy recipes which create confections such as gummies, hard candies, nerd (like) ropes, lollipops, juice, etc. They’ve also begun to make a new line of organic candies without processed sugars, artificial colors or flavors. Wendy uses pectin, a plant based material, as opposed to artificial gelatin. Space Gem Candy is currently going through the permitting process to become a recreational cannabis manufacturer in California. Wendy envisions her company as a small batch producer of high-end cannabis candy, sold in select cannabis clubs in Northern California. Already, her clients drive over five hours for her sweets.
Wendy began using cannabis as an alternative to pharmaceuticals. She always preferred edibles to smoking, but she quickly became bored of the typical edibles that were the norm of the time. Realizing that she was not alone in her brownie boredom, Wendy began the process of creating a different type of cannabis edible. She noticed edibles made in other cannabis friendly regions of the U.S. were vastly superior to the edibles made in Humboldt County. She set out to make something that could match the best edibles across the nation, and she did. She figured out a way to make high quality cannabis candy.
Follow them on Instagram @space_gem_candy
Director of the Women’s Division at the Humboldt Patient Resource Centers (HPRC), Skincare Specialist
As head of the Woman’s Division at the HPRC, Naomi is pushing into uncharted waters. Women’s cannabis products are a fairly new market with undefined and untested products. As cannabis becomes legal, many are realizing the diverse uses for the plant. One uncultivated sector is cannabis products that are created and marketed specifically for women. With an understanding of feminine products due to a background cosmetology, Naomi has been able to bridge the gap. She tests all the products carried at the HPRC’s Women’s Division and educates coworkers and clients about their applications. The realization of this new market is taking place and Naomi is at the forefront.
Naomi grew up around cannabis culture after moving to Humboldt County at a young age. Raised by her mom, a Postpartum Depression specialist, Naomi has always understood how cannabis can help women. She obtained her Cosmetology license in 2010, and worked in the field for a number years until she met Mariellen Jurkovich (Director of the HPRC). Mariellen and Naomi have always shared common interest. For Naomi, skincare offered her a way to help women relax as a sort of therapy through skincare. For Mariellen, cannabis served as medicine-of-choice for many women’s issues. It was through this connection that the two would eventually begin the Women’s Division at the Humboldt Patient Resource Center in Arcata, California.
For More Info, visit HPRCarcata.com