Opening a CBD store during a global pandemic? That’s something only a real cannba-boss lady could do.
This April I got the honor of visiting TheCannaBossLady herself, Jill Cohen, and her CBD shop in New Jersey. Not only does she currently work for our very own Emerald Magazine as a managing director for Emerald Live webinars and ad sales, but she also managed to open her own cannabis shop in the midst of a global pandemic.
Her shop is located in Maplewood, New Jersey. It’s an adorable blue building at the edge of a similarly cute small town. The whole street is lined with different shops, cafes, and boutiques but hers stands out the most. Inside, visitors are met with chic green and pink decor and a gorgeous green couch with fluffy pink pillows. Over the couch hangs a neon pink sign that reads “TheCannaBossLady.”
Cohen said she wants her CBD shop to feel cozy. The big green couch, she explained, is a staple here. It invites guests to sit down, relax, and ask questions about CBD. She did not want it to feel too impersonal like some dispensaries can feel.
The store is stocked with products Cohen has personally selected, testing them out on herself and her family and friends. She only sells products from women-owned companies and makes sure they all have the proper lab results.
While I was there, a customer and her husband came into the shop. The first-time visitors were there for almost 20 minutes. Cohen helped her find a pain cream, and before the woman had even left, she told her she was already feeling relief. I felt like I got to experience firsthand the exact reason Cohen opened her store — to educate and help women.
Cohen explained that she feels as if the town of Maplewood has really accepted TheCannaBossLady. I got to witness that with my own eyes too.
While we were saying goodbye outside her shop, a woman walked by while walking her dog. She told Cohen how much she loved the products she got from the shop, and that they really helped her. Not even two minutes later, another woman stopped by with a similar sentiment.
Cohen’s shop has only been there a few months, she said, and she already has repeat customers.
Women in Cannabis
Cohen said that she used cannabis throughout her life to treat anxiety. But it wasn’t until she started working with Emerald that she found out just how helpful CBD could be for anxiety and pain relief — all without the intoxicating effects of THC.
As a working mom, she was really drawn to that. She also felt as though there were not enough women in cannabis. So she built a company that really focuses on women and their needs.
She has found a community with women in the cannabis industry, especially with other moms, she said. Before, she felt bullied by other women, or that everything was a competition. But in the cannabis industry, she found that women want to lift each other up and support each other.
Cohen wants to continue building up women in cannabis. To achieve this, she donates a portion of all TheCannaBossLady’s proceeds to three different women-focused causes. One is the Center for Asian Pacific American Women, which supports and creates networking opportunities for Asian American Pacific Islander women in leadership positions. Another is Supernova Women, which is a non-profit organization that helps empower women of color in the cannabis industry. The third is Dressember, which is an anti-trafficking organization.
Cannabis has become fully legal in New Jersey, and Cohen has applied for a recreational license, which she hopes to have by 2022. That will allow her to sell THC products in addition to the CBD product she already carries.
She wanted to create a space by women, for women — and she has done it, successfully. In the midst of a global pandemic, at that.