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The cannabis legalization movement is proving to be so much more than just a passage to express our human rights – it is proving to be great business, too. The amount of celebrities investing in marijuana is growing every day, and entrepreneurs in states where it has been made legal are profiting as well.

The women of the weed industry are certainly stepping up to the plate, with organizations all over the USA encouraging female entrepreneurs to come together. Women Grow is one of these support groups, spreading across the USA bu having its biggest chapter in Portland, Oregon. This group has come together to empower women to take a step in working in the cannabis industry, a step that has been lucrative for so many.

I suppose it could be a little daunting to enter the marijuana industry at this state, given that it is still illegal at a federal level. This creates fears going into business with something that could be the potential for legal headaches. But these women have taken a brave step into a new controversial industry, and if anything is learned, it´s that the bravest one is the luckiest one. Here are the stories of 5 brave women smoking out the cannabis industry!

Ashley Preece-Sackett – Clean Green!

women ashlee 5 Female Entrepreneur’s Smoking The Cannabis Biz
Photo credit: Huffington Post

The USA has no way to federally regulate the quality of marijuana for pesticides and potency – have no fear! Ashley Preece-Sackett is here!

Also the vice-chair of Portland´s chapter of Women Grow, Ashley came together as a co-founder to produce Cascadia Labs.This is a high quality facility for giving growers a full profile of their plants. This includes THC content for potency as well as the presence of pesticides.

She says that because there is no federal regulation at this stage on the quality of marijuana for sale (the Food and Drug Administration are not allowed to get involved in the regulation of organic marijuana) it is easy to get sold marijuana with pesticides, which you are then inhaling. When Ashley tests the plants, she certifies them as Clean Green and is trying to get as close to federal certification as possible.

“Going into the industry I never thought I’d wear as many hats as I do, but the more I get to meet these women and hear their stories, the more I want to make a difference. Women are creating a path for others to follow in this industry, and we’ve done it right so far.”

Ginny Burdick

women ginny 5 Female Entrepreneur’s Smoking The Cannabis Biz
Photo credit: Portland Tribune

Ginny Burdick is one of the biggest power players in Portland (and also a member of Women Grow) in the growing marijuana industry. She is a state senator, as well as a state funded committee dedicated to reviewing marijuana legalization legislation before it is implemented. The organization is called the Joint Committee on Marijuana Legalization and she is the co-chair.

Burdick´s aim is to get Oregon on the leader board in the industry, saying that the marijuana industry was flourishing and alive long before it was even decriminalized. She wants Oregon to lead by example for the rest of the USA on the topic of recreational marijuana because she sees it is less harmful than alcohol to society.

“We had far too many people in our prisons, in our criminal justice system for marijuana offenses,” she said.

She sees that Oregon is in a good position to help break the stigma about marijuana and make progress with world attitudes.

Genny Kiley

women genny 5 Female Entrepreneur’s Smoking The Cannabis Biz

Intelligent woman. Intelligent business decision. After working in the legal industry as a lawyer for 10 years at a big Oregon firm, she found herself on a team working for legalization. But she didn´t just see this as another day in the office – she saw it as an opportunity to take a step into the world´s fastest growing industry at the moment.

She started a group called Emerge Law Group in 2014 to assist marijuana businesses with all the legal information that they need. Because of the hesitance of lawyers and banks to work in the marijuana industry, Genny started this program to help business decide where to put their earnings and how to be legally safe

It´s important that Emerge Law Group also provides legal support should any business have to go to court. It´s probably likely that without women like Genny, most businesses would have no legal representation or support going into a court case as a marijuana defendant!

Whitney Hobbs

women whitney 5 Female Entrepreneur’s Smoking The Cannabis Biz

Well, the story of this woman shows how striking at the right time and in the right industry can expedite you from being a waitress to an entrepreneur, Whitney Hobbs started off serving the bar in Montana, and two years later is the co-founder of a wholesale marijuana distribution company called Highly Distributed.

Whitney Hobbs and her company act as the middle person between those growing marijuana and retail stores selling marijuana. Hobbs said that she stands to educate people on marijuana, particularly CBD, because she believes that those who need cannabis for medical reasons have the right to use it.

She has nothing to lose by making this move in Oregon, because the state has fully legalized the plant now. She is also a member of Women Grow, and says she couldn´t have done what she did without the support of the group.

Inge Fryklund

women inge 5 Female Entrepreneur’s Smoking The Cannabis Biz

This is a woman you don´t want to get on the wrong side of, as she has worked for the US Army, the United Nations and the Marine Corps. Inge Fryklund comes from a human rights perspective, saying that over her years in service she witnessed a lot of racial discrimination as a result of drugs. She says that the cycle of drug retribution just keeps leading people back into the drug trade, and that the war on drugs is creating more crime than it is fixing.

Knowing throughout her entire life that there is no reason marijuana should be illegal, Fryklund joined Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. It is an organization of law enforcement workers who believe that it´s time that prohibition was abolished and the war on drugs was over.

Her opinion on the prohibition of Marijuana is this:

“I’ve never much paid attention to the federal scheduling of marijuana, I knew it was wrong. It is absolutely the stupidest policy, and it’s not just dumb, it’s harmful. It’s impeding the ability of people to do it right. If you can’t get banking, you have to go around the law. If you can’t do research, what is that going to do? Education is a huge part of it. … It was always my goal for Oregon to be the national example of a place that does it right.”

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