Nice Guys Finish Last

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Image: Alex Kravtsov / Shutterstock.com

The old saying, “Nice guys finish last” has been attributed to baseball legend Leo Durocher, who reportedly said something about Mel Ott being too nice of a guy and that’s why the Giants finished last (they actually finished second to last, but that’s just for you baseball aficionados).

I can attest that from my San Diego condo overlooking Petco Park, where I can see the lights illuminating another Padres’ loss even as I write this article, that nice guys in baseball, do indeed finish last (or to be more accurate, 24.5 games back as of this writing).

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However, I am happy to report that nice guys in the cannabis industry can often end up first! More specifically, nice gals in the cannabis industry are winding up in first place, and I couldn’t be more pleased.

According to a 2015 Marijuana Business Daily survey, women held 36-percent of leadership positions in the industry, however, when they updated the survey in August 2017, that number had fallen to 27-percent of executive-level roles. Comparatively, the latest Fortune 500 list showed female chief executive officers comprised just 6.4-percent of the list.

So, while we still have a lot of room for improvement, there is much to rejoice. It seems almost every month there is a new list highlighting the leading women in cannabis. I’ve been fortunate to be included in some of those lists, and I find a certain camaraderie with my fellow female canna-preneurs.

Women like Debra Borchardt who left a position at Bear Stearns to enter the cannabis market and has become one of the leading journalists covering the industry. She is co-founder and CEO at Green Market Media and was one of the first journalists to bring cannabis to the mainstream with regular columns in Forbes and TheStreet, and appearances on The Today Show, CNBC, and CNN.

Or Salwa Ibrahim, co-founder of Blüm Dispensary, and now chief operating officer at Highland Events—the company that just put together the first legal major music festival cannabis sales at Outside Lands in San Francisco.

Or Pam Donner, the COO at almost too many companies to name, including Untamed Herbs, Gelcap Concepts, and Genifer M Jewelry.

Or Emily Bercow, co-founder of Utopia Cannabis, whose vision it was to create a line of ultra-pure cannabis products, and who despite multitudes of obstacles, unflinchingly succeeded.

Or Erin Gore and Karli Warner, co-founders of Garden Society. These two wonderful women founded a sensational company based upon delivering top quality products and have successfully raised capital to fuel their plans for rapid expansion.

Or Emily Paxhia co-founder and managing partner at Poseidon—one of the longest running cannabis dedicated investment funds, with over $100 million under management.

Or Jessica Bernardo, co-founder and CEO at Canna Bath, who followed her vision and created an upscale CBD brand that appeals to women, and can now be found on the shelves at luxury retail stores.

Or Doctors Rachel, Jessica, and Janice Knox, co-founders of American Cannabinoid Clinics. Known as the “First Family of Cannabinoid Medicine,” the Knox Docs are internationally recognized as thought leaders in the endocannabinoid system and cannabis therapeutics.

Or Nancy Whiteman, CEO at Wana Brands, and heralded as “The Queen of Legal Weed” and “The Martha Stewart of Edibles” for steering her company to become the top edibles brand in sales revenues in the United States.

Or my partner in crime, Julia Gosnell, co-founder and COO at Hippo Premium Packaging, who left a steady job to join me on this crazy journey, and not only is the glue that keeps us together but is my vote for the best woman in the business.

Plus, so many other beautiful, vital women that are making this industry a better place to work and live.

Looks like I’ve created my own list!

Who says nice gals finish last? Now if only my Padres could score a few runs…


Kary Radestock brings more than 20 years of award-winning print and packaging expertise to some of the top brands in the world. She launched Hippo Premium Packaging in order to fill a need for professional, compliant packaging, brand development, and graphic design to the emerging cannabis industry.

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