WASHINGTON D.C.–Nonprofit and the world’s largest scientific society American Chemical Society (ACS) recognized leading women professionals in the cannabis industry, in the April 30th issue of organization newsletter Chemical & Engineering News.
Titled, “Women Shaping the Cannabis Industry,” the piece by author Britt E. Erikson highlighted seven executive women that play a part in moving the cannabis conversation further into the realm of mainstream science and medicine.
Included on the list where:
- Melissa Wilcox, global sales and market development manager, Regis Technologies
- Julie Kowalski, director of science and research, Trace Analytics
- Heather Despres, Virginia-based cannabis advocate and consultant
- Lezli Engelking, founder of Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards
- Amber Wise, science director, Avitas
- Tami Wahl, attorney and lobbyist
- Linda Klumpers, founder and director, Tomori Pharmacology (Cannify)
The piece recognized the educational and career backgrounds of each woman, as well as comments from them, giving insight on their experiences in the industry and feedback on females in the cannabis business.
“There is a huge need for scientists in the cannabis realm in every way, shape, and form. It’s a professional goal of mine to raise the scientific bar and lend legitimacy to this growing industry,” said Avitas Science Director Wise. “The cannabis industry is unprecedented in terms of growth in a short time span. That makes it super-exciting. I feel like I am literally on the forefront of shaping the science and creating policy in the state of Washington and therefore potentially federally in the future.”
“Women are attracted to the cannabis industry because it is really interesting, it is fast moving, and there are a lot of challenges to overcome. I think in general women like those challenges,” Regis Technologies’ Wilcox said, adding that lack of patriarchal norms that are present in some other industries offered women in cannabis more “control and autonomy.”
Foundation of Cannabis Unified Standards Executive Director Engelking added, “There is so much still to be done around cannabis—and most of that work requires not only science but the ability to have nonthreatening, educational conversations with individuals who have a different opinion. Women thrive in this area.”
Comments were gathered at the “Women in Cannabis: Shaping an Emerging Industry” symposium, given at the ACS National Meeting, held in March, in New Orleans.