Meet 5 Women Shaping the Narrative of the Cannabis + CBD Economy and Bringing Seats to the Table for the Otherized

Reifers. Weed. Sheba. Herb. Marijuana. Everyone seems to remember the famous and funny phrase in the cult classic movie Friday, puff, puff give… In decades past what was associated with mostly urban street culture has quickly taken center stage upon its legalization. This multi billion dollar and formative economy is growing at warp speed and the following 5 women are determined that black and brown America will be a vital part of it and freed from the captivity of institutionalized racism and fear associated with the justice system. They are spearheading their own companies to share the wealth with the marginalized. Their ultimate goal is to be intentional and inclusive for those who want their piece of the pie for financial empowerment and liberation

Canna-Differences

Cannabis, CBD, THC – for the canna-curious and those a bit lost in the alphabet soup I’m going to share the simplest definitions and some of the benefits.

Cannabis is the formal name of the plant genus itself – marijuana, usually including all hemp plants.

CBD is the extracted “cannabidiol” , the non-psychoactive or “non-getting high” effect of the marijuana plant that alleviates pain and anxiety.

THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. This is the part of the marijuana plant that induces the psychoactive effect and is known to help with pain relief, anxiety control, appetite stimulation, and insomnia.

New Economy and Culture Creator

An “asshole-free zone”. A very clear benchmark for Dia Simms’ formal presentation of how the culture would roll at Combs Enterprises, where she was president for 14 years. She required civility, manners, and respect to be embedded interpersonally within the daily life of the company.  The turnaround shero — in one year, after acquiring CIROC, it went from fledgeling to 1000% growth, ever keeping her eyes open for opportunity, she saw what she described as a once  in a millennial opportunity in cannabis.

Now CEO of BRN Group in Los Angeles, a strain-to-store, tech-savvy branding, and distribution firm where she  leads, owns and builds a diverse team for this thriving, new market. Simms understands personally how the green industry allows her mother sleep and relief from the chronic pain of Multiple Sclerosis and how the politicized ecosystem — the criminalization and the legalization of cannabis can harm communities and how it can strengthen an economy where she urges leaders to hire a diverse team. If someone has a quality, sustainable product BRN can take it to market comprehensively.

Watch her work on Instagram: Dia Simms (@diasimms)

From Health Scare to CBD Trailblazer

In 2015 Jacquese Jennings faced a pituitary gland tumor diagnosis that hampered her efforts to be a dispensary owner. In her quest to find authentic CBD products that could heal her medicinally she became so knowledgeable that she founded the first black-owned CBD company in Roswell, Georgia, NuLeaf #1. A premium organic, vegan CBD line that she prides herself in helping her customers to heal, manage pain, and to live an incredibly better quality of life. Though she disciplines herself not to take comments that seem to invalidate her as being the business owner personally, she understands how imperative representation is. Though cannabis was once demonized it’s worth leading from the place where she now operates. Jacquese is elated that she overcame the odds and is a conduit of change, education, business and healing even through the unprecedented pandemic.

Get your NuLeaf #1 game on IG: ✨#1 CBD WELLNESS STORE✨ (@nuleaf.1) • Instagram photos and videos.

A Voice for Change and Social Justice

To hear Solonje Burnett speak is to instantly connect with a tour de force of green industry and social justice empowerment. My heart is literally racing as I write about her. Co-Founder of Brooklyn-based cannabis consulting firm Humble Bloom, it is her mission to “humanize growing brands, connect diverse communities through plant education, advocacy and inclusive immersive experiences.”

Whether you’re cannabis curious or you’re an early adapter to all things tantalizing and green you instantly know that this hitta with a graduate degree in broadcast journalism harnesses her expert communication skills to leverage legalizing cannabis in New York and the bevvy of public policy that it touches. Solonje is set on changing the perceptive negative construct, forging the democratization of cannabis, addressing public policy that supports mass incarceration head on, and advocating for marginalized groups and minorities. She brings new meaning to #keeponblooming.

Connect on social media: Humble Bloom (@humblebloomco) and Solonge Burnett.

Natural CBD Glow  

Dorian Morris, Founder and CEO of Undefined Beauty, a non-toxic CBD wellness brand where she put the talents to work of formerly incarcerated women to be a vibrant part of her supply chain. A veteran in the retail space – US Marketing Director for Cover Girl; she led the launch for the Madame CJ Walker Beauty Culture at Sephora on behalf of Sundial Brands and was the mastermind behind the campaign of Sephora’s number one nail brand, Formula X while leading at Kendo Brands.

Now it is Dorian’s time to do what she’s done for others. Establish her conscious capitalist brand but this time her way. Fiercely committed to people of color; LGBT community, women-owned and being local, she infuses a feminine touch with her lavender and white packaging. I love how the products are photographed on https://un-definedbeauty.com/undefinedcollective.  They all have a chartreuse-ish, fuschia light behind them that makes you want to read every ingredient, because you know you’ll be able to pronounce it sans hesitation. 

Pets and people should stay glowy with her on Instagram: Undefined Beauty (@undefinedbeauty_co).

Cannabis Ed Truth Teller

Most know that the term War on Drugs is code to target black and brown people in the criminal justice system. The numbers don’t lie. From 2001-2010 the ACLU reported that African Americans made up 88% of the 8.2 million arrests for marijuana possession. In five years this industry, led by white men, is projected to amass $146.4 billion. It’s understandable due to the justice disparity why Blacks are slow to capitalize on an industry that Felicia Palmer sees as a gateway for economic freedom and generational wealth.

Palmer will not be denied. A cancer survivor who fought with a holistic approach — whole nutrition, plant-based diet, fitness and cancer fighting plants and herbs led the first online cannabis summit CANNARAMIC / HOME. For five days she partnered with 25 experts to educate on medical solutions for chronic illness, pain, state and federal legalization efforts, record restoration and expungement, health, business, lifestyle, available restitution. Her goal is to supply knowledge to access the business and to extinguish the hesitation of entering this new and lucrative field. Get the replays and share CANNARAMIC / SIGN UP.

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