The cannabis industry is headed for booming growth which means plenty of opportunities for new women-run weed ventures just like The Flower Shop Dispensary, AZ. Arizona has a number of its own rising stars, from growers to dispensaries to cannabis-related support services. However, like many other industries, breaking into cannabis presents its own set of challenges for women. Since we’re celebrating International Women’s Day, it’s important to see just how women are faring in cannabis so far.
In 2015, women held 36 percent of the senior positions in the cannabis industry. Two years later, that number had dropped to 27 percent, according to Marijuana Business Daily, a leading trade publication. That was almost the same rate of women in executive roles in traditional business sectors — 23 percent, according to Catalyst, a global nonprofit that works to advance women into leadership positions.
At The Flower Shop Dispensary, we’re proud to have some very accomplished women at the helm. We think they’re excellent role models and inspirations for other women who are considering getting into the emerging and rapidly growing cannabis industry.
Meet the Women of The Flower Shop Dispensary
The Flower Shop, AZ
Greta Brandt currently serves as President for The Flower Shop of AZ as well as for True North Organics and Perfect Earth Modern Apothecary of Utah. Collectively, these three branches operate five medical marijuana dispensaries plus four cultivation sites and processing facilities.
Greta is licensed as a corporate attorney in both Arizona and California and serves as a board member and officer for two not-for-profit corporations that currently operate three licensed dispensaries and cultivation facilities in Arizona.
Her industry insight and awareness as it relates to company operations under Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Program has allowed her to create valuable connections with various local municipalities and all key Arizona and Utah regulators; the Arizona Department of Health Services and the Utah Departments of Agriculture and Health Services.
Additionally, Brandt remains an active community member of the Arizona Dispensary Association and serves as President of the Utah Cannabis Association.
“The greatest factor for success in this industry is flexibility,” Greta shares. “But a close second is having a team of people who work incredibly well together. The [cannabis] business can change overnight, so it’s crucial that everyone’s on the same wavelength. There’s nothing as highly regulated or fast-moving as what we’re doing now, but I enjoy the pace. The best part is the chance to break down barriers for women in an industry that’s favored men in leadership roles. Women have increasingly been making headlines as marijuana entrepreneurs. I’m fortunate to serve as President of The Flower Shop and play a pivotal role in paving the way for more women.”
Chief Operating Officer
The Flower Shop, AZ
As the Chief Operating Officer for The Flower Shop AZ, Kelsie McCanna oversees the operations of three dual license marijuana dispensaries and three medical marijuana cultivation sites in Arizona. Kelsie has been a part of the medical cannabis industry for the last five years and has over ten years of management experience working for a variety of industries.
Kelsie previously worked for the Arizona Department of Health Services as a State Medical Cannabis Surveyor (Inspector), where she inspected and enforced the Arizona State rules and regulations regarding Medical Cannabis. As Chief Operating Officer for The Flower Shop, Kelsie still works closely with the Arizona Department of Health Service regulators and various local municipalities throughout Arizona.
“Understanding the ins and outs of the cannabis industry is a full-time job in itself,” Kelsie states with a smile. “There are so many complex rules and regulations for cannabis and medical marijuana in place from seed to sale that I have to keep a close eye on. With Arizona’s recent legalization of recreational cannabis, we now have dual-licensing and compliance to contend with each day, so things can get a bit crazy at times. I’m thrilled that our proactive measures and careful planning allowed The Flower Shop Dispensary locations to be among the first to launch recreational sales to adults 21 and over, while minimizing disruption for our Medical Marijuana patients.”
Director of Finance
The Flower Shop, AZ
Amanda Simons is a senior finance and accounting executive with over 11 years of management experience working for a mixed variety of industries, including manufacturing, nonprofit, construction, hospitality, and retail. As Director of Finance for The Flower Shop AZ, Amanda has played a key role on executive management teams by leading, providing direction, and overseeing the accounting and financial management for our three dual license dispensaries and two cultivation and processing facilities in Arizona.
Amanda’s strong technical accounting credentials, combined with an extensive financial and managerial background in accounting, financial reporting, strategic planning and budgeting, human resources, and risk management, set the stage for the success of The Flower Shop Dispensaries in Arizona. According to Amanda, one of the biggest ongoing issues operators face in the cannabis industry is the financial side – even as the plant is being legalized in more states across the country.
“With cannabis not yet being legal federally, banks are prohibited from touching anything related to weed. This can also reduce capital funding opportunities, so it’s a tough challenge for many people in the industry or those hoping to break into it. The federal laws versus state and local laws put cannabis businesses between a rock and a hard place, especially during volatile economic times. We’re hopeful that this issue with banking will be addressed very soon on a federal level, but in the meantime, I’m maintaining my focus on running a successful cannabis operation and keeping The Flower Shop Dispensary growing and expanding.”
Happy International Women’s Day, everyone! Visit The Flower Shop Dispensary soon – we have all sorts of ways to help you celebrate.