Women in CBD - reversing the traditional economy
The emerging CBD market comes with a disruptive force, and arguably it’s women leading this charge. Just take a look at Dr. Chanda Macias, CEO of National Holistic Healthcare. Who also leads Women Grow, a network for women in the CBD and Cannabis industry. For me, she is the sort of character that this market needs, a combined intellect and business aptitude. Her medical academic base removes the potential ‘snake-oil salesman’ image attached to selling products that promise to reduce things such as anxiety. In a way, this reflects a larger opportunity in the CBD business in reversing the traditional economy. Dr Macias is taking her studies in Biology and applying them in the realm of CBD in a way she believes can help people and their ailments. She saw the active benefits of CBD and sought to apply them as opposed to seeing a growing market and wanting to get involved it. This sort of organic path is most likely the core behind her success.
Almost reminiscent of the early days of Silicon Valley, this industry needs leaders and pioneers, business brains with Scientific and technical credentials who can pave the way. Women Grow - the network for women in the CBD is a glimpse in the future of the business, women coming together and taking the future of CBD into their own hands, a subtle rejection of the traditional economy in which people in suits decided whether a business plan was worthy of investment.
Refreshingly Dr Chanda Macias is not the only woman taking the CBD world by storm she is joined by the likes of Dr Alex Capno (first person to get a doctorate in medical cannabis) another pioneer, another woman making the scientific headway for others in the same lane. Dr Capno does not only have an active research role but also has taken a role in educating, advocating for the use of Hemp in tackling the opioid crisis.
Further to this Dr Capno, alongside her position as Chief Science Officer at Ecofibre has taken it upon herself to get involved in community outreach, she notes how there are far more people of colour incarcerated because of cannabis and advocates for safe use to stop these injustices while integrating CBD into this process.
What Dr Capno is doing, and effectively doing is putting CBD beyond products and showing the importance for society, another reminder of her as a pioneer. She envisions a greater value for CBD than simply products, a sense of social responsibility and how CBD can be used in a wider context.
This fits well into what CBD attempts to achieve in areas such as wellness on an individual level, Dr Capno is taking this to a larger scale.
Dr Capno notes her own experiences with anxiety and how high-dose THC brought this on, with lead to an initial fear of CBD, this likely a common occurrence. However, Dr Capno eventually did try CBD and noted that when the THC ratio worked well there was no onslaught of anxiety. Dr Macias comments on how CBD has a role to play in addressing specific needs for women. Importantly, Dr Capno encourages open dialogue surrounding CBD - a clear discussion of what it CAN and CANNOT do, in aid of removing some of the stigma or hyperbole that surrounds CBD and it’s benefits. The newness of CBD makes this discussion very important, it is both exciting but in some ways unchartered and needs figures such as Dr Macias, Capno and Catherine Dockery to guide it.
Interestingly amongst the women leading the way in the CBD business, there is differences in their approaches which is epitomised by Vice Ventures, the venture capital firm with Catherine Dockery at the helm. The name Vice Ventures itself is interesting, it acknowledges the blurry point the CBD business started in, and the questions over legality. Vice Ventures, is flying into the eye of the CBD storm armed with capital and know-how. What Catherine Dockery is doing is especially inspiring in light of The Entrepreneur's article that revealed that 98% of VC funding is going to men. In fact, all these pioneering women discussed are part of the 2%, which (ideally) will rise with the use of networks such as ‘Women Grow’ and more women coming together in the space. The infancy of the business means that it has not yet been gripped (that tightly) by the typical venture capitalists and offers an opportunity of going against the grain of the traditional economy in start
These three women represent the future of the industry, independent women with strong academic profiles combined with business acumen paving the way in CBD. Both Dr Capno and Dr Macias provide a sense of scientific validation to what they are doing while Catherine Dockery is building an investment vehicle in the space.
This article itself is almost an all-star line up of the women at the crux of an industry still in its infancy and who knows they might start coming together.
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