Women Grow, an organization that educates and empowers women in the cannabis industry, recently hosted an event in Oakland featuring keynote speaker Maya Elisabeth, CEO of Om Edibles and Whoopi & Maya.
Elisabeth’s experience in the cannabis industry is impressive. Launching her first company in 2008, Om Edibles produces 15 products that are geared towards medical patients made from sustainable ingredients including artisanal sun-grown cannabis.
After receiving several awards for her high grade products including nine Cannabis Cups and three Emerald Cups, Elisabeth was approached by celebrity Whoopi Goldberg to start a new venture, Whoopi & Maya, with a shared vision for improving wellness. Both of her companies view cannabis as a “superfood and healing herb”, recognizing cannabis' nutritional and spiritual value to create the best products possible.
As Maya Elisabeth shared her story, her knowledge, style and grace was inspiring to all. She discussed topics that are shaping the cannabis industry today including women’s leadership roles. Currently 63 percent of executive positions in potency and safety testing labs are held by women. Women also lead over 50 percent of companies that make and sell edibles or other products (view report here). Elisabeth stated, “women are breaking the ‘grass’ ceiling in the cannabis industry.” This statement was refreshing to hear as the gender pay gap still continues to haunt the majority of other predominantly male industries.
“Women are breaking the 'grass' ceiling”
Elisabeth also shared knowledge on how cannabusinesses can continue to battle social stigmas and the role we can all play in rebranding the industry. “It all starts with education,” she explained. “Cannabis is a plant medicine - we must remember to treat her with respect and compassion so others do the same.”
As an edibles producer, Maya Elisabeth knows that educating consumers on safe dosing is critical. If a newbie ate a 25 - 50 milligram cookie (or at worst case 100+ milligrams!) for their first time without knowing proper dosage, they would most likely never touch cannabis again and tell five friends how negative and intense their experience was.
“Treat cannabis as a medicine”
Image sourced from Om Edibles
As an industry expert, Women Grow attendees were also eager to learn what some of Maya Elisabeth’s favorite cannabis brands are. She happily shared four:
Native Seed is focused on healthy infused edibles, solvent-free concentrates, & boutique flowers. Their artisan medical cannabis products are made for the mind, body and soul.
Lulu’s chooses unroasted (raw) cacao in their edible products to maximize cacao’s amazing qualities from tree to table. Their cacao is 100% wild-harvested, heirloom Arriba from Ecuador.
Hepburns make solventless ice water hash joints by hand with love. Their pre-rolls feature a minimum of 10% cannabis concentrate in each batch sourced directly from the best local producers.
Flour Child Collective makes cannabis-infused edible & topical remedies using local and organic ingredients with a mellow, easy-to-measure dosage. Their most popular products include seasonal infused jam, granola and other farm to table goodies.
Image sourced from Whoopi & Maya
The Women Grow event was a huge success. The room was filled with budding entrepreneurs (both women and men) with varying degrees of experience in the industry. Maya Elisabeth was kind enough to share her knowledge and encourage others to pursue their dreams. Below are some of her other words of wisdom - these are mantras to remember.
“Cannabis is the golden thread that keeps people together”
“The magic is within the compassion of cannabis”
“Cannabis is the spice of life”
Peace, Love & Cannabis,
The Herb Somm