Posts in INDUSTRY
Emma Chasen - A Rising Star in the Cannabis Industry
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When Emma Chasen’s supervisor at the Brown University Oncology Research Group declined her request for cannabis trials and instead, encouraged an expensive pharmaceutical drug, Chasen knew her journey would lead to greener meadows elsewhere. Now, an industry consultant and cannabis educator, named Portland’s Best Budtender 2016, featured on television and podcasts, Newsweek, MG Magazine, Stoner Magazine, High Times Magazine, The Oregon Leaf and Teen Vogue, Chasen is changing lives by helping people heal and understand the scientific powers of the plant.  

After graduating in 2014 with a degree in Medicinal Plant Research, Chasen began coordinating at the Clinical Oncology trials with the Brown University Oncology Research Group. She soon realized she could no longer work for a company that did not support her vision and drifted to Portland, Oregon where she found herself aligned with a company that took a more scientific approach to cannabis - Farma, a popular Portland dispensary. Beginning her career as a Budtender for the dispensary, in a few short months, she quickly became promoted to the General Manager. After a little over a year in that role, she was given the title of Director of Education, focusing on educational efforts and creating training curriculum focused on the science behind the plant, knowledge, medicinal benefits and empathic patient care.

After over two years of acquiring extensive experience and knowledge at Farma, she decided to continue her journey with Sativa Science Club, a grassroots cannabis education initiative. By joining, she understood that she could target the cannabis community on a larger scale and expand her curriculum into a certification program. In the fall of 2017 through the Sativa Science Club, Chasen launched the Core Science Certification program which focuses on everything from cannabis botany and cannabis compounds to the endocannabinoid receptor system, cannabis products and more.

With a heart of gold, Chasen is positively impacting and influencing the cannabis industry, on her mission to educate the people on the science behind cannabis.

WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY WORKING ON?  I am a cannabis educator and consultant. I work with cannabis businesses to elevate their brand presence by creating consumer facing educational marketing collateral and educational programs. I also help retail cannabis businesses successfully navigate the transition from medical to adult-use cannabis. I help with business organization, structure and also create in-house educational training programs so that employees are better able to service the consumer market. In this highly competitive market, cannabis businesses must distinguish themselves and the way to do that is with highly trained and educated staff. I also teach workshops in Portland for both enthusiasts and cannabis industry professionals on the fundamentals of cannabis science. Since I have a robust background in medicinal plant research, I feel it is part of my job to explain cannabis science in an accessible and meaningful way for people of all backgrounds.

TELL MJ ABOUT YOUR EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE IN CANNABIS.  I graduated from Brown University in 2014 with a degree specializing in medicinal plant research. I tried to study cannabis in my undergrad, but could not due to its illegal status. So anything I wanted to know about cannabis I had to teach myself. Luckily, my degree gave me a foundational understanding of how secondary metabolites operate within a plant matrix and the medicinal potential of secondary metabolites when consumed by humans. I read as much literature as I could find on cannabis and began studying the plant in a more hands-on way when I moved to Portland and began working at Farma (a scientifically-minded dispensary) in 2015. Since then I have been lucky enough to continue my study of cannabis by having access to the latest research and interfacing with some of the industry’s most brilliant minds. I like to think of cannabis as the ‘All Star’ medicinal plant; the medicinal plant that will help people feel empowered to explore holistic modalities in regards to their health and wellness. And the potential of that reframing the way we approach healthcare is so damn exciting.

EXPLAIN YOUR GOAL(S) IN EDUCATING THE COMMUNITY?  I have a mission to educate people on the science behind cannabis. Because I have an extensive scientific background (in addition to my degree, I worked in oncology research after I graduated) I really see my role as someone who is able to translate scientific language into layman’s terms. Currently there is a problem with cannabis education. Reliable cannabis science information is often only found in dense, research articles that can be hard to understand. Blogs and internet sites will also publish articles with cannabis science, however it is often difficult to determine the legitimacy of the information. I believe education and information should be accessible to all. My job is to take scientific concepts discussed in research papers and present them in such a way that everyone can understand. I educate everyone from consumers to budtenders to industry professionals. I believe that everyone should invest in cannabis education, as it is crucial for advancing this industry forward in a responsible, ethical paradigm.

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WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU THINK WOMEN FACE AS A WHOLE IN THE INDUSTRY? There are many challenges that women face in this industry that are extraordinarily similar to systemic problems we face in other industries - sexual misconduct, abuse of power by men, wage gaps, and lack of equal representation. Due to media, people believe women finally do have equal representation in the cannabis industry and that creates a false sense of complacency. The amount of female CEOs in the cannabis industry is close to the abysmally low national average. We still need to fight to gain ownership. And we haven’t even talked about the immense challenges women of color have in being a part of this industry.

WHAT EXCITES YOU MOST ABOUT THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY?  The potential for discovery! There is so much that we still get to uncover about this amazing plant. We’re just at the beginning and I am so excited to see all that the future holds for cannabis. I’m also hopeful for the revolutionary impact that cannabis could have on both the agricultural and healthcare industries.

ARE YOU A MEMBER OF ANY CANNABIS ORGANIZATIONS OR GROUPS?  I am! There are so many wonderful organizations/groups in the Oregon Cannabis industry. One of my favorites is Tokeativity - a cannabis community for women with the intention to nurture a safe space for women to create, learn, and connect. 

WHAT CAN YOU TELL OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO PURSUE A CANNABIS CAREER? Learn everything you can about cannabis and find your niche - what excites you, what are you great at, what can you bring to this space. Because the industry is so nascent there is so much opportunity for creativity and innovation. Trust in your genius, make connections, invest your time in people who want to elevate you, and work like hell.

FIVE THINGS PEOLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU:

  1. People think I’m an extrovert but I actually am a big homebody at heart
  2. I was a hardcore substance free human (like puritanical) until my second semester of college
  3. I was cast on a reality tv show on FOX
  4. When I was growing up I wanted to either be a surgeon or an actress
  5. I am obsessed with French Fries

FIVE THINGS TOU CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT:

  1. Toothpicks
  2. Chance by Chanel perfume
  3. My phone (my family lives in NY so it’s the way I stay connected with them)
  4. This is not a thing per say, but I can’t live without my friends and family. I am so incredibly grateful for their support.
  5. Trees. Trees are so goddamn special and I love them so much. Plus, we all literally *could not* live without them 

TOP FIVE FAV BEAUTY PRODUCTS:

  1. Anastasia glow palette
  2. Tarte liquid primer
  3. Anastasia chocolate eyeshadow palette
  4. Kiehl's facial moisturizer
  5. Dark lipstick

WHO OR WHAT INSPIRES YOU THE MOST AND WHY? My mom definitely inspires me the most. She is so strong, kind, loving, gracious and powerful. She raised four kids while also running a business devoted to the social/emotional wellbeing of children. She owns and operates a private school, Spark Elementary, that seeks to advance the social/emotional development of pre-k and elementary school children through literacy and creative arts therapies. Like yes, everyone should be following her lead!! I definitely hope to become as resilient and wonderful as she is.

IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL WHAT WOULD YOU BE?  Probably a giraffe. I’d love to glide around and eat leaves from the tops of trees all day.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?  I love watching movies, it’s my favorite way to relax. I also love to cook. And if I’m feeling like going out my favorite thing to do is to go see one of my best friend’s perform with his band, Jame. He’s an incredible performer.

FAVORITE STRAIN TO SMOKE? I generally enjoy chemovars with higher concentrations of pinene. I love the heightened presence and clarity that come along with pinene.

FAVORITE WAY TO CONSUME?  I actually love edibles. That’s my preferred method of ingestion. But I also love a joint rolled with some additional passionflower, lemon balm and peppermint.

ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE MJ READERS TO KNOW?  Find me on instagram, facebook, linkedin, or through my website. Always happy to continue the conversation!

INTERVIEW BY Amy C. Witt
@caliiforniadreamin
@smokiingbeauty
 

Synthetic Cannabis? No Thanks!

Big Pharma continues to create synthetic versions of cannabis. Is this a better method since it’s FDA approved?  Ask yourself this, would you ever try eating a synthetic salad?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware that cannabis and cannabis derived products are being used for a number of medical conditions, such as AIDS wasting syndrome, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, cancer, and nausea. However, they have not approved a marketing application for any product that is derived from the marijuana plant. What they HAVE done is approved Big Pharma to distribute a synthetic version of THC, called Dronabinol. This active ingredient is an oil that is derived from sesame oil. Researchers have found that only 10-20% of a pill that contains Dronabinal reaches its target in the body. This is because the liver sees Dronabinol as a contaminant and gets rid of it immediately. 

What side effects do patients who take synthetic cannabinoid medications experience?

•       Weakness

•       Sudden feeling of warmth

•       Stomach pain

•       Nausea or vomiting

•       Memory loss

•       Anxiety

•       Confusion

•       Dizziness

Wait….what? Vomiting and nausea?

Marinol is a prescription drug that contains the active ingredient, Dronabinol. Patients with AIDS, cancer, or neurological conditions were initially prescribed this drug to help cope with their nausea and vomiting. Not only did it contradict its intended use, but Marinol also worsened mood symptoms and often caused depression or anxiety. How infuriating to think a drug that was initially prescribed for nausea and vomiting, causes the same side effects and even more! At most U.S pharmacies, a supply of 60 capsules (2 month supply) costs around $700. On top of that, patients who are using these drugs are usually experiencing major health issues and have other medications to pay for as well. And don’t forget about doctor visits! Although insurance helps some individuals, many are left with hugely expensive bills to pay off.

Since the marijuana plant naturally produces THC, its form is more therapeutic and can be home grown for self-medication. Marinol is manufactured in labs and creates life threatening side effects. So why is one approved and not the other?

Dronabinol has been studied for neuropathic pain and was not found to very effective. For chronic non-cancer pain, it was shown to be slightly better than the placebo. Since many studies are government regulated, there hasn’t been much research done on the marijuana plant. In all the research that has been done, marijuana was found to be better than the placebo at relieving pain. While there might not be a lot of research taking place here in the United States, The Marijuana Business Daily reported that we can finally welcome the launch of a new research center in the Czech Republic. The International Cannabis and Cannabinoid Institute (ICCI) could provide an immense amount of information on how cannabis can help increase our quality of life. With more research being done, society is questioning the stereotypes and stigma that have plagued marijuana for years. Medical marijuana hasn’t just become a big industry in the United States, it’s becoming an international movement!

 

The Art of Feminine Financing with Sara Batterby
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  "I feel the reason women take to fundraising well is because they begin to believe in themselves and know that they can do it."

Sara Batterby

Last year, she was named by the Portland Business Journal as one of the ten ‘Executives to Watch’ in 2017.  She helped several successful cannabis companies raise millions of dollars. With a background in technology and over 20 years of financial experience in a high growth environment, Sara Batterby is on a mission to educate and empower women all over the world to embrace financial opportunities!

Before entering the cannabis industry, she co-founded an early stage venture fund in Silicon Valley with the goal of helping investors understand the powerful business case for investing in women as part of a well-diversified portfolio, raising over $500 million dollars in two years. In 2014, Batterby moved to Portland, Oregon and built a cannabis cultivation company called HiFi Farms, based in Hillsboro which specialized in Clean Green Certified craft cannabis. The next year, she became the Founding Chair of the Women Grow Chapter in Portland, which became one of the largest female professional network groups in the cannabis industry. Upon exiting HiFi Farms in 2017, she established the Batterby Group to help and influence a diverse group of entrepreneurs who seek access to capital for their growing ventures.

A member of the Oregon Cannabis Association, and a Board Member to both Women Led and the Resource Innovation Institute, Sara Batterby is a powerful woman. And now this fascinating beauty is changing women’s lives by empowering them with the financial tools they need to achieve their goals.

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Tell us about the “Art of Feminine Financing?”  I’ve raised over $200 million in two years and I realized that there should be more women doing the same thing. I figured no one was going to fix this so I felt like I needed to. I understood that I need to educate women to raise money to do what they want to do. When I was asked to speak about fundraising at a Women Grow Summit, I didn’t want to talk about myself. I wanted to create a workshop on how to do, what to do and not to do and that’s how the “Feminine Art of Fundraising” was born. It all happened organically and now I am hosting workshops all over the country. In May, I will be speaking in New Orleans.

What is your goal through all of this?  To help women get it and understand and be successful at it!

What do you feel the future holds for financing and business operations in the industry?  I feel it will continue to be a huge rush of money that will mostly get plopped into companies exclusively ran by men. I believe women and minorities have not circulate in network capitalist exchange and no one is teaching them to raise money. That’s why I created “Courting Angels” -designed for first-time fundraisers. It delivers a structure for preparing and executing your raise. We add technical and tactical support on incorporation, investment structures, investor protections and governance. We identify a compelling storyline and arm you with an impeccable investor presentation. The result: a more efficient path to capital and strong, lasting relationships with your critical, early investors. My book “Courting Angels” is also expected to be available by the end of the year.

Why do you think less women have been involved in the opportunity that is available in the industry?  Because they’re not prepared. Women are amazing at raising money but we won’t do something that we’re not prepared for. We’re not taught to raise money and there are so many technical aspects to understand like equity, debts, warrants and options, just to name a few. If we lack conviction or confidence, we won’t do something. My goal is to make sure they are not only successful but have a good support system, network and are building relationships.

What is the biggest challenge you face as a women in the industry?  I don’t face any different challenges than in any other industries I have been involved in which have been technology, finance and business. Unfortunately there is a deep low grade of sexism, especially as a CEO of a company. The responsibility of the CEO is to be 100% responsible and as a woman, it can be extremely difficult to drive degree and accountability. You have to choose between being effective and being liked and sometimes people hate you or label you with something negative. I feel as though sometimes women are put into positions because we are healers, and the expectations from others is if we are put in a senior position where the company is distressed, there is a stronger hope that the company will fly. However, it’s a harder job to do because we have to be better and work harder, especially to be successful and effective.

What excites you most about the industry?  Hemp! It’s a massive agriculture commodity that has such powerful potential. It is also exciting and interesting to be around thousands of entrepreneurs with exciting and motivational motives and energy.

What can you tell other women who want to purse a cannabis career?  Learn to raise money and just go for it. Be aware and know there is space and room to grow. Don’t let feelings of being unprepared stop you! Get past whatever it is you don't understand or don’t feel qualified enough about. We need diversity and a lot of women professionals who have been involved in marketing, finance, technology, beauty, wherever their passion lies.

Five things people don’t know about you?

1.   I am half Maltese – my mother is from Malta.

2.   I am ambidextrous.

3.   I am dyslexic.

4.   My first job was lambing in a Wellington, a village in England.

5.   I am obsessed with houses and real estate.

Anything you cant live without?  My dogs – Navajo, Frea and Pippy

Favorite fashion designer and why?  Chanel because she’s classic and timeless.

Favorite thing to smoke?  I love smoking a CBD/Hemp joint and love Cherry Lime. I also like tinctures by Lemon Botanicals and Danodan Grassworks.

Any closing thoughts?  Yes, I feel the reason women take to fundraising well is because they begin to believe in themselves and know that they can do it. Cannabis is an industry full of dreams! But also, I would encourage to spend a few minutes out of the day believing in yourself, being nice to yourself - Making sure to keep faith and ultimately be the force!

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To Connect with Sara, visit: https://www.batterbygroup.com/

 

INDUSTRYAMY WITTComment
Farm Like a Girl

MJ Lifestyle took a romp through the Sierra Foothills to document a day's work, life & love on the farm with Gypsy Trap.  Let's just say, we never wanted to leave!  The lifestyle they have single handedly created was so inspiring, and while we know it was all through lots of hard work & perseverance, they make is look so easy & invigorating!  

Gypsy Trap Farms prides themselves on farming organically and producing clean products for their boutique clients to enjoy.   I was in complete awe of not only their dedication and diligence, but also their knowledge on growing Cannabis & its benefits. 

Photo Essay by Jennifer Skog.

Wardrobe was a mix of Free People & Vintage Pieces
Bad Back Glass Pipe & Mini Dab Tube
RAW Rolling Papers, Rolling Tray & Double Barrel
Subpac Bass Pack to embrace yourself in music when leafing or trimming
Harvest More Trim Tray
Greenhouse by GrowTech, Lights from Nanolux,  Swamp Boys Seeds Genetics & DNAgenetics
Hidden Peak Teahouse Tea Pot, Tea Table and Panchan lal puerh tea

INDUSTRYJennifer Skog