In a highly patriarchal society, women’s achievements and rights often take the sidelines compared to men who have always commanded the center stage. To this day, the glass ceiling in the cannabis business industry very much exists, but there have been breakthroughs where women, particularly in Maryland, have been slowly making progress in the sector.
Female leaders in the industry are finally paving the way for a different sense of leadership by taking on a more sustainable, natural, and women-centric approach. Through this method, women players and leaders in the cannabis world are not only able to cater to fellow women consumers, but also widen their reach and understanding of what’s currently lacking and needed in the economy.
To fully celebrate the female power in the state of Maryland, we’ve chosen some women who are slowly but surely dominating the field with their innovative products, creations, and even advocates. From a medical professional to a business owner, make sure to get to know these top women in the medical marijuana industry who paved the way for a successful and booming sector in their own state.
Leslie Agpar and Gina Dubbe – Blissiva and Greenhouse Wellness
In an unlikely pairing within the Maryland cannabis scene, you might just find obstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Leslie Agpar and entrepreneur Gina Dubbe quite the rare pair. Joining forces to bring medical marijuana close to more women patients and consumers, the two founded cannabis company Blissiva.
Having studied traditional Western medicine for the longest time, Agpar, together with her business partner Dubbe, jumped into the opportunity to fuse healing and nature together, finally striking a balance between effectivity cannabis. At the same time, both of these women are making strides not only to remove the stigma normally associated with the drug but also to celebrate women who use these products in the process.
With older female consumers – over the age of 50 or so – as their target market, both Agpar and Dubbe created effective ways for these people to get effective relief from their pain. One of the most in-demand items and lines from the company is Blissiva, a vape pen designed for women complete with the tagline “gyno developed, goddess approved.” The Blissiva line is geared towards either addressing chronic pain or boosting a woman’s sex drive.
Since the release of the Blissiva line and the establishment of Greenhouse Wellness as a dispensary in Maryland, the brand has constantly received good feedback from clients. In particular, Blissiva is slated to expand its product line and distribution by the end of 2020.
Hope Wiseman – Mary & Main
The chief executive officer of Mary & Main, Hope Wiseman was once considered as the youngest African-American dispensary owner in the whole of the United States. She started her cannabis venture at the young age of 25 in 2017 mainly to provide opportunities for minorities who have been discriminated against and who have been largely affected by the nation’s war on drugs.
Having opened its cannabis store doors to the public in 2018, Mary & Main continuously serve medical marijuana to patients who suffer from chronic debilitating illnesses. Apart from providing quality products to its consumers, the company is also dedicated to destigmatizing cannabis and providing the community with the benefits of consuming cannabis.
Created in service of and for the African-American community in Maryland, and being a veteran-owned, woman-led, and African-American founded dispensary itself, Mary & Main has direct roots and access to the Black community.
Today, the business continues to thrive within Maryland. Wiseman, in turn, continues to educate the people about this drug and promoting women and African-American empowerment in the state. At the same time, Wiseman is still highly regarded for being one of the female African-American CEOs and dispensary owners in the United States.
Dawn Marie Steenstra – Mission Medical Cannabis, Premium Medicine, and Silver Spring
Co-founder of Premium Medicine and co-owner of Maryland dispensary Silver Spring, Dawn Marie Steenstra seemingly fills up a lot of shoes. In 2018, Steenstra helped bring 4Front Holdings’ Mission brand to Silver Spring, Maryland, to cater to patients who want a more premium and elevated experience as well as a premier line of medicinal cannabis goods.
As a nurse, Steenstra is licensed to facilitate health care and wellness treatments to patients in the state. To further its goals within the area, Steenstra spent the latter part of 2017 and 2018 in educating MMJ patients on the benefits and uses of cannabis. At the same time, she has emphasized the drug’s effect on the endocannabinoid system and the importance of the different types of strains on the market and how these could impact the overall health and wellness of patients.
Michelle Sprawls – Culta
Who run the world? Girls. Beyonce is definitely right as Michelle Sprawls herself leads a team of all-female lab technicians and extractors to produce the best and highest quality of concentrates in the industry. As Culta’s lab director and lead extractor, she is acquainted with the various and most ‘intimate’ parts of the cannabis plant – from the buds to the trichomes.
In charge of a predominantly female lab, Sprawls appears to be thriving in such an empowering environment. Apart from being with her peers, she says that family aspect shines through their tough and demanding workplace. However, this caring aspect also extends to their work ethic, thus ensuring that each and every concentrate and product from Culta is every bit as precise and powerful as she and her team are.
The Bottom Line
Having legalized marijuana in the United States and in select parts of the globe, more medical marijuana patients now have access to alternative and supplementary modes of treatment that can not only aid their current treatment but also provide more exciting and fun ways to experience cannabis as a whole. With medical marijuana legal in the state of Maryland, this article shows that there are more and more women-led cannabis firms taking the helm and supporting fellow women in a cut-throat industry.