Women in Cannabis: Growing with Roots RX

6 Rocky Mountain locations

1 (and only) General Manager + 3 Location Managers = Women Leaders in Cannabis

There are more women in Cannabis today, then ever! To call them Canna-Babes would be a disservice to the extreme intelligence behind the scenes at Roots RX. If you ask Hanna, the Aspen manager, what her biggest challenge as a woman in power is, she responds, “My greatest challenge is also my secret weapon. It all depends upon perspective and confidence. The challenge I face most often is people underestimating me.”                                       

Business has historically been male-dominated, yet the cannabis industry is changing pace with women in the workspace.  According to a survey of 632 cannabis executives and professionals conducted by the Marijuana Business Daily in 2015, women are in leadership positions in 63 percent of labs that test cannabis potency and safety, and in nearly 50 percent of companies that make and sell cannabis-infused foods and other products.

Comparing the gender ratio in other industries, among venture capital-financed, high-growth technology startups, just 9 percent are led by women, according to a July 2016 Harvard Business Review article.  In Hanna’s words, “I hope to be an example of what women are capable of and inspire others to find their own authentic and effective self within the male-dominated business sector.”

One example of how she has earned the respect of her employees and coworkers, Hanna states, “I hold firm, but never raise my voice. I hold direct eye contact so that they know I am not afraid of them and I genuinely expect them to receive and respond to the feedback I am giving them. I know that my challenges as a woman are balanced with the strength and caring nature of women as well.”

At Roots RX, General Manager Brittany Peno is the powerhouse behind the scenes. Shifting between all six locations, Brittany oversees operations for the company. She started out as a budtender and worked her way into management with her diligently positive attitude and her incredible business instinct. She is the heart of the company if you ask her employees. With an open-door policy that is trend worthy, she is the boss most people want: she is willing to communicate and problem solve, and although she rules with strict policies she is always fair.

As more and more female celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg embrace the marijuana culture openly, mainstreet conversations amongst moms and businesswomen, sisters and grandmothers – more than often turn to cannabis. Whoopi joined the cannabis industry when Whoopi & Maya launched in California in 2016, quickly becoming one of the largest reputably-female dominated brands in the market. We are lucky to have been introduced to Whoopi & Maya products when they became licensed for production in Colorado in 2017.

Actresses like Charlize Theron, Cameron Diaz, and Drew Barrymore continue to break the pothead stigma with very successful careers. In 2018 Drew Barrymore launched her Flower Home Collection available in retail stores nationwide, in addition to her cosmetics brand, Flower Beauty, which has been around for years now, as well as her line of wine.

The most talked about entertainer in the world, marketing genius Lady Gaga can be seen in her documentary Gaga: Five Foot Two, where she discusses her issues with fibromyalgia and talks about her love of cannabis. Fibromyalgia is classified as a rheumatic disease akin to arthritis causing muscle pain and stiffness, insomnia, extreme fatigue, migraines, and problems with concentration and memory. Considering the adversities that she has overcome not only as a performer and iconic brand builder, but as a woman, is overwhelmingly impressive.

As a leader in the industry early on Roots RX Leadville store manager, Mandi, has been in leadership positions for over twenty years. She shares, “It’s the most empowering role as a female to be in management for Roots Rx, in a female driven industry that spreads the love so openly.”  Roots Rx retail store has been open since 2016 in the picturesque small mountain town of Leadville surrounded by 14’ers where Mandi sees many beloved locals and tourists. Mandi says, “We are in an industry taught with the wisdom from our great past, so to be able to learn and to unlearn shouldn’t be terrifying, as a woman with a voice I will never give or take an excuse, I will never compromise my worth, we as women need to take that control and be empowered because it will never be given to us, it’s been so empowering to be in an industry that our voice is finally being heard and we can forever change the quality of our lives and the lives of others!”

These are Cann-Do Women who stand out in the green field of this ever-growing industry.