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Badass Women of Hemp

"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights."

- Gloria Steinem -


From scientists to business owners, educators to caregivers, women are blazing the trail of the hemp and CBD revolution. Whether behind-the-scenes of a company or as daily consumers of our favorite plant, women are a powerful force to be celebrated.

For Women’s Herstory Month, we want to showcase Anavii Market's inspirational co-founder Annie Rouse, as well as some of the other badass women we work with everyday! Let's make the future of hemp a female-filled one!

ANNIE ROUSE

Co-founder of Anavii Market, Co-founder of Nature's Hemp Oil, Founder of Friends of Hemp 
@thinkhempythoughts @anaviimarket

Why did you get started in hemp and CBD?

My dad introduced me to it when I was eight when he filmed Woody Harrelson getting arrested for planting hemp in Kentucky. Later I was re-acquainted with it when I wrote a fateful paper about it for an environmental economics class.

And then on a personal level, I was diagnosed with lyme disease and started trying different CBD products to ease my symptoms. Through that process, I learned that not all CBD is created equal and became personally invested in changing that.

Annie Rouse Founder Anavii Market

Annie's Life Highlight

"I moved to Calgary, Canada for my Fulbright Scholarship where I knew zero people and had to carve out how to assess the environmental impact of hemp. It was a new territory full of unknowns. It was one of the more difficult things I’ve experienced but ultimately, it was one of my greatest accomplishments to date."

How can we help empower more women in the industry?

Women have a big hurdle to overcome in terms of how we interact with other women. There is lots of unnecessary competition and trash talk that doesn’t need to exist. We need to enable each other by uplifting one another not by putting each other down.

ALEX CAPANO

Chief Science Officer and Medical Director of Ananda Hemp
@alex.campano @anandahemp

Why did you get started in hemp and CBD?

I pursued a doctoral degree that focused on medicinal cannabis and cannabinoid science specifically because I felt that it was an area where there’s a lot of research to be done and a lot of misinformation, so there’s a lot of opportunity for growth.

It was also a field where I felt like I could grow my career but also do good things for humans and not compromise my values. I think it’s rare to find that, so that’s why I’m here!

Alex Capano Ananda Hemp

Alex's Career Highlight

"Being the first woman in the C-suite at an international cannabis company"

How can we help empower more women in the industry?

We can make sure to have equality in our hiring practices when we’re in positions of power in the industry - as women or just as individuals who care about women and are good allies.

And if you’re not in that position yet and you’re trying to get there, I would say just ask and be a really good self promoter. This is a rapidly growing industry and you have to go out there and be ambitious and advocate for yourself because you are your best resource. If you want a raise, if you want a position, if you want a promotion, it's you who has to ask for it. So just try.

KATIE THOMPSON

Director of Product Development at Bluebird Botanicals
@skreeb @bluebirdbotanicals

Why did you get started in hemp and CBD?

Katie Thompson Bluebird Botanicals CBD

I come from a food service marketing background in product development where food is medicine. Cannabis is both. Being able to utilize this plant in the way it’s supposed to and bringing it back to our diets, feeding it to our livestock, and improving our soils. It’s the ultimate superfood.

Katie's Vision

"Hemp is the now, it’s the new, and the next. You can’t build a house out of quinoa and you can’t wear a kale dress so this is going to be the next everything forever - and I love that."

How can we help empower more women in the industry?

I think the basics, and basic and basic education about what this is would help empower everybody, especially females...Being able to tap into our systems in a way that will unlock certain things for the female body - especially us because of our hormones, and our cycling, and our pre and post and during the stuff that we have to deal with. I think the female’s endocannabinoid system is special and there’s something about that, that will literally just change the way that we take over the world.

JANEL RALPH

CEO & Owner of Palmetto Synergistic Research (Palmetto Harmony)
@palmettoharmony

What is your career highlight?

Learning every single aspect of [the business] and being able to talk about it and explain it to other people because I physically have done it...I wanted to be able to answer any question that anyone ever came to me and asked me. I have [done every single position in the company] - packaging and customer service. Every single thing I can do in the company.

Janel & Harmony - A Story of Female Resilience

My daughter Harmony was born with a very rare genetic condition and before 2014, we were at a crossroads with her medical health and her care - we were subject to having her put on five high epileptic drugs and none of them were actually working anymore, she was still having hundreds of seizures a day...That's when I started researching other alternative treatments and what I kept coming back to was CBD.

As soon as we started giving [CBD] to Harmony, within two weeks, her seizures came to a stop. She went 12 days with no seizures at all - those were the first days she had not had a seizure since she was a year old.

We only had a small supply...and [because of] all the crap we went through to actually get that small supply, I started talking to a father in Kentucky and he had another crop that was coming down and he said, “Well why don't you just buy."


That's how Palmetto Harmony was born.

How can we help empower women in the hemp & CBD industry?

I think it's all about education - that’s what empowers women. Showing that level of support through education to another woman who owns a business. Even in the same field you're in - even if they’re a competitor of yours. You want to be able to raise each other up through education.

COLLEEN KEAHEY LANIER

Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association
@cocolanier @thehia

Why did you get started in hemp and CBD?

I actually got a dollar bill that had a stamp on it that said, "I grew hemp" in February of 2013...I decided to start doing the research, start learning, and made the drive from the Nashville area to Washington, D.C. to my very first HIA conference.

And once I got there and met the people who had been in it for so many years, it became pretty clear, 'I want to do this because this is the future and this is going to be a future for good.' And so that’s really how I ended up getting there. Did I have a long term vision for this as a child or a teenager or even in college? No, I didn’t have that. It really just, it’s almost like the plant was calling me.

Colleen Lanier Hemp Industries Association

Career Highlight

"Getting selected, now by two different state Department's of Agriculture to help promulgate the rules and regulations...being able to sit at that table and weigh in and help try to get it right."

Life Highlight

"I met my husband at HIACON in 2014...He's helped me come to learn so much about a part of the industry that years ago we didn't know would become what it is today, and that is the CBD industry."

How can we empower more women in hemp?

Women need to get to know each other and explore their skills and expertise and be intentional about inclusion. In other words, when doors open, if there's an opportunity to invite qualified women to engage, bring them. If you have a platform, share that space with others.

One of the things that attracted me to the hemp industry were the women in leadership that I met along the way. Some of those same women became my advocate and lifted me up. Today, the HIA's national Board of Directors, elected by the membership, is nearly half women. This is a big change from just two years ago.

JOY BECKERMAN

Regulatory Officer and Industry Liason for Elixinol,
President of Hemp Industries Association, Vice President of US Hemp Authority
@hempace @elixinol

What got you into the hemp industry?

In the Spring of 1990, I was at a Grateful Dead show, and I was given a flyer about hemp that were excerpts from the Emperor Wears No Clothes. I didn't know anything about hemp at the time. I had a strong sense of justice, a sense of planetary healing. When I got that flyer, it affected me on what I describe as a cellular level. The convergence of planetary healing and injustice came to me on that day in that flyer and really set my life on a different trajectory.

Joy Beckerman Elixinol CBD

"The government not only removed the plant, but all knowledge of the plant. That set me on fire."

What is your career highlight?

One of the most important things I've done is serve as an expert witness in a case for the US Air Force in Texas, Fort Shepherd. An airman was facing military prison for hemp-derived CBD vape pen that he had purchased online...He sold it to these eight other airmen and women. He was called a drug dealer and a ring leader...That was important to me - it was so unjust.

SARAH SYED

Director of Marketing at CV Sciences (PlusCBD Oil)
@youpluscbd

How did you get started in hemp and CBD?

Sarah Syed Plus CBD Oil

I was introduced to CBD in 2013 at Expo East. I became connected to it because of how it helped me.

I lived a really stressful life, full of anxieties, working in a big company. There’s a lot of ways to mitigate stress, but I hadn’t experienced something that helped me perform day- to-day more effectively...But hemp CBD helped - both my mood and sleep.

"This is the fastest moving industry I've ever experienced."

What is your life highlight?

My life achievement is probably when I moved to California from Wisconsin. I got my car packed up and moved across the country. I didn’t have a plan, but it was the most educating experience. It taught me about myself - that I have a power in me. I found myself. And that identity that was formed by having a new, rich experience, it led me here.

MARIELLE WEINTRAUB, PH.D

Strategic Business Development Director at Eurofins and President of US Hemp Authority

Why did you get started in hemp and CBD?

I met someone in the industry that introduced me to the compound, showed me products, the mission of their company, and asked “What will your company test for us?” And not “What do I have to test?”. I began studying up on hemp, the mechanism of action, the values of many of these companies, and I decided I needed to find a way to help support this industry.

Marielle Weintraub US Hemp Authority

“'What will your company test for us?'
And not 'What do I have to test?'”

How can we empower more women in hemp?

Working in tandem with each other and inspiring each other to further this industry while continuing to learn from one another.

Anavii Market Empowering Women In Hemp

 

Know any other badass women in hemp and CBD? Or would you like to get involved? Call 502-209-8808, email wellness@anaviimarket.com or contact us, we’re here to listen and help!