Written by Erica Roane
Connect. Educate. Empower. Inspire. As the President of Women Grow, Gia Morón stands by these principles as she works within the organization to gain awareness for women in cannabis. With an impressive 25 year background at companies including Goldman Sachs and a career in public relations, Gia is aware of not only the financial opportunities for women within cannabis but also the current trends. While being honored at the first-ever Cannabiz Trailblazer Awards in Brooklyn, Gia took the time to speak with The Bluntness about Women Grow, the traction and the organization is making within the cannabis --with women in mind.
When you think of Women Grow, what notable accomplishments that come to mind?
I think the initial mission of Women Grow is still necessary -to connect, education, empower and inspire the next generation of cannabis leaders. Currently women represent 27 percent of the cannabis industry. If you break that down even further women of color, specifically black and brown women are even less represented. I would like to see an industry that is not only reflective of our society but is also reflective of people of all cultures.
How to do you foresee Women Grow being a mainstay within the cannabis industry?
Our mission at Women Grow is to continue to invite women into the industry. I believe that cannabis can be a women-led industry. With that said, I want to make sure that we are inviting all women. I want to make sure we’re not leaving behind women from communities who themselves have been impacted by the War on Drugs. Whether women want to own their own business, or they want to work for some of these leading companies. We want to make sure that they're not hitting the glass ceiling and that they're going into C-Suite positions within cannabis.
What tangible skills do we all have which could be valuable in cannabis?
Many people who are started in this industry have never ran businesses before. There are a number of skill sets that are needed. Cannabis is an industry that is still in its infancy stages. I don't think that any areas are over-saturated. I do believe that we need to spread the field as far as our expertise will take us. I recently met a young lady who is a bookkeeper. There are cannabis businesses that need bookkeeping. Cannabis is a cash business and dispensaries are looking to manage their books better. Helping folks understand what they need to do to become more sustainable works.
What are some conventional ways for women who want to enter into the cannabis industry should consider?
I recently heard someone mention the concept white-labeling. If you’re looking for an entryway into cannabis, white-labeling is a great way to get your toe in. I also think that health practitioners will always be in demand. If you take a look at some of the license holders, many of them have doctors and nurses as part of their teams. When we talk about low-hanging fruit, I look at people who have medical backgrounds.
Where do you see cannabis and entertainment going?
Opportunities for cannabis and entertainment are everywhere. Cannabis tourism is rising. People now want to travel abroad and enjoy cannabis. There are also bed-and-breakfasts’ and 420-friendly establishments; and consumption lounges. Music festivals are also a great fusion of cannabis and entertainment. If you’re holding 420-friendly music festivals or 420-friendly or events this makes you a part of the industry.
What do you see happening for the future of cannabis?
I always go toward the next generation behind us. If we do not start to invite younger people to cannabis events industry and let them know of the career and opportunities within cannabis, then all of this work that we’ve done may fall to the wayside. I would like to tell young people that science can be fun, and that you can apply what you know to the cannabis industry.