The marijuana industry is still driven by men – but these 5 woman are changing 4/20 and upending the industry by focusing on the future.

Since it started becoming legal, the marijuana industry has been filled with bros trying to run everything.  Some smart, some shysters – they have had an oversized say in the direction of where legal marijuana is going.  But woman are having a moment, and a huge impact in the millions of newly legal consumers.  Be it in imagine, politics, or products, woman are making game changing changes on how cannabis is mainstreaming.  When 4/20 started in, the landscape was way different, the 5 woman are changing 4/20 today to a bigger, more mainstream celebration.

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Nancy Whitman

Nancy Whitman

Nancy co-founded Wana Brands in 2010, elevating it from her kitchen to an international cannabis edible powerhouse. With North America’s largest distribution footprint, it is a top international brand available in 17 U.S. states, the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and nine Canadian provinces and territories, generating close to $300 million in retail sales annually across more than 3,000 dispensaries.

As a pioneer in the legal cannabis market, she has shown again and again commitment to research and crafting safe, innovative products. She understands the millions of canna-newbies who is looking for something to pair perfectly with the their non-stoner lifestyle.  Under her leadership, Wana was acquired by Canopy Grow, which is owned in part by alcohol behemoth Constellation.

Nancy’s inclusive vision led to an executive team that is 70% female, a rarity in the industry and reflective of her dedication to diversity. Her unique insights have given Wana an advantage as she understand the average consumer, which makes up the bulk of the market.

Senator Patty Murray

Sen. Patty Murray
Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

In the old boys club of Congress, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) has risen in the ranks thanks to a willingness to focus on a solving problems, thinking of the average citizen and wielding her knowledge and strength.  As the third most powerful person in the Senate, she is working with Senate Leader Schumer (D-NY) and a bipartisian group to make significant inroads into federal marijuana policy. Long a champion of veterans, this will benefits those who have served who suffer from PSTD.

Shawna Seldon McGregor


In a sometimes rough and tumble industry with some wacky players, it is good to have a public relations firm you can trust. Mirroring the mainstream industry, Maverick PR, has helped the industry move past the old stoner, bro imagine and move into today. Founded by Shawna Seldon McGregor, she has become the consul to industry executives and a media whisper to keep the good players growing. Shawna’s ability to make marijuana messaging mainstream has been a hallmark of her career. Since the inception of adult use in Colorado, she has led effective publicity campaigns for top brands including Wana, Native Roots, Deep Roots Harvest and Botani.  Trusted by leaders, she has been able to understand and guide companies into changes like California sober.  Her understand of consumers and media has been invaluable to leaders.

Debra Borchardt

Debra Borchardt

Debra Brochardt was a respected media voice on Wall Street when she jumped in the marijuana world founding Green Market Report. Premiering at time when the industry was still shady and, as one executive said, people would come to meetings and put a gun down, she brought reason and truth to the table. Known for her straight reporting, she has taken on corruption, crazy leaders, and complicated financial deals. Venerable media company, Crains, recognizing the growth of market, acquired the asset and has only helped Brochardt reach her vision. Highlighting legit good companies, Green Market Report has become a must read for investors, politicians, and executives.

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Pamela Hart

Pamela Hart

With a talent for organization and building infrastructures, Hart jumped into the industry in 2015. Seeing an opportunity to be build infrastructures and platforms she brought her management skills to a variety of companies. As COO of Keneh Ventures She has helped review, fund and partial advisement for some of the investments including GoFire and AI startup WeDream World. Understanding the mainstream appeal, she has been a champion of Cannabition, a state of the art cannabis immersive experience opening next to Planet 13 in Las Vegas. She now has added Managing partner and operations manager of the exhibition alongside her other duties. She shared over the last 8 years the priorities of entrepreneurs and investors have matured as the market for cannabis has grown and become accepted by the general population. 

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