Today is International Women’s Day...and the month of March is Women’s History Month, so we have a multitude of reasons to celebrate women’s achievements, as well as opportunities to challenge gender bias and inequity to inspire change. Collectively, we can all work together to create an inclusive world.
To honor the occasion, we asked several leaders in planet medicine to share their thoughts, shout out their colleagues, and wax poetic on what it all means to them.
1. Angela White, Equity for Industry Program Manager at Success Centers:
“Cannabis is a She. She is independent. She is a fragrant, sacred flower. She is natural, with no preservatives or chemicals. She is a nurturer to the body and spirit. She is not a killer, but a healer!”
2. Jeffrey Welsh, Partner at Vicente Sederberg & Co-founder of Composite Agency
“I have been incredibly blessed throughout my career to have many exceptional women mentors. Currently, one of my Partners at Vicente Sederberg, Cassia Furman, is an exceptional leader both internally and to the industry at large. On the client side, my favorite woman-owned brand currently is Besito, run by Maggie Connors. It's critical to me that we acknowledge female thought leaders, where, after all, our industry is based on a plant that is female!"
3. Marie Montmarquet, Co-founder of MD Numbers, Inc.
“Throughout history, women prove time and time again that we are industry creators. We embody the collective efforts of others. We are calculated yet empathetic. There is something about the touch of a woman that brings everything together in a cohesive fashion. When given the opportunity women rise to every challenge, so let’s make sure women receive more opportunities to rise to these occasions.”
4. Loriel Alegrete, CEO of 40 Tons:
A quote by poet Maya Angelou Maya comes to mind for this occasion because she is such an inspiration: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
5. Cynthia Villamizar, Marketing Contractor for Backbone:
“Today, among other things, Jessica Alvarez is the COO at Joyus Recreation and Wellness Group, a cannabis manufacturing facility in West Oakland with a micro-business license that provides services from cultivation to distribution. With a range of projects that span from extraction to retail, Jessie is quickly solidifying her place in the cannabis industry as a standout leader.”
6. Shelby Hartman, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief & CEO of DoubleBlind
“There are so many incredible women making change in the psychedelic space, and I'm overjoyed to see more joining the movement every day. A few that come to mind are Bia Labate, the founder of Chacruna; Natalie Ginsberg, Director of Policy & Advocacy at MAPS; and Monnica Williams, a clinical psychologist who is making psychedelic science more inclusive for BIPOC.
These women, among so many others, are not only working to overturn psychedelic prohibition, but are working for an equitable, accessible, inclusive, and transparent psychedelic paradigm. We have an opportunity, now, to pioneer business models that are centered around healing—and to use the privilege within the psychedelic community to fight for other prescient issues, from a less corrupt pharmaceutical process to broader criminal justice reform. I am blessed to be surrounded by women both at DoubleBlind and beyond who have devoted their lives to making that a reality.”