3 Women In Cannabis

Happy International Women's Day!

3 Women In Cannabis

Interviews with Erica - Supply Chain Manager at 48N, Stacey - General Manager at Sweet 7 Cannabis, and Trang - Founding Director and CEO of TREC Brands

Erica’s responses:Erica Emery

Name & Title - Erica Emery -Director of Product & Strategic Development

Erica is the Director of Product & Strategic Development at Galaxie Brands Corporation - an LP that also co-packs some TREC products. At 25 years old, Erica spent over 3 years at Canopy Growth Corporation and developed many exciting cannabis products and processes. It’s not all been greenlights for Erica - she contracted H1N1 at an early age and  battled a weak immune system. Despite these setbacks, Erica returned to schooling and continued to drive innovation herself, and that's what led her to be so passionate about bringing innovation to consumer packaged goods.

What led you to a career in cannabis?

My college professor asked one day if anyone was interested in applying to be the assistant of Bruce Linton, the then CEO of Canopy Growth. As one does, I replied with "only if we get free samples". But in all seriousness, she sent my resume to him and I ended up interviewing with him for 3 hours on a Sunday. He didn't really know what I would be doing but wanted to hire me because he felt I would be a good fit. I started working at Canopy supporting the COO (Olivier Dufourmantelle), and from there worked my way up by gaining in depth understanding of how things were done.

What inspires you in your work?

Shattering barriers. It sounds simple but what I strive to do every day is come up with solves for things people don't think are possible or things that haven't been done yet. I think it's very rewarding to develop a product idea that people think is different or cool. Watching the hype build within the company or the brand for something that will set them apart inspires me to continue shattering barriers.

Do you have any advice for women looking to start a career in cannabis?

Hold on and enjoy the ride. Working in the industry is like riding a rollercoaster; super fun, super-fast, and you never know what is around the corner. From regulation changes, to ever evolving timelines, my advice is to be prepared for anything and welcome change. There is never a dull day working in cannabis.

Are there any challenges you still face as a female in the industry? Why do you think it's important to have a female perspective in cannabis?

As a young female, I face a lot of push back. Working in cannabis is like working in dog years, 1=7. Although I'm young, I have seen, be a part of, and done so much in a short amount of time. In all honesty, it never feels like it's equal to a male counterpart. I'm questioned on decisions made more than necessary, and often pushed to do more administrative or marketing tasks versus operations. The industry has come a long way but it's not perfect. At Galaxie, we have a mission to hire equally and ensure we have diversity on our team.

Lastly, Do you have any words to live by that you would like to share with other women?

Be a boss, and own your shit. If you came up with that great idea or solved a problem, high five the team but acknowledge yourself.

Stacy’s reponses:

What is your name and current position?

Stacy Kraemer

Stacy Kraemer - General Manager at Sweet Seven Cannabis Co.

Stacy is a woman of many interests and passions - as the General Manager at Sweet Seven Cannabis Co., located in Waterloo, Ontario. She is also a Cannabis Therapist and owner of Black Moon Medicinal Cannabis Therapy & Holistic Collective. Breaking social stigmas and societal expectations to make cannabis education and empowerment has always been Stacy’s priority. From working as a budtender and in grow rooms, to owning an award-winning edibles company, becoming a Cannabis Therapist and owning her own holistic business, to managing dispensaries from British Columbia to Ontario (from legacy market to legal market) - Stacy feels grateful to have experienced it all.

What led you to a career in cannabis?

My career in cannabis kind of fell into my lap when living in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. At that time, I had lived in BC for about a year having since moved from Ontario. I had made a friend who worked at the local dispensary. We instantly connected the first time she had to weigh me out a quarter of weed, and the rest is history. That friend randomly called me up one day and asked if I wanted to work as a budtender at the dispensary, since they were hiring. I said yes without hesitation, even though I was already working full-time as a community support worker. For the next six months I balanced both my career in Mental Health and working at the dispensary, then transitioned fully to the cannabis industry. At that point, there was no turning back. I was obsessed with the cannabis culture, the community it brought together, and the health benefits of the plant.

What inspires you in your work?

I pull my inspiration from many different things in my world. Nature, plant medicine, and being outdoors are my main influences. There are also some pretty important figures in my life that drive me to be the best I can be, daily

Do you have any advice for women looking to start a career in cannabis?

You are so unique! Reflect on your strengths, skills and passions and how you can showcase those in the world of cannabis. Explore how you can offer your gifts through the cannabis industry in a way that feels right for you. There are so many ways to be apart of the cannabis culture, through very non-traditional avenues. Let’s keep it simple, Sister - KNOW YOUR WORTH.

Are there any challenges you still face as a female in the industry? Why do you think it's important to have a female perspective in cannabis?

As much as I’d love to say there aren’t challenges female still face in the industry, I believe there still is. Naturally, with the cannabis industry being male-dominant, I feel the need to prove myself day after day, take on more of a workload then fellow male counterparts, and work more hours in a week than scheduled.

With that being said, I believe women have an amazing opportunity to be apart of such a special industry that is just beginning to evolve, and really make it their own! The industry needs females in every aspect, showcasing their talents and love for the plant.

Female perspective within the cannabis industry is imperative for many reasons. From a business perspective, it’s knowing that women make up a huge part of your target market, who are very interested in trying many different types of cannabis products.

Having women working in the cannabis industry also empowers one another to have healthy conversation around breaking the stigma that surrounds women and the consumption of cannabis. Real conversations that reflect the needs of all types of women.

The natural connection between women and the female cannabis plant has existed for thousands of years. We are now just being reintroduced to this relationship with such an amazing plant that can bring some much value and elevated experiences to women all over the world.

Lastly, Do you have any words to live by that you would like to share with other women?

Never underestimate your gifts and talents, the power of your thoughts, and the love that comes from your heart. Aspire to Inspire – your fellow women look up to you. There is something beautiful about women coming together and genuinely supporting one another. Be someone who radiates positivity and love.

Women in Cannabis

Trang’s responses:

Trang Trinh is the Founding Director & CEO of TREC Brands, a recreational cannabis brand house that developed and manages WINK, Blissed, and Thumbs Up brands. Trang obtained her Chartered Accountant designation at PricewaterhouseCoopers, expanded out into industry to develop her skillset in finance strategy and business operations at Loblaw Companies and Joe Fresh, and worked on over 10 mergers and acquisitions during her time at Deloitte prior to leading TREC Brands. Trang was a leader in the cannabis sector with an M&A lens at Deloitte and guided her clients through cannabis legalization in 2018.

What led you to a career in cannabis?

I led the cannabis sector from an M&A perspective during my time at Deloitte. I had the opportunity to advise many clients within the cannabis industry at the onset of legalization in Canada.

What inspires you in your work?

The TREC team and our mission to ‘do good’ and give back to the community. Every single person on the TREC team brings their A-game every single day and inspires me to be the best leader that I can for the team.

Do you have any advice for women looking to start a career in cannabis?

Take the risk and just go for it! Set your ambitions high because there is a lot of opportunity to shape the industry how we want it to grow. It is a very fast-paced and exciting industry where you are guaranteed to learn something new everyday. We are only a few years into legalization, so at the same time, we are also helping Canada lead and write history.

Are there any challenges you still face as a female in the industry? Why do you think it's important to have a female perspective in cannabis?

Believe it or not, it is still very much an ‘old boys club’ in the industry. I find that I still have to work extra hard than my male counterparts to have my opinion and voice heard. I am hopeful that if I continue to shout loud enough, I will help pave the way for other women.

It is important to have a female perspective because data shows that women control more than 50% of the buying power, especially when it comes to consumer products. As a brand and company, it is important that our workforce is representative of our diverse customer base. 

Lastly, Do you have any words to live by that you would like to share with other women?

When women support each other, incredible things happen. :)


Written by: Nithasha Marri for Trec Brands.  Check out the blog here!

Back To Blog