Meet the Working Mothers of Cannabis

In honor of Mother’s Day, Green Entrepreneur takes a look at some of the working mothers building the cannabis industry.hj


7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


Raising a family is never easy, especially when you’re an entrepreneur trying to launch a business. Not only do you have to worry about providing for your family financially, but there’s also the struggle of trying to balance your work life with the emotional needs of your family.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Green Entrepreneur talked with three of the countless working mothers of the cannabis industry to learn how they manage to make it all work.

Erin Gore of Garden Society

Erin Gore is a mother of one and the founder and CEO of Garden Society, a cannabis wellness brand for women. Gore, educated as a chemical engineer, spent much of her career in the corporate world working for the consumer goods manufacturer Henkel in a management position.

However, despite the trappings of success, Gore wanted more for her life. Not only did Gore feel unfulfilled in her job, but it also consumed much of her time and made it difficult to start a family.

“I had a really great corporate career,” recalls Gore, “but under the surface I was unhappy.”

Frustrated with her lack of fulfillment, she decided to take a leap of faith and start her own cannabis brand. For Gore, starting her own business had less to do with finding financial success and more with building something that valued her as a wife, a mother, and (most importantly) a woman.

Although starting a business and starting a family may seem like two opposing goals, for Gore, the opposite is true. Because she owns her own business, Gore is able to spend her mornings with her 19-month old son before heading into the office; a luxury not afforded to many working corporate jobs.

However, while entrepreneurship affords a certain degree of flexibility, there are times when sacrifices must be made, as when Gore recalls an incident where she had to cancel an important meeting because of a family emergency.

“I once had an investor flying in to see our facilities and my son had an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. My husband was out of town, so I had to call that investor and tell them ‘I’m sorry, I can’t meet with you, I have to take my son to the doctor.”

Fortunately, the investor, who also happened to be a mother, was understanding, but Gore says that these are the kinds of choices that entrepreneurs have to make.

One of the ways that Gore has been able to balance her work and her family life is by seeking out those and surrounding herself with those that have similar values and life experiences, a sentiment shared by Beth Stavola, the Board Director and Chief Strategy Officer for iAnthus Capital Holdings Inc. (CSE: IAN).

Related: The Canna-pocalypse of Small Brands Is Upon Us – But All Is Not Lost

Beth Stavola of iAnthus Capital Holdings

Beth Stavola is a mother of six, with five girls and one boy ranging between the ages of 22 and 11. She got her start in cannabis in 2012, when she was approached by a deal broker to invest $1 million in MPX Bioceuticals, a medical cannabis company based in Arizona. Although Stavola initially intended to serve as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, she was forced to take a more hands-on role when her business partner proved to be unreliable.

Undaunted, Stavola was able to steer her company through troubled times and eventually the company was acquired by iAnthus, upon which she was appointed to her new position as Board Director and Chief Strategy Officer. According to Stavola, one of the benefits of entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry is that not does it allow you to be more flexible with your schedule, but it also allows you to be more flexible with your employees as well.

“I’ve been known to rock a baby for one of my employees during a conference call or to run out of the office to pick someone’s kid up,” Stavola says. “Everyone goes the extra mile when they feel they’re taken care and that their family is being taken care of.”

Sometimes, however, it can be difficult to make family time with a heavy work schedule. That is why Stavola always makes it a point to have at least one family meal on Sunday night, regardless of how disparate their schedules may be.

“Sunday dinner is always a must at my house,” Stavola says with a chuckle. “No one is allowed to have an excuse for Sunday dinner.”

For working mothers hoping to make it in the cannabis industry, Stavola suggests surrounding yourself with good people and doing your best to take care of them. One entrepreneur that does just that is Liesl Bernard, the founder and CEO of Cannabizteam, an executive search and staffing company for the cannabis industry.

Related: The Cannabis M&A Boom Is Looking Like the Dot.com Boom. Here’s How to Avoid the Bust.

Liesl Bernard of Cannabizteam

Bernard is a mother to two sons, one 15 and the other 18. Because of their age, it can sometimes be difficult for her to sync up her schedule with theirs, which is why Bernard makes it a point to see sons off to school in the morning.

For nearly two decades, Liesl Bernard served in various positions at Robert Half Executive Search, one of the world’s largest executive staffing firms. In 2016, Bernard noticed the explosive growth in the cannabis industry and saw the need for an executive staffing firm.

“I said ‘if I don’t do it now, someone else will,’” Bernard recalls. “So I took all my savings as a single mom and started Cannabizteam.”

As an entrepreneur, Bernard greatly values the freedom that her job affords, and she does her best to provide that same freedom to her employees. At Cannabizteam, employees can work from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M. in the office and from home in the afternoon if they want to.

According to Bernard, working in the cannabis industry is particularly attractive to women because it is not quite as rigid as other corporate jobs. “I think the cannabis industry, in particular, has a lot of benefits for women entering the space because, there’s a lot of creativity that goes into it,” Bernard says. “It’s also not as structured as some of the other industries that are out there.”

Bernard goes on to say that mothers hoping to make it in the cannabis industry should not underestimate themselves. While most people tend to focus on skills such as cultivation or extraction, there is a great need in the cannabis industry for people with diverse skill sets, from accounting to plumbing.

“I would encourage anyone looking to get into the industry to do it sooner than later,” Bernard says. “A little experience goes a long way in the cannabis space. Today, anyone with two years’ experience in the cannabis space is highly valued. There are so few people with cannabis industry-specific experience.”

Related: We Have a Problem: The Cannabis Industry Is Losing Women Leaders

Being a mother is hard, especially when you’re an entrepreneur, but that does not mean success is impossible. Although the cannabis industry might not be perfect, Gore believes that its relatively young age helps make it easier for mothers and women in general, to have a higher degree of control over their destinies.

“The beautiful thing about the cannabis industry,” says Gore “is that it is in its infancy and so you can create the future you want. It’s not as limiting as other industries.”

Source

more recommended stories

  • How Entrepreneurs Can Manage Their Health Like They’re Managing a Fortune 500 Company

    The principles of building a billion.

  • The Most Important Trait Shared by Successful Athletes and Entrepreneurs

    Trying to becoming a professional baseball.

  • How the ‘Change Generation’ Is Motivating Businesses to Commit to Sustainability

    People under age 30 identify “climate.

  • Landmark Study Shows CBD Could Treat Heroin Addiction

    Addicts given CBD were much more.

  • Can Social Media Have Negative Effects on the Brain?

    May 24, 2019 2 min read.

  • Elon Musk Received the Highest CEO Compensation Package Ever, and 27 Other Crazy Things We’ve Learned About the SpaceX and Tesla CEO

    The founder of Tesla, SpaceX and.

  • Cannabis Investing Tips for Non-Millionaires

    Want to invest in the cannabis.

  • Stock Market Falls as Trade War Between the U.S. and China Gets Nastier by the Day

    A deal between the world’s two.

  • How Philanthropy Helped Build This Billion-Dollar Liquor Brand

    Taylor Berry, Chief Marketing Officer of.

  • Wall Street Analysts Are Extremely Bearish on Tesla. Here’s Why.

    Tesla falls while the Entrepreneur Index™.

  • The 7-Step Guide To Finding the Right Clients and Avoiding the Ones Who Waste Your Time

    The right client base is the.

  • Now Is the Time to Press Even Harder for Immigration Reform

    The case for incentivizing U.S.-educated, foreign-born.

  • Chip Makers Bounce Back After U.S. Eases Restrictions on Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei Technologies

    Plus, investors had no appetite for.

  • Will Your Product Launch Be a Success? 4 Signs It Won’t Be.

    The truth is, most product launches.

  • A Beginner’s Guide to Starting and Marketing an App

    First-timers in app development tend to.

  • 12 Passive-Aggressive Phrases That Can Destroy Your Business

    Maybe you think you’re being polite,.

  • Cannabis Shops Linked to Lower Crime, Increased Property Values

    A store selling legal marijuana is.

  • What Exactly Is the Biohacking Movement?

    These shifts in mindset, diet and.

  • Snag These Premium Bang & Olufsen Headphones for Nearly Half Off

    Bang & Olufsen’s H4 Bluetooth Over-Ear.

  • These Presentation Templates Can Help You Make a Better Impression

    ShapeSlide’s 40-in-1 Presentation Bundle makes every.

  • Why Entrepreneurs Should Believe They Are Unstoppable

    Josh York, CEO of Gymguyz, talks.

  • 4 Instagram Best Practices for Increasing Sales

    Users are shifting from editorial to.

  • How to Calculate Gross Profit

    Know whether your business is making.

  • Tesla Stock Falls Hard Despite Elon Musk’s Claim That It Will Eventually Have $500 Billion Market Cap

    Plus, Under Armour stock jumps based.

  • Buying Into These Myths Can Make for Bad Hiring Decisions

    Every company can point to a.

  • Technology Stocks Lead Market Higher Despite Another Tesla Crash

    Tesla shares were down after a.

  • 7 Tips for Network Marketing Success

    There are six key elements you.

  • 10 Things You Didn't Realize Were Invented in the 1970s

    From the first mobile phone to.

  • 18 Ways for Digital Nomads to Make Money

    All you need is a laptop,.

  • SpaceX Is Building Another Starship in Florida

    The competition is on. May 15,.

  • Entrepreneur Index™ Rises as Fears of Trade War Dissipate

    The technology sector leads the rebound,.

  • 25 Interesting Facts You Should Know About Chick-fil-A

    One interesting fact about Chick-fil-A? By.