Female-focused cannabis business accelerator launches first training program

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An Oregon-based business accelerator that’s designed to bolster the skills of female cannabis entrepreneurs, boost their opportunities and make their young marijuana firms “investment-ready” has kicked off.

The Initiative launched its first intensive three-month program last week, focused on providing advanced business skills and expert advice to nine early-stage cannabis companies founded or co-founded by women.

“The goal is to accelerate these businesses – help them get exposure and become national brands, and help grow their revenue while in the program,” said Amy Margolis, founder of Portland-based The Initiative.

The program will conclude with the entrepreneurs making pitches for further funding to potential investors.

Margolis said the businesses are looking for $250,000 to upwards of $1 million for their next phase of growth.

The Initiative is co-facilitated by Robin Jones-Maloney and supported by a group of educators.

Sponsors include: New York-based iAnthus Capital; Oregon dispensary Hotbox Farms; the Oregon-based law firm Miller Nash Graham & Dunn; and Nectar, an Oregon cannabis dispensary chain.

The following is a list of the marijuana companies the first group of entrepreneurs represent, and who is being trained:

  • Barbari: Meryl Montgomery and Valarie Cooley
  • Hana Medicinals: Amy Risch
  • Leif Goods: Carrie Solomon and Jody Ake
  • Ma’at Botanicals: Delia Olsen and Luke Olsen
  • Make and Mary: Yvonne Perez Emerson
  • Stoned Free: Heidi Marks
  • The Teapad: Raven Duckett
  • Tokeativity: Samantha Montanaro and Lisa Snyder
  • Verte Essentials: Blair Lauren Brown

The Initiative application information is available here.