DENVER — Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking organization, today named Maryland attorney Leah Heise as acting CEO effective July 1. Co-Founders Jane West and Jazmin Hupp are stepping down from their respective roles as National Events Director and CEO to offer the next generation of cannabis industry leaders, headed by Heise, opportunities within Women Grow’s executive team.
Heise is a Maryland-based regulatory compliance attorney barred in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia. A former Enforcement Attorney with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Heise offers unique experience in rapidly changing regulatory landscapes. She first immersed herself in the cannabis industry two years ago, when Maryland passed medical cannabis legislation. In mid-2015, she formed Chesapeake Integrated Health Institute, LLC, and created a management team that applied for a Grow, Process and Dispense license in Maryland. She also began counseling individuals and companies joining the cannabis industry on business operations, infrastructure, and compliance.
As Women Grow’s CEO, Heise is committed to expanding the organization’s mission of educating, connecting, and empowering diverse leaders for the cannabis industry. She will develop the company’s infrastructure, oversee the development of financial and marketing strategies, and implement growth-oriented changes while remaining true to Hupp’s and West’s driving vision. In addition to connecting with new and emerging cannabis industry leaders across the country at Women Grow events, she will manage a leadership team spread across the country.
Heise said, “Jazmin and Jane built an incredible platform for diverse leaders to succeed in the nascent cannabis industry. It is an honor to have this chance to expand on their vision and strengthen Women Grow’s position as a leader in the international cannabis industry.”
West said, “As we approach Women Grow’s two year anniversary, we have an incredible opportunity to honor our mission by creating opportunities for diverse leadership in the cannabis industry within our own team. Leah Heise is ideally suited to carry our vision forward as the industry evolves.” Hupp added, “We have been planning to shift our leadership team since Women Grow’s inception, and we spent months searching for a candidate who shares our commitment to our community’s success. Jane and I have been working closely with [Heise] to ensure a successful transition, and we are confident that Women Grow will experience expanded influence and impact under her guidance.”
Since its inception in July of 2014, Women Grow has seen enthusiastic response and rapid growth, demonstrating a distinct demand for organizations designed to support women in the cannabis industry. The for-profit organization launched its first chapter in Denver in August 2014 with more than 70 attendees, and has since expanded to more than three dozen chapters in the United States and Canada. While Women Grow is women-focused, it also welcomes business savvy men who understand that involving women in their organizations and partnering with women-owned businesses is good for the bottom line.
ABOUT WOMEN GROW
Women Grow is a national network that educates, empowers, and connects women leaders in the cannabis industry through monthly networking events and national conferences that shine a spotlight on individuals and companies building a diverse, fair cannabis industry. The for-profit organization welcomes women (and men) entrepreneurs and leaders at all stages of business development from within the many sectors of the legal cannabis industry. Women Grow currently has more than 35 chapters in the U.S. and Canada, with additional chapters slated to launch this year. Visit WomenGrow.com to learn more, locate or apply to start a chapter, and tap into the organization’s knowledge base and speaker’s bureau. Follow Women Grow on Facebook, and on Twitter and Instagram(@womengrow).
Public Relations Director, Women Grow
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