The cannabis and hemp industries are rapidly evolving markets with immense potential. As more businesses enter the space, it’s important to highlight the leaders making waves in these industries. 

This blog post will introduce you to some of the most influential women working within the cannabis and hemp industries today. We’ll discuss their backgrounds, how they got involved in this industry, what they’re doing now, and what we can expect from them in the future. 

Here are a few women to watch in the cannabis and hemp industries:

Angie Schwab

Founder and President, Ashford Wellness

Angie Schwab is the Founder and President of Ashford International LLC dba Ashford Wellness. Angie is a life-long clinical researcher and patient advocate. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Genetics and takes pride in developing innovative technology solutions to advance patient care. During her 15-year career in clinical research, Angie vetted, designed, and directed more than 250 influential clinical research studies. Angie loves to travel and has explored all 50 states and more than 30 countries. She currently resides somewhere between Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Minnesota, chasing sunshine and outrunning mosquitos.  

About Ashford

Ashford Wellness is a revolutionary, proactive marketplace with clinical standards. The Ashford Wellness team is composed of dedicated  women clinicians and patient advocates. It is their mission to help consumers use CLEAN, hemp-derived CBD products. Many people are not aware, but in the US, hemp-derived products are not required to be tested for contaminants prior to sale. Unfortunately, there are many documented reports that these products can contain dangerous levels of pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, mold, and other contaminants. Ashford Wellness takes a proactive approach, requiring all products to pass their rigorous, independent 150-point inspection process prior to being listed on the marketplace, maximizing the potential benefits of these products and reducing the risks for unwanted negative side effects.

“Today, people are doing everything they can to be healthy, but what they don’t realize is that the very products they thought would help them, may be doing more harm than good. I want to give people peace of mind that the choices they are making today are helping them build a better tomorrow.”

The Ashford Wellness team has conducted a thorough analysis of the top CBD products on the market and their results were shocking. More than 12% had harmful levels of pesticides and more than 10% had drastically different cannabinoid contents than were listed on the label. The team looks forward to continuing their research and presenting their findings at national and international conferences in 2023.

Tammy Puyear

Owner, TPP Services & Co-President, We Are JAINE

The mission of TPP Services, LLC is to bring value to the cannabis industry by providing the “sweat” behind running a compliant and operationally sound cannabis/cannabis-adjacent company.  They work exclusively with a network of vendor partners who they have  personally done business with in the space and are willing to endorse for providing the same level of customer service as they do to clients.  This includes helping source everything from shoe covers to nutrients, lighting to packaging, finding the right vendors to outfit any license type. They will always try to primarily do business with women or minority-owned businesses, in Missouri whenever possible, and in the US whenever possible.  

“Women are sadly underrepresented in the cannabis industry, and while we can’t evolve overnight to a more equitable space for women and minorities, we ARE making progress.  Ego is the biggest enemy of women in our space and frequently, those egos prevent large owners from asking for help or having the willingness to see women in leadership with successful careers in other industries as great candidates for cannabis businesses.  Women like Nancy Whiteman or Wanda James are inspirations for women in cannabis – they’re truly breaking barriers and showing how successful women can be.  This under-representation is what prompted us to form JAINE.”

We Are JAINE is a women-in-cannabis organization that is focused on supporting, honoring, and educating women in an emerging industry by building alliances to foster a united voice through mentorship, empowerment, and networking.  They want to encourage women thought leaders in cannabis to collaborate and mentor each other, as well as help new women enter the space.  They provide educational events and webinars for cannabis education and networking.  They are thrilled to have members from multiple states and brands that are supporting them.  They offer memberships for individuals, small businesses, and corporate members. You can learn more at

Katherine Golden, RN

CEO, Executive Director & Founder, Leaf 411

About Leaf 411

Mission: Founded in 2019, Leaf411 nonprofit organization’s mission is committed to expanding healthcare equity by ensuring consumers have free or low-cost access to evidence-based cannabis information and medicine. Leaf411’s team of passionate, cannabis-trained nurses are setting the healthcare standard for the burgeoning cannabis industry, ensuring that consumers can make educated decisions about their cannabis consumption.

“I feel the representation of women in the cannabis space can be a strange rollercoaster ride. For one day or special week we’ll see accolades for the women trying to break the ceiling and causing disruption with their vision for their companies and we think, wow, change is really happening. But then the next few months or year we see the same repeated stories all about men and their success with no representation of c-suite women at their company. My personal experience in the beginning was having every meeting with team leaders that were always men. Now it’s encouraging to hear from high level women in these companies seeking a collaboration but then unfortunately needing to bring it to their male decision maker. Hopefully someday soon it’ll be flipped and we’ll see men reaching out to female run companies and needing to get the final decision from their female CEO!”

We are providing a new service which allows you to schedule a call with one of our nurses for only $25! Now you can speak with us whenever it’s convenient for YOU! Please visit our website at and click on the “Let’s talk!” button on the homepage to go directly to our scheduling link. There is more information about this service on our “Nurse Guidance Line and Services & Prices” page. If you have questions about scheduling, please call 844-Leaf411 (844-532-3411) to leave a message and a nurse will contact you within 24-48 business hours. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact any of the brands listed under the Member Directory and ask for your FREE Leaf411 coupon code.

Sasha Kalcheff-Korn

Executive Director, Realm of Caring

About Realm of Caring

Realm of Caring improves quality of life through research, educational services, and advocacy while creating global community connections.

“I am proud to say that I believe representation of and for women in the cannabis space continues to grow. I am fortunate to work alongside several women-led companies in the industry, as well as work for a women-founded organization. I will say that conversations in the industry will only continue to benefit if they make room for more women at the table. What we need to remember is that it was mother’s who became the most powerful segment of the movement to federally legalize hemp in the effort to save the lives of their children. They have shown that prohibition has hurt families as opposed to the falsified thought that it is in place to help them.”

To date, Realm of Caring has published four articles on findings from their Observational Research Registry (ORR). Most recently, their qualitative paper indicated that among cannabis users and nonusers there were concerns regarding cannabis side effects, legality, lack of information, and cost. These findings speak volumes to the fact that continued research and quality education on the safety and efficacy of cannabinoid therapy is needed. While all four manuscripts present findings that are promising, the work is far from complete. Research is limited on non-pharmaceutical cannabis products and there is a need for patient-level data on the impacts of increased access to and therapeutic use of cannabis. The data they collect informs the education offered on their free cannabis hotline as well as supports their advocacy efforts to make room in policies for plant-based therapies. Join the largest observational research registry for cannabis use in the world today at

Brenda Verghese

VP Product Development, Stratos

Brenda is one of the first employees at Stratos and brings more than 16 years of experience in the pharmaceutical arena, including an extensive background in new product development, scale up and commercialization.  At Stratos, Brenda is responsible for product design of cannabis and CBD infused products, facilitating products from concept to commercialization using pharmaceutical best practices.  

About Stratos

Since 2014, Statos has worked to offer the highest quality cannabis and CBD products on the market. Over the years, they have been moved to tears too many times to count when our customers reach out with stories of how their health and lives have changed since using Stratos. There is nothing more motivating and gratifying than to give your all to help people and then witness the fruits of your labor benefiting lives each and every day. Our customers are the reason they get out of bed every day. 

“Women representation in the cannabis space is only increasing and I am proud to have grown into a leader at Stratos. This industry has taught me to commit myself to increasing the value of each individual team member and listen to the people that I lead. When you commit to your team’s success, you become a successful leader.”

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