The COVID-19 pandemic that spread across the globe this year has forced many companies and organizations to pivot. Women Grow, the pioneering professional network for females in the cannabis space, is no different. The company, founded in 2014, has made several shifts since its inception, but nothing could have prepared them for the events of 2020.
“We’ve had to change how we connect and relate with our community,” said Women Grow President Gia Morón, in a conversation with Green Flower.
Morón, who attended her first Women Grow meeting in 2015, began working with the company in a public relations capacity through her own firm. She eventually joined Women Grow full-time as both an employee and an investor, working her way to the leadership team and being named President in 2019.
You could say Morón is the perfect example of what Women Grow strives for, as the company’s mission aims to “connect, educate, empower, and inspire the next generation” of cannabis pioneers.
“We like to say that we’re cultivating leaders,” she pronounced. “When you begin to put more women in leadership roles and we begin to involve more women in forward-facing roles, you will attract more talented women to that space.”
Women Grow Leaning Into Virtual Life
Now overseeing the day-to-day operations, Morón is tasked with finding new and creative ways to keep their audience engaged. The once-popular “Signature Networking Events” have been turned into digital affairs and the annual 2020 Leadership Summit was canceled.
One of the first initiatives of the pandemic was inspired by the “new normal” of distance learning. Women Grow launched the hashtag #adulthomeschooling and with it, new ways for the community to “connect, educate, empower, and inspire.”
“We found not only were many of our community working parents who were homeschooling but there are also adults who now were resorted to working from home and now had an opportunity that they couldn’t have before, which was to learn more about the cannabis industry,” Morón explained, adding the Women Grow market leaders began to develop programming seven days a week, including such themes as wellness, business, and general community talk.
“We had everything that we thought allowed people to still feel like they were attending our events, but on social media and on their own time versus having people rush to a designated time.”
Women Grow & Green Flower Join Forces To Bring Industry Education To Those Who Need It Most
The popularity of the Women Grow #adulthomeschooling campaign led to the realization the company could go even further.
“It was during that time that we discovered Green Flower’s certificate programs,” Morón said. “Here is a time when we’re all locked down and quarantined at home, and people are looking for ways to utilize their time. It’s been through the pandemic that we really saw the impact that both of our companies had together.”
The team at Women Grow decided a partnership with Green Flower would be the perfect way to continue their mission and foster inclusion via the platform’s diverse course instructors.
“We’re bringing not only the best education to our community, but we’re also bringing representation to our community,” Morón explained. “For Women Grow, it is very important for us to see women leaders at the forefront.
“Anytime Women Grow is partnering with an organization, it not only creates opportunity but allows both businesses to expand their reach.”
Future of Women Grow Includes Podcasts, Book Clubs, & Tireless Fight For Justice
When asked what’s on deck for Women Grow, Morón stated she is hopeful that their Signature Networking events can resume at some point, but until then, the company has plenty in the works.
“I know our community is dying to get back to networking events,” she lamented. “While online engagement is great, connecting at these gathers is important to us. We want to have those face-to-face meetings. Conferences, summits, and boot camps, those are critical education elements that bring us together in this emerging space.”
Future plans for Women Grow include a podcast, a book club, boot camps, and small business initiatives. The company launched the first branded clothing line in a partnership with Project Runway designer Korto Momolu at last year’s New York Fashion Week and is looking forward to continuing these types of partnerships.
Above everything else, Morón is looking forward to continuing to cultivate the female industry leaders of tomorrow while simultaneously removing the stigma associated with cannabis itself.
“This year is the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. One hundred years ago, women were not able to vote — there were women of color who were not able to vote. And so for us, we’re looking at a platform that’s not only business-driven but also building responsible citizens of this country.
“We’re still a federally illegal industry. And as we move toward legalization, we have to make sure that our needs and wants are heard, and that we push for them to be met. It’s so important that we vote, it’s so important that we take a census, it’s so important that we fight for equality and for equity and for justice in this industry. As a company, our goal is to always be cannabis socially responsible — we have a duty to be a responsible advocate for this industry.”