Genifer Murray, GENIFER M and Carbon Blue Consulting
“I am a champion for cannabis health, safety and education.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a champion for cannabis health, safety and education. GENIFER M Cannabis Inspired Jewelry, however, is about starting the conversation about the positive aspects of cannabis and living an inspired life that makes a difference.
I started one of the first cannabis testing labs in Colorado in 2010. From the very beginning my organization set high standards for the safe and effective use of cannabis. Our testing methodologies were ahead of the industry, and today, many of the standards we set years ago, have been adopted and are among the ones being used today. Now, I apply this philosophy to everything I do: quality in materials, setting high standards for customer service and being ahead of the competition.
What is your Cannabis origin story?
As I said, my journey in cannabis started in 2010 in health and safety by starting one of the first cannabis labs in the country. I paved the way for testing labs since there wasn’t even a license for testing nor was it normal practice.
I was on the governor’s task force in 2013 in Colorado to help implement Amendment 64 (legalization). I was also asked to attend the Washington State Liquor Board Summit in 2013 to help implement testing there as well. I founded Women Grow in 2014 with 12 other pioneering women and their companies to help cultivate women entrepreneurs and leaders in the cannabis industry.
Since I was lobbying across the country, I wanted something that let people know I was lobbying on behalf of cannabis. However, all I could find was cheap jewelry that represented a negative connotation of the industry. I asked my Dad, who was a retired jeweler/gemologist, to design a lapel pin that I could wear all the time and still be professional.
My Dad, Glenn Murray, created an amazing 18k gold indica leaf with 2.5 carats of diamond pavé. It blew my socks off! He called it my “crown” because I had been featured in a magazine that called me the “Queen of Cannabis.”
Now, I wear it PROUDLY everywhere, and in fact it has changed minds. It has become much more than a necklace. It is a non-threatening way to start a conversation about cannabis. It’s a quiet but powerful statement and a way for me to make a difference.Because I received so many positive comments and rave attention, we decided to start a company as a hobby in 2015 called GEMS BY GEN. We showed and sold our first pieces at the Women Grow Leadership in 2016.
Once we started, it was clear that there weren’t any other companies doing high end cannabis jewelry, so we decided to re-brand and go full steam ahead. We created GENIFER M cannabis inspired jewelry so others could start positive cannabis conversations and make a difference. We had a soft launch at the SWCC (South West Cannabis Conference) in Arizona in Oct. 2016 then at the MJBIZ Daily Conference in Vegas in Nov. 2016.
My superpower is never giving up and staying true to myself.
People loved the story and clearly were all about making a difference, but it wasn’t until the Women Grow Leadership in 2017 that ladies went absolutely crazy for it. The excitement it brought to these ladies — that they were a part of something bigger and that they could make a difference — bought tears to my eyes!
I am very happy with my cannabis business experiences so far, each building on the next, all of them continuing on with my personal journey–one that realizes the positive impacts cannabis can have on the world.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower is never giving up and staying true to myself. It’s acting every day with integrity, passion and guts. I believe in myself and live to stand up for what I believe in.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date – and how have you overcome it?
My greatest obstacle is believing and trusting in others. I naturally expect they will be good people and do what they say. I tend to trust others and go with what they say, and now that I have been in the industry a while, I know this is not always the case.
Now, I make sure to do my due diligence before engaging in any kind of business and make sure the people I work with have integrity and the standards that I do.
What is your vision for women in this industry?
I am a huge advocate for women and for getting as many as possible to try out this industry. There are 36% of women in leadership and executive positions in the cannabis industry compared to 9% of jobs in the high tech industry and less than 6% of the CEO’s in Fortune 500 Companies.
There is a lot of opportunity, and I want to see this industry dominated by women.
Any way I can help to accomplish, this I will. GENIFER M sponsored the Women Abuv Ground CannaCool Lounge in LA which is another great organization for women. Their mission is Learn, Grow, Empower. You can see a trend with this group and Women Grow!
2017 is the year of the woman, and I would say to every woman — no matter what her skill set — is JUMP IN and EXPLORE. We need you!
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