Jenny Germano said: “If you think it is not possible, look at me – I never thought any of this was possible and yet here I am because I took risks and jumped off the cliff.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I own and operate a Cannabis Compliance support business in Denver, Colorado. I assist licensed facilities to come into regulatory compliance and teach them how to maintain compliance in the ever-changing cannabis industry landscape. I provide State and local regulatory audits, State and local license application support, compliance operations training, employee retention solutions, employee onboarding, food safety certifications/ServSafe Instructor, licensed facility build-outs, HR compliance, and full-service dispensary launches.
I am extremely passionate and love what I do every day. My goal is to take the fear out of compliance and change the stigma around being heavily regulated in the plant-touching space. I enjoy working with employees and helping them to strive for their goals to be their best, since I was an employee myself – I really relate to them.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started with my first job at a dispensary in 2009 in Denver. I literally went knocking on doors back in the wild west days looking for a job or any way to get my foot in the door. I worked for free my first six months in the industry because I wanted the experience so bad, while I worked two other jobs in the restaurant/catering industry. I worked my way up the ladder to a manager position, doing everything from being a receptionist, to a joint roller, a trim manager, general manager to director of operations of a multi-million dollar adult-use dispensary and cultivation operation. I ran and operated licensed facilities in Denver over a six-year span and then went into consulting in 2015, where I formed my business ICS Consulting Service.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I wish I could say I have some amazing story, or I was impacted by the plant health wise. But for me, it really came down to wanting to change my life, the trajectory of my life. I had been working in the hospitality industry all my life: restaurants, hotels, catering, and gigging. Trust me, I did some cool stuff with food service industry and I had some amazing jobs. But I was burned out, stuck in a box, and I lost my passion. It was a job; it was no longer what I loved doing. I needed a big change in my life and Cannabis gave me the opportunity I was incredibly hungry for.
Honestly, I never even saw myself as being a business owner. I thought I would be an employee for the rest of my life. I never thought I would fall in love with what I do, but I did. It was six years in the making, and I kept putting myself out there, in job after job until I found where I wanted to be, where I belonged, and what I loved to do. I know compliance sounds super boring or nerdy. But for me, it is my wheelhouse and a place I can teach others from my heart. I love helping people learn how to be responsible in our industry. And just to put it out there, I had to learn all of this for myself before I could help other people. I had to fail, make mistakes, get fired, be rejected over and over and learn what it meant to be responsible and have integrity before I could expect it out of others.
What is your Superpower?
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
One of my obstacles has been finding my way through the industry. I am not much of a “obstacle person” I see things more like a challenge that pushes me to be better. One challenge I face, is not everyone wants to put compliance at the top of their list. It is more reactionary than proactive. I believe being proactive is the key to being successful. Reactionary just causes discourse and chaos. I feel this will always be a challenge even as the industry grows. I enjoy being challenged, it is where I grow the most and pushes me to work hard.
“And just to put it out there, I had to learn all of this for myself before I could help other people. I had to fail, make mistakes, get fired, be rejected over and over and learn what it meant to be responsible and have integrity before I could expect it out of others.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
I would like women to know that they can take a deep breath and be themselves. To not feel threatened or insecure and be supportive of each other. I think the cannabis space is a natural place for women to be and thrive. I feel as women, we can be whatever we want – there are no limitations to the career you wish to create for yourself. If you think it is not possible, look at me – I never thought any of this was possible and yet here I am because I took risks and jumped off the cliff. I know the only way to be successful is to fail my way there. I mean this in a very positive way. When I fail, make mistakes – it is really pushing me in the direction I need to go – it is my road map to success and knowing who I am. I have learned so much about myself along the way, what I am good at, what I am not good at, what I had no idea what I was even capable of until I tried it and from this place, is where my passion is born.
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