Dana said: “There are so many groundbreaking things we can do in this industry, from women growers, to cannabis products, cannabis health, cannabis lobbying…sky’s the limit for us and now is our time to rise up and let the world know we are here and we aren’t giving up.”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I am a woman owned boutique real estate brokerage here in California that specializes solely in legally compliant cannabis properties.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I began working in aligning myself solely with cannabis in late 2015, as I saw that recreational cannabis was likely to be voted in here in California.
My mission is to not only take my clients from the purchase or sale of a property or lease of a property but to be a strategic resource for them. I don’t want my clients to ever feel as though this was a transaction for me. They are my team members and I want to see them succeed. Whatever I can do for them to make valuable connections or get information for them to help them thrive is my goal. When my clients have come across obstacles or challenges, I will do whatever I can to find them the help they need. Compliance or licensing issues, software systems, suppliers, vendors…whatever they need I try to find for them.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
I have been in real estate since 2002 and obtained my broker’s license in 2014. My career in real estate has never been the traditional residential agent/broker from a big office. I don’t like salesy or pushy tactics. I have always found niches with real estate investors and stuck with specialty property acquisitions. When I realized that recreational cannabis was more than likely going to pass, I completely immersed myself in learning everything I could about the cannabis plant. To say that my eyes became open would be a huge misstatement! I grew up with the stigma of marijuana. Everyone looked at it as a drug. I am a person who loves to attack any ailments or health issues holistically and learning the healing effects of this plant was so in line with everything I believe.
The Opiate epidemic in our country is a tragedy and yet these prescriptions are handed out by medical professionals as if there isn’t a huge consequence when patients become addicted. Lives and families are ruined every day. How could we have ever denied this beautiful plant, legal existence in our communities? No addiction, no deaths…just simple healing from cannabis in whatever form a person is comfortable with. Anyway, I will get off my soapbox.
I turned to my husband after staying up night after night soaking up all the knowledge I could about cannabis and told him, “I am going to start my own real estate company and only focus on cannabis properties.”
He immediately said “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
I explained to him everything I learned about the plant and told him, this is definitely a path that I want to start my company with and I have never looked back. He was so shocked at how fast my business grew and media attention I received. A radio show interview came first, then a newspaper interview, and then a call came in from a producer with CNBC’s show The Profit with Marcus Lemonis. I was involved in a documentary with Marcus Lemonis regarding the changing landscape of cannabis in Humboldt. It has been an amazing journey so far, and I feel like I am just at the beginning. I get to meet the most amazing people in this business who are hard working and have incredible stories of their lives in Cannabis. I have also learned to navigate my way through a sea of men who dominate the business and have also learned that some of the people involved in the industry don’t have such great intentions. They are driven by greed and a quick buck. That is not who I am and I never will be. Making a living from what I do is important, but integrity and passion for my work and the people I work with, is my main focus.
What is your Superpower?
Reading people and what makes them comfortable and at ease. There are a lot of trust issues and years of having to watch your back for people who are in the cannabis world. I am extremely cautious of how they want to proceed in their unique situations and I follow their lead so that we can build an amicable trusting business relationship.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
Being confident of my worth and standing my ground. When an industry is new there is a lot to learn. It’s not just me who needs to learn, it’s everyone. We are all still navigating our way through this new legal territory and when someone comes at me like a bulldozer or has a condescending tone, as if it’s cute that a “woman” thinks she can run with the big boys, I have learned to work on not reacting or lose my confidence. Also, if I sense red flags when I am talking to someone, I take a step back and trust my instinct and evaluate what is being presented before involving myself.
“I am a person who loves to attack any ailments or health issues holistically and learning the healing effects of this plant was so in line with everything I believe.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
We are absolutely needed in this industry! We have this opportunity to take this plant and make it everything we can and to become forces to be reckoned with. There are so many groundbreaking things we can do in this industry, from women growers, to cannabis products, cannabis health, cannabis lobbying…sky’s the limit for us and now is our time to rise up and let the world know we are here and we aren’t giving up. Every challenge, every obstacle, every failure is just another door that needed to be opened to teach us how to get to that next level.
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