Ahnya Smith said: “Some of the most innovative and creative ideas I’ve seen in cannabis have been from women and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon!”
Describe yourself and what you do.
I would describe myself as a Renaissance woman in the making. I do drag, I work for a processor part time, and I focus on building my nonprofit, Colored Cannabis Collective. CCC focuses on community service, representation of people of color in cannabis, and changing the stigma around cannabis overall.
When did you get started working with cannabis? What is your vision for your professional cannabis endeavors?
I started working in the Washington State legal market in 2017, five days off the plane from Virginia, at a shop as a budtender. My ultimate goal is to spend some years bouncing from legal state to legal state building up CCC and building my own personal brand and status as a well learned professional opinion in this industry.
What is your personal cannabis origin story?
Well, I don’t feel like my origin story really started until I met Dominique Dabs, my cofounder for CCC. He invited me to a smoke out in a park with a bunch of people I had never met before but who are now some really amazing friends of mine. Something about that session sparked a desire and passion inside of me to build a cannabis community around me that I could be proud of.
What is your Superpower?
My superpower is being able to make anyone feel comfortable around me if I want to. I love making friends from different walks of life and then forcing all those different people in a room together and making them talk and connect. It’s a skill that has truly helped me push CCC forward quickly and spread the messages we believe in.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry or with your business to date?
To date, my biggest obstacle is the amount of selfish, greedy, emotionally unstable, and generally lame owners and operators in this industry. There are some people who genuinely love this industry for reasons beyond money and want to see their employees thrive, and then there are others who just want to fill their pockets as much as possible and run their workers ragged and wear them down. This industry will chew you up and spit you out, and that’s a bit daunting. It’s why I choose to focus on building my own business and space in this industry where I don’t have to worry about my job being determined by the feelings of an owner that day or whatever higher up is running the show.
“Colored Cannabis Collective focuses on community service, representation of people of color in cannabis, and changing the stigma around cannabis overall.”
What is your advice for women in the cannabis industry?
My vision for women in this industry is for us to take over! For too long men have ran different industries, and now it’s our time to step into our own as owners, leaders, consultants, inspirational speakers. And I see it happening already with amazing groups like Women.Weed.Wifi., Tokeativity, Estrohaze, Heylo Cannabis, and I just want to continue to see it grow! Some of the most innovative and creative ideas I’ve seen in cannabis have been from women and I don’t see that slowing down anytime soon!
Connect with Ahnya Smith:
Instagram: @ahnyasmokes15 and @coloredcannabiscollective