It was bound to happen — cannabis networking events that encourage curious women to pursue a career in a growing market. Pun intended.
A marketing queen who has been running the private Beverly Hills Cannabis Club for 20 years, Cheryl Shuman is taking advantage of what she calls the “pot-com boom,” and wants to take other career-minded women along for the ride.
In February she formed the networking group Women Grow, where she inspires others to join the cannabis industry. The group met recently in West Hollywood to discuss financial opportunities such as weed photography and selling baked pot edibles.
The women listened. They know and trust Shuman’s background: She helped Kush magazine rise up from $150,000 in revenue to more than $6 million within just 18 months, by her reckoning. She’s also been an advisor to stars including Madonna, Michael Jackson and Steven Tyler.
That's how Shuman got nicknamed “the Martha Stewart of Marijuana.” She says her work with female support groups, her personal endorsement contracts involving “ancillary products in the cannabis industry” and her business investments in the cannabis sector have all played a role.
She's also the executive director for Moms for Marijuana, where, Shuman says, “many of the women were looking to reinvent themselves. Bringing those moms into our networking events connects aspiring and current professionals in the cannabis industry.”
During the networking meet-ups on the first Thursday of each month, she says, “our members develop authentic relationships via personal contact and networking. While our events are women-focused, our networking series attracts both men and women.”
Many of the women who attended the recent West Hollywood networking meeting — held in the offices of Bruce Margolin, marijuana rights attorney and LA NORML's chapter head — support cannabis as a cure for ailments.
This hits home for Shuman, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2006. She says doctors found tumors in her ovaries and uterus and performed a radical hysterectomy. She currently has a liver mass and has been under treatment since 2007.
“I learned about THC and CBD oil extracts, juicing, raw cannabis, edibles and more from the Cohen family at the Tikun Olam Gardens in Israel,” Shuman says of her medicating protocol, which varies with her pain level. It includes such things as “daily cannabis juicing programs, raw cannabis salads, cannabis-infused foods, vaporizing and cannabis oil concentrates.”
She celebrates her personal healing, and is thrilled to have recently partnered with OSLH (OSL Holdings), a public company that has announced its intent to enter the legal weed market when federal laws allow.
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On Mother's Day of 2015, Shuman kicks off a 15-city tour with weed networking luxury events that celebrate Beverly Hills Cannabis Club’s 20th anniversary. “The startup, along with our mentoring program, are all going to be included in several different documentary series that we are involved in filming,” Shuman says. “Women are the secret to marijuana legalization.”