Women in Cannabis–Meet Sarah Besenius, Owner + Chief Operating Officer
As the cannabis market continues to flourish, women are making their mark as leaders in the industry. A 2017 survey by Marijuana Business Daily found that women hold 27 percent of executive-level roles in the industry and a 2019 study by Vangst found that out of the 166 cannabis companies surveyed, 38.5% of employees were female-identifying individuals. While the world of cannabis can often feel like a male-dominated profession, we continue to be inspired by the women who are shaping the industry–especially the leaders in our own company!
Sarah Besenius is the Chief Operating Officer/Owner of LabCanna and an incredible role model for women in the cannabis industry. She is involved in multiple aspects of the cannabis space including: designing and implementing business strategies, plans, and procedures, establishing policies that promote company culture and vision, overseeing the daily operations of the company, leading employees to encourage maximum performance and dedication, managing relationships with partners/vendors, and overseeing the contract manufacturing process from concept to delivery. (You may even spot her modeling for our TenneCBD™ line of products!) She sat down with us to chat about her experience in the world of cannabis and give some advice for women entering the industry.
When did you first find yourself in the cannabis world?
Cannabis was a peripheral interest for me until my life was personally touched by its benefits back in 2016. My husband experienced a traumatic brain injury after we were in a freak car accident, and his doctors were amazed at the speed and quality of his recovery. We both contribute a large part of his cognitive rehabilitation to the neuroprotective properties of phytocannabinoids, and once we put those pieces together we knew we wanted to dedicate our lives to this industry. I’ve seen this plant give new life back to someone suffering, and our mission is to share that possibility with our community and beyond.
What is something you wish you knew about the cannabis industry before entering?
Everything! There is so much knowledge surrounding this industry, where it’s been, and where it’s going. With the rapid expansion of the industry and the science driving it, there’s always more to learn. If you want to succeed and push this industry forward, you need a healthy appetite for continued education.
What advice do you have for women looking to make an impact in the cannabis space?
Stay true to your values and know your worth. Speak up, and if you’re not heard the first time speak louder. There are some tangled webs to unravel as this industry matures and a lot of healing required to correct its sordid history. It’s going to take some creative and compassionate minds at the table to make that happen.
To learn more about our leadership, and why we do what we do check out this ‘Behind the Scenes Look With LabCanna’s Sarah and Derek Besenius‘