by Joana Scopel, Benzinga Staff Writer

March 3, 2023 12:53 PM | 4 min read

As part of Women’s History Month, we’re happy to share some of the amazing and creative work being done by businesswomen who have taken the lead in the cannabis industry. Benzinga has invited these women, and many more, to the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference on April 11-12 in Miami Beach.

Emily Paxhia: Industry Expert

Paxhia, founding and managing partner of Poseidon Investment Management LLC, launched the longest-running, cannabis investment fund along with her brother Morgan Paxhia. Active in investment decision-making and ongoing investment oversight processes, Paxhia works closely with her partners to create meaningful deal structures, ensuring that proper governance is carried out at the company level.

Gina Collins: An Expert Identifying Buyer Personas

Collins, chief marketing officer and brand strategist at Trulieve Cannabis Corp. 

TCNNF, is a proven and award-winning brand leader with a long list of successes conceptualizing and executing marketing and communication strategies for preeminent organizations across a broad range of consumer categories. At the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, she will talk abouthow cannabis brands can identify buyer personas in a turbulent market

Kady Cravens: An SOP Expert

CEO and founder of, an interactive software that supports the cannabis industry, Cravens’ background in all facility types allowed her to become an expert in compliance, employee training and SOPs as well as helping startups and existing cannabis companies with compliance and operating procedures.

Micallef, A Role Model For Female Executives In The Cannabis Space

Micallef is the founder and CEO of GABY Inc. 

GABLF, a California-focused retail consolidator and the owner of Mankind Dispensary, one of the oldest licensed dispensaries in California. She was inspired to start the company after one of her sisters, Gabriella, went through a brave battle with cancer and they both witnessed the enormous relief she found through cannabis.

Ngiste Abebe Knows About Equity

Abebe is VP of public policy at Columbia Care Inc 

CCHWF, one of the largest fully integrated operators in the global cannabis industry with licenses in the US and the EU. Abebe, a talented executive and cannabis advocate, has more than a decade of knowledge in the public policy, healthcare and cannabis sectors. She focuses on expanding medical cannabis programs and equitable legalization.

Timeka Drew, CEO Of Luxurious Cannabis Brand

Operating social equity license holder and cannabis industry executive, Drew is the founder and CEO of Biko, a California cannabis brand focused on producing luxurious, effective products. She held executive positions for many respected operators, including 4Front Ventures Corp 

FFNTF, Eaze, and NUG. 

Tiffany Richardson

Richardson, the tax managing partner at Denver’s Crowe LLP, uses the firm’s industry expertise to provide audit services to public and private entities. Richardson is an expert at providing tax compliance and consulting services to companies in the cannabis and financial services industry.

Christine Smith, An Architect Turned Confectioner

Smith, as the founder & CEO of Grön, one of the largest producers of handcrafted cannabis-infused edibles in the American Northwest, brings over 20 years of experience as a licensed architect before changing gears in 2015 and parlaying her project management experience into the cannabis industry.

Loriel Alegrete, A Social Justice Advocate

Alegrete is CEO and co-founder of 40 Tons, a minority-owned cannabis and clothing provider based in LA, which promotes social justice and diversity the industry by building and collaborating with a variety of brands dedicated to social impact. 

Jill Ellsworth, Founder Of The First Cannabis Decontamination Company In The U.S.

Founder and CEO of Willow Industries, Ellsworth has established herself as a leading voice for consumer safety and integrity in the cannabis industry. She continues to be an innovative trailblazer by standardizing quality and empowering cultivators with the cannabis kill step and quality assurance programs.

Kim Sanchez Rael Helps You Setting Up Your Cannabis Startup

President and CEO at Azuca (SRE Wellness), a privately held company that commercializes its own line of chef-quality, edible products, Rael is a passionate business leader, a startup veteran and an investor in innovation. She has extensive experience as an operating executive and as a venture capitalist, focusing on early-stage investments in technology companies.

Denise Pollicella, Law Expert

Managing Partner of Pollicella LLP, she has 25 years of private and corporate practice, focusing on business transactions, M&A, labor and employment, regulatory compliance and corporate law. Pollicella was involved in crafting Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Facility Licensing Act and has been a strong advocate for patients, caregivers, and emerging cannabis businesses for nearly a decade.

Stacey Hronowski, A Full-Stack Engineer

Hronowski co-founded Canix, one of the cannabis industry’s most comprehensive seed-to-sale enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. And here’s why: “I saw that they were doing a lot of costing, like their bill of materials costing, on Excel. I was like ‘you need to know your numbers, you need to know how much you’re making,’” Hronowski said on Benzinga’s Cannabis Insider podcast.

Thank you, Benzinga for highlighting the pioneering women in cannabis during Women’s History Month.