By Noelle Crombie
The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
One of the fastest-growing marijuana business groups in Oregon is dedicated to the idea that women should play a leading role in the state’s burgeoning industry.
Women Grow, founded by women in Denver, has 30 chapters nationwide, but its fastest-growing is in Portland. The local chapter is headed by Leah Maurer and Sara Batterby, CEO of a Portland company that grows cannabis. Maurer’s husband, Travis, helped spearhead the Measure 91 campaign.
The group’s next event is at 6 p.m Thursday at Jacobsen Salt in Southeast Portland. U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer will give the keynote address for the event. (Tickets are $25 and available only in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.)
Maurer sat down with The Oregonian/OregonLive this week to talk about Women Grow and the role of women in the marijuana industry. (This interview has been edited for length and clarity.)
Q: Why do you think the Portland chapter is so popular?
A: A big part of it is where Oregon is at right now. A lot of the people that were heavily embedded in the medical industry that weren’t as vocal about what they were doing can be out of the “cannabis closet.” You have this huge new influx of people who have these great entrepreneurial ideas for marijuana. People want to become more educated about the industry and the plant that are stepping up their game to come to events to network with other people in the industry.
One of the things we are trying to do with women grow is make sure the playing field is level and that women have a strong presence — and that it’s very diverse not just in terms of gender but in terms of age and race.
Q: What do Women Grow events look like?