Women Play Leading Role In Emerging Marijuana Businesses In Washington State

By Mike Prager
The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A growing number of women are taking leading roles in the emerging recreational marijuana industry in Washington state.

The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash.

Shilo Morgan, co-owner of the Lucky Leaf Co. marijuana shop, prides herself on running a clean family business.

Working in the shop with her are her brother, Ben Turento, and cousins Sergio Deleon and Justin Fulten.

“When you come in it’s like a family feel,” Morgan said.

She is among a number of women in Spokane who are taking leading roles in the emergent recreational marijuana industry in Washington state.

Last week, Morgan was on the sales floor greeting her customers and offering hugs to some of the regulars.

Morgan and her husband, Daniel Morgan, opened their first marijuana retail shop in Pasco, but were blocked by city zoning regulations.

They moved to Spokane to keep from going bankrupt and haven’t looked back.

“Spokane is wonderful,” she said. “Everything is so welcoming.”

To encourage good business practices, Morgan started an Eastern Washington Cannabis Association, which has been working to develop a hemp festival in Spokane. The event would be billed as an educational affair, not a smoking event.

Morgan said she wants the public to know that marijuana businesses and their customers are “just like everybody else.”

Crystal Oliver, a grower and processor in Spokane County, said she is thrilled to be on the cutting edge of a new industry.

“How often do you get the opportunity to enter a brand new industry in its infancy?” she said.

Her business goes by the name of Washington’s Finest Cannabis, which distributes primarily to shops in the local region. They grow their marijuana outdoors in the vicinty of Deer Park.

Her roots in the business date back to the 2012 Initiative 502 campaign that succeeded in winning voter approval for recreational marijuana. She then worked with the state on developing regulations.

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