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Women Of Weed Ride High In Philly

Hemp production became legal for research in 2014, and now is legal to farm across the United States. Researchers are exploring the plant’s potential to suppress weeds, add diversity to crop rotations, and boost farmers’ bottom lines.

Chris Visco is Pennsylvania’s dominant retailer of medical marijuana. The mother of three is the cofounder and CEO of TerraVida Holistic Centers, with three cannabis dispensaries scattered across the Philadelphia suburbs, and the largest legal weed dealer in the Keystone State.

TerraVida sells between 30 and 40 pounds of marijuana flower a week through each of its three locations. Visco employs 130 full-time workers.

“There are very few women in weed,” said Visco, one of the most high-profile names in Pennsylvania’s marijuana industry, male or female. She’s hoping other women will join her in the business, although she acknowledges it requires serious capital.

“Women need to raise their own money and put their face on the business. Right now, we’re one of the the only women-owned [marijuana] businesses in the state. We got investors, but we made sure to retain control,” Visco said.

And there is pink-washing going on, she alleges. “Some men put their wife’s name on the application” for a marijuana businesses that isn’t truly female-owned or -operated.

“It’s definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Visco, a native of Conshohocken and a retail guru who was mentored by the president of Boscov’s. She has said she wants to be known as “the Al Boscov of cannabis.”

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