Female-founder and inventor, Shanel Lindsay, is a Boston-based attorney and cannabis activist who helped draft the state of Massachusetts’ adult use cannabis law.
Shanel founded, Ardent company recently, which sells her invention, the first-of-its-kind NOVA Decarboxylator. This new, game-changing at-home device guarantees maximum potency from your cannabis flower or extract— giving users the absolute freedom to create their very own edibles, lotions, facial toners, seasonings, vitamins, and more.
CannEpoch: Do you feel it was, in any way, more difficult to get started in the cannabis industry being a woman, rather than a man?
Shanel: Being a woman has certainly made it more difficult to get started in the cannabis industry. A large part of this world revolves around raising investment capital, a notoriously male-dominated activity. The reality is that the struggles I faced as a woman aren’t unique to the cannabis world. Female entrepreneurs face an uphill battle across the board, but with the right plan and support for your business, and a strong belief in your abilities, nothing can stop you, not even misconceived or outdated viewpoints.
CannEpoch: What advice would you specifically give to a woman starting out in this business?
Shanel: Have a Plan A, B, C, D, and maybe even Plan E. You never know what’s going to happen in the world of cannabis, legally, economically, or politically, so be prepared to be flexible and pivot. I’d also stress that you can change your business model while staying true to your vision. The cannabis world is defined by volatility and grey areas, so prepare for everything and expect anything. For women especially it’s important to develop a strong network and be ready to fight for your business. Understanding your vision and being able to communicate that to your team, and the world, is also critical.
“The cannabis world is defined by volatility and grey areas, so prepare for everything and expect anything.”
CannEpoch: How is the attitude towards female cannabis consumers changing?
Shanel: We are finally starting to see the stigma removed from cannabis users, including women and mothers. As more research continues to show its advantages as part of an all-natural health and wellness routine, more women are embracing it and seeing the benefits. Even Hollywood stars are now advocating for cannabidoil (CBD)-based skin and facial treatments. Most of all, people see the powerful medical benefits it offers, and are accepting those who use it. That being said, many mothers are still facing serious consequences with respect to the custody of their children and their ability to maintain housing due to cannabis prohibition.
CannEpoch: Do you see an opportunity to service female consumers?
Shanel: Female consumers are woefully underserved in the marketplace, which leaves an incredible opportunity for women to work and own businesses in the industry that cater to this strong and growing segment of the market.