In Sin City, where fine dining, good eats, entertainment, and casino play is non-stop, a new industry is setting its mark. “The Green Rush” aka legalization of marijuana is quickly expanding in the nation. As of July 1st, marijuana was officially made legal for recreational use in the state of Nevada. According to the Nevada Dispensary Association, in the first four days of Nevada’s legalization of recreational marijuana, the state grossed $3 million in sales revenue and roughly $500,000 in tax revenue. By the end of 2017, Nevada is expected to gross $30 million.
One local entrepreneurial family is embarking to be part of the Green Rush and influencing success in the industry with the launch of GFIVE Cultivation. Larry Smith, wife Maribel Gomez, and their childhood friend Shawn Holman created GFive Cultivation, Las Vegas’s first African-American family-owned and operated lifestyle brand specializing in providing ethically grown premium grade marijuana for medical and recreational use. Newcomers to the industry, they have quickly built a name in the industry as well as building a lasting legacy for their community, legally. Even music mogul Damon Dash has joined the company to provide strategic marketing promote and build global visibility.
Built from the ground up GFIVE Cultivation’s production facility will feature state-of-the-art equipment and signature strains such as Grandpa Jake, Pynk Mynk, G50 and Infamous to all enthusiasts.
We caught up with Maribel Mendez-Gomez for Women in History Month and posed a few questions about being a woman in a cannabis world.
CannEpoch: What did you see as the main priority of your arrival into the cannabis industry?
Maribel: GFIVE Cultivation, my main priority was to secure the license and oversee compliance. I managed the application process for the local jurisdiction and currently lead business administration and operational structure for the company. My business background and expertise in Regulatory Commission Management also helped navigate the licensing of NAC 453A medical to recreational marijuana.
CannEpoch: Did you want to provide a particular type of business, target a particular customer?
Maribel: Based on my background, I focus on the business aspect of the industry, specifically the business compliance. People are sometimes fascinated with the growing of the cannabis but forget about the other side, the business side, that’s important to make a company function successfully and thrive long-term.
CannEpoch: Do you notice anything in particular to you as a woman?
Maribel: One thing that’s is prominent is the lack of diversity. It’s a very male-dominated industry, there are few women, but there is room to have more seats at the table. The industry is changing and gradually women are stepping into business.
CannEpoch: Where do you see the future of women in this industry?
Maribel: Women everywhere as CEOs, Owners, holding leadership and executive roles within the industry and so much more.
“We need to be diverse and inclusive in all backgrounds, from marketing, growing, trimming, accounting, business, operations to make a strong and successful industry.”
— Maribel Mendez-Gomez, B.S., M.B.A.
CannEpoch: Why is it important to have more women in this industry?
Maribel: It’s important to have diversity in any industry. We need to be diverse and inclusive in all backgrounds, from marketing, growing, trimming, accounting, business, operations to make a strong and successful industry.
CannEpoch: Are women different, as customers, to men?
Maribel: Women are shoppers, connoisseurs. We like the profile of the strain, pay attention to detail, the looks and the beauty of the strain. Women take the time to research the strains and explore the wellness/cosmetics part of cannabis (such as lotions, CBD oils etc.) and look at the health benefits. We are into the long term vs. short term when it comes to cannabis as it relates to our overall wellness.