Last Thursday Cascade Botanical was proud to sponsor a networking event called Women Grow, which was one of the most useful and interesting industry events I’ve ever seen. Chapter chairs Sara Batterby and Leah Maurer have put together something special in a very short amount of time.
In fact, we learned that Women Grow Portland is currently the largest industry networking event of its kind in Oregon. We got the chance to meet some very well connected ladies (and a few fabulous gents as well). If there was one word I could use to describe the event it would be “professional.” Many of the people there have obviously had very successful careers in other industries and have been drawn to this one because it’s something they are passionate about.
The three key speakers were Megan “Matt’s Wife” Walstatter, Liz Kaufman, and Ann Linger. All three of these women played a major role in making Measure 91 a success. All of us in the industry owe them a debt of gratitude.
Liz Kaufman, who has served as a strategist in a wide variety of political campaigns, spoke about why she decided to take on Measure 91. One of the main reasons was that she has seen firsthand the relief it brings to cancer patients – in this case her husband, a patient who actually had a cache of meds buried in his yard “just in case” it ever became hard to in the future. Fortunately it does not look like that’s going to be the case.
Though the first of the big battles have been won, she reminded us that the war is not over and that it’s important to help people who may not yet be convinced that legalization is a good thing understand what it means to the economy and the community at large. She also encouraged us to stay active politically and to call members of state and local government to let them know what is important to you. Apparently it actually works. Let them know who you are (a parent, a tax payer, etc.), what matters to you and, of course, that you vote.
Ann Linger, who serves in the Oregon House of Representatives and worked with the Moms for YES on Measure 91 group also talked about how important it is to keep her and her colleagues informed. They are REALLY trying to do right by this community, but in order to do that they look to us for continued guidance.
These ladies took some political and personal risks in becoming advocates for cannabis at a time when it was a lot more of a taboo than it is today. The least we can do honor the work they have done is to help ensure the movement continues to grow and be seen in a positive light. We have little to lose and much to gain.