Stacy Thompson saw an overwhelming need for women to connect at the many different cannabis conferences she attended, so her mission became clear: create an experience for women to unite and foster an atmosphere of empowerment. In 2018, Thompson began the Women of Cannabis Conference (WOCC), with the debut event happening the day before MJBizCon (the conference is unaffiliated). The first WOCC brought 500 women together, in a networking space that reminded everyone they are on the same team.
Parisa Rad, Director of Marketing for WOCC, says that her first experience with Thompson was online, and since joining the team, can attest that Thompson is passionate about making it easy for women to build bonds that go beyond networking.
“[Thompson’s] enthusiasm and passion for creating a safe place to help current and emerging women not only connect with like-minded colleagues, but form meaningful interactions with those women, which will lead to stronger bonds. Her vision for creating a powerful female unity in the space is what drew me to the organization and ultimately to joining the team,” says Rad.
The WOCC will fall on December 10th, 2019 in Las Vegas this year, and the speaker list includes some of the most formidable pioneers in the industry: Ophelia Chong, Stormy Simon, Frances González, Mila Jansen, and Monique Jackson-Fitzgerald, to name a few. For those who can’t make the Vegas event, there is another WOCC in Detroit in May. Annie Epley, Director of Operations of WOCC, says the biggest difference this year is the addition of Rad to their team, who she claims was the element missing from their team.
“We are 3 unique powerful women making it happen. Stacy and I found our missing piece with this conference which is Parisa Rad and the connection is real,” says Epley.
Connections are an important theme at WOCC, as Epley says that beyond networking, attendees will build relationships that will result in future outings and vacations. Sharing experiences and encouraging each other, learning from one another, and finding a tribe are at the center of what WOCC is about. Rad says that the team hopes genuine, welcoming vibes will spread through the audience.
“A room full of ambitions, driven women (and men) leading the forefront of this thrilling yet challenging industry. Leaving behind egos to learn and share from one another’s experiences and even mistakes, to form a strong support system. We seek to form unity and strength for our female sector in the cannabis space,” says Rad.
Attendees can expect interactive games and entertainment, opportunities to win luxury items as well as important business tools, and chances for mentorship and advice. For those looking to shape the framework of their new entrepreneurial venture, there will be an all-day master class featuring intensive training for branding, funding, and business-building. The team is also searching for ways to make it accessible for people who can’t attend by offering livestreaming on multiple media outlets, as well as on their YouTube channel.
Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on Everyday Feminism, Ravishly, and Playboy. She is the co-host and creator of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency. You can find her on Twitter or on her website.