Entrepreneur Jane West Talks Leading the Shift in Cannabis
Republished with permission from See Girl Work an Evio Community Partner
I interviewed Jane West, CEO of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand, to talk all things weed, Crate & Barrel and her company’s first equity crowdfunding campaign.
According to an article in Huffington Post Canada, the legalization of recreational cannabis this summer will usher in a sophisticated and lucrative new sector. But as with any new emerging industry, the business trends shaping the Canadian cannabis sector are still relatively unknown to those outside the industry. Meanwhile in the U.S., despite only nine states and the District of Columbia allowing for recreational marijuana use and 30 that allow for medical use, the cannabis industry took in nearly $9 billion in sales in 2017. One of the pioneers in this new wave of cannabis brand owners, is powerhouse woman entrepreneur, Jane West.
As the founder and CEO of the eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand, Jane designs and develops accessories and home goods that invite mainstream consumers to experience the benefits of cannabis and take part in the legal lifestyle. Jane also co-founded Women Grow, a networking group now with 1,500 monthly attendees around the U.S and affiliates in Canada. A prominent figure in mainstream cannabis culture since she launched her trailblazing cannabis events company in 2014, Jane is a fierce advocate for the legalization and use of cannabis as an alternative to alcohol and pharmaceuticals.
“At the time I wasn’t trying to start this huge business. It was just once a month events that were interesting and fun and allowed me to use my events management background.”
The Jane West 2018 Collection includes: the Classic, the Solo, the Compact and the Wand, a compact container made to look just like high-end mascara.
“I’m a mom and I want nice things in my home that look good. All I ever wanted were gorgeous pipes and bongs that look like they belong in a Crate & Barrel catalogue.”
Described as “modern smoking elegance,” the range of products are said to look at home on any dining room table whether or not they’re being used.
“The aesthetic that we’re infusing into these products is that of what already exists in a majority of people’s homes. The women that I’m targeting already have dozens of wine glasses and bar carts in their home.”
Having previously raised over $1 million in funding through venture capital, earlier this year, Jane West launched its first equity crowdfunding campaign on the investment platform Republic.co. The company is seeking $1.07 million in funding by April 20, 2018.
“The first million came from venture capitalists. I’m extremely proud that my company is 80% held by women and people of colour. Yes, I did build a network and find my people, but it was not the most positive experience,” Jane shares.
“Back then, it would have been too soon to go through crowdfunding. It was just an idea and I needed big chunks of money to come in.”
“But now that I have 27 products selling on store shelves and we’ve become a revenue-generating company in Q1 of this year, I can show the products and provide more details to new investors on what they’re investing in.”
The opportunity to become a stakeholder in the Jane West brand—and the fast-growing legal marijuana industry—is now available to anyone for as little as $25 USD on Republic.co. Funding will support a sales expansion strategy that will allow the brand to provide mainstream cannabis consumers with the accessories and products that will allow them to connect with the cannabis plant and elevate their experience.It should be no surprise that women are at the forefront of this fast growing emerging industry.
“My entire founder’s story lays on the premise that if you really dedicate yourself to something, you can succeed. You don’t need to have gone to Standford, you don’t need to have millions of dollars and you don’t even need to know people who have millions of dollars.”
Not only are women re-shaping the way people think about cannabis, but they’re creating a new user experience, manufacturing luxury products, building globally competitive companies, raising capital and investing in agriculture.
“When people invest it means they believe in my company, they’re along for the ride and they’re helping us build our brand.”