4 Leadership Lessons From A Female Extraction Expert

She leads a team of 30 and has grown 3,500% in 13 months

My cannabis story begins in the hills of Humboldt County. Doing harvest trim work within the Emerald Triangle’s larger-than-life forests and deep-rooted traditions of alternative medicine, I was exposed to large-scale cannabis farming and extraction for the very first time.

Catching the extraction bug

During my time in Humboldt County, I saw an unmatched demand in the market for high-quality concentrates. I was beyond intrigued by the stainless steel and mechanics of closed-loop extractors, so I decided to invest in a small extraction set-up. I worked at a Prop 215-compliant company, CO2 Labs, before I found my stride and founded my own extraction brand, Lightning Moon Collective.

Of course, starting a business as a woman in Humboldt came with its challenges. Safety and security, both personally and in my work, were significant issues in the beginning. I was secluded in rural woods, working entirely off the grid and alone. Eventually, all of my worries materialized when I was robbed while distributing to local dispensaries. 

I persisted through these challenges, and it wasn’t until I was strong-armed out of my facility and brand that I realized it was time to start over. Again. 

The early years took clever level-headed grit. When I sink my teeth into something, it’s hard for me to let go without a fight. I knew I needed trustworthy allies who would stand beside me and treat me as an equal. Luckily, that’s when I met my fellow Co-Founders of Sisu Extracts. Now, I’m the Head of Manufacturing, leading a team of 30 employees that I have grown by 3,500 percent in 13 months.

As a female leader in cannabis, especially in the manufacturing field dominated by men, I’m a rare breed. I oversee two manufacturing facilities, processing 1,000 pounds of cannabis, and producing 35 liters of finished THC distillate per day. As I continue to deliver results, the respect from my peers follows. I’m looked square in the eye and greeted with firm handshakes far more than ever before. I have equal pay to my executive partners and unquestioned authority over the largest division of the company.  

I paid my dues and had my fair share of moments when I had to take a step back and start from scratch. When it comes to manufacturing and scaling a business, you’ll have to start over plenty of times. 

Here are a few ways to use those frustrating moments to your benefit when you’re forced to go back to the drawing board: 

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