Leaf Ladies

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11 Profiles of Inspiring Women Shaping Oregon's Cannabis Scene

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After watching Sara Batterby speak on multiple Cannabis forums, I was eager to pick her brain. Batterby built her name in the tech industry, but brings the corporate structure most Cannabis businesses so desperately lack.

“HiFi Farms started in January 2015, and my goal was to build one of the most progressive Cannabis companies in the country, really. I founded Portland’s chapter of Women Grow to set the tone in terms of community engagement by supporting and connecting people in the industry. There is a huge need for craft Cannabis in the medical market - and they need basic business skills like fundraising. So, I started the Leader Camp Peer Advisory group for mentor and advisory capacities,” Batterby said.

Batterby stands out because she understand the power of collective success. Instead of hoarding her business skills for the benefit of her own end, she looks to help other startups with common obstacles.

“HiFi is the first Cannabis company to register Cannabis stock options plan for employees. We have 58 percent female representation and a strong representation of people of color and vets in our work force.”

I asked her what we could expect from a day in the life of being CEO of HiFi Farms. “We use lean business principles so our days are organized into huddles: sometimes I’m in the cultivation huddle. I take a lot of meetings, lot of time on the phone, I work every day with my CFO. I constantly surf across the surface of the company and figure out how to solve problems and remove obstacles,” she said.

“I need to be a year or two ahead in the next six months’ time Sometimes my day ends with my fiance and I pulling for light dep at 7 p.m. My day-to-day life can vary.” Running a Cannabis business can be exhaustive and thankless work, but Batterby said she recognizes the opportunity this industry offers business women. She knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but was lucky enough to get on the ground floor of the Cannabis movement. “There is no glass ceiling because it hasn’t been built. There are many women employed in the industry, but there is a real leadership opportunity as well. It’s extremely important that women who reach success empower the women who come in underneath them. It is just the beginning!”

(Courtesy of Oregon Leaf)

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