The hemp plant has undergone a massive resurgence, and women are the driving force behind this revival. Through advocacy, research, and entrepreneurship, women have brought this healing plant back to the mainstream. As a woman-owned company, Floramye is honored to be among these trailblazing women, and we are excited to be able to share these impressive industry leaders with you.
In the first installment of this ongoing series, we are so excited to introduce you to Tahira Rehmatullah. Tahira is a pioneer of the hemp industry and now works to ensure women entrepreneurs have equal access to social connections and funding in the cannabis space.
Tahira’s first introduction to cannabis, like so many of us, was a personal one. She first discovered the healing properties of the plant while researching alternative treatments for her grandfather’s cancer. She became intrigued by the medicinal properties of the plant and how it became an illegal substance in the first place. When a cannabis job opportunity came her way toward the end of business school, she jumped on it, even though at the time, the industry was still considered taboo.
In the six years since then, Tahira has served as General Manager of Marley Natural, where she oversaw the brand’s launch and managed the day-to-day operations of the company. She was a Managing Director of Hypur Ventures, a venture capital fund dedicated to investing in businesses operating in the legal cannabis industry, and she also served on board of directors for Dope Media, Inc.
Tahira served as MTech Acquisition Corps CFO until earlier this year when it merged with MJ Freeway to become Akerna Corps, the first cannabis software company listed on a major U.S. exchange. Currently, Tahira serves on Akerna’s Board of Directors, is the President of T3 Ventures, and a partner of both Big Tent Ventures and Ceylon Solutions.
Tahira Rehmatullah was named one of the most influential women in the cannabis business by Complex and Fortune Magazine. She also has served as an advisor to numerous companies and entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
Dedicated to developing female and minority leadership in the industry, Tahira is using her position to promote inclusion and prevent the restrictive practices common in almost all other areas of business. She works to ensure women entering this space have the same access to funding and resources. Her hope is as that the industry grows, there won’t be a gap in access and representation between the women and minorities who have created the industry through their research and advocacy and those who are just now entering purely to take advantage of the business opportunity.
“Many women and minorities know how it feels to not be represented in a certain field of work, and I think we increasingly see that in cannabis. Because of that, we have to be the example that we wish we had. We have to be the role model for someone else, and through that, we can pay it forward and create a lasting impact.”
One powerful way she is providing support and access to women-owned companies is with The Initiative, a Portland-based business accelerator program for female leaders in the cannabis space. The Initiative offers leadership trainings, networking, and educational events and a three-month business boot camp program that ends with a demo day where each participant will have the opportunity to pitch to investors to secure the funding necessary to build their businesses.
Tahira also serves as a senior advisor for Treehouse Global Ventures. Treehouse global is a woman founded fund created to identify, mentor, and grow minority and woman founded cannabis-related businesses with both financial and social capital.
The cannabis industry has come a long way in the last few years and is becoming increasingly accepted across the US and Canada. Even so, Tahira believes we are only just scratching the surface of what this plant is capable of and the impact it will have. She is excited to support research that will produce real science and data on how cannabis can be fully utilized.
As natural healers and nurturers, women are uniquely positioned to leverage and share the healing properties of this long-neglected, exceptional plant. With women like Tahira Rehmatullah paving the way and ensure we have a place in this rapidly expanding industry, we cannot wait to see what women can do with CBD and hemp in the future.