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On Being a Black Woman in Cannabis and Finance

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On Being a Black Woman in Cannabis and Finance

Returning to Michigan after 20 years in Chicago, Cimone saw first-hand the lack of job opportunities, limited industries, and poverty that were prominent in her hometown. In 2010, her aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and cannabis was one of the only remedies that helped with the pain. Cimone began to examine the medical and economic benefits of the cannabis industry and how it impacts communities. She recognized that the industry provides an opportunity to build wealth and healing. 

BLAC: What do you do?  

Cimone: I am an insurance agent in the cannabis space and the owner of Cannas Capital, an insurance agency that focuses on the needs of cannabis and craft brewing businesses. We craft tailor-made insurance portfolios for legal marijuana businesses and craft brewers to help them operate with peace of mind.

BLAC: Why did you get into this industry? 

Cimone: I realized that cannabis companies had limited resources to financially solidify themselves. The only financial tool available to them was governed by the state and that was required to obtain a legal license.

BLAC: Do you find there’s a difference with your company being owned by a woman as opposed to a man?

Cimone: There is a difference between men and women in this space, especially in the financial sector. I can remember entering a pitch competition and the judge saying to me, “Are we supposed to believe you came up with this idea?”

My response was simple, “Yes. Not only am I pretty, I’m also extremely intelligent.”

I know that my extensive knowledge of economics is always questioned due to my race and gender, so I make sure to be on top of my game.

BLAC: What are some of the challenges you faced as a woman in this industry?  

Cimone: Lower wages, limited funding, inadequate support systems, and, often, an unfavorable working culture. Being a Black woman in cannabis and finance, I had to repeatedly prove myself. I was determined to know everything I could about risk management and leverage my skills as a former advisor. Even with all the knowledge and building my company to offer the largest suite of insurance products, I had to fight to prove that our company was the best for the job.

BLAC: What would you suggest to other women if they wanted to get into this industry?

Cimone: Be fearless. The sad truth is this is the legalized dope game. There are many sharks and very few handouts. Be strong, loyal, and work with integrity; take no “stuff” from nobody.

BLAC: What else would you like to accomplish?

Cimone: My next goal is to complete my syndicate and launch Cannas Capital Securities and Intrastate Broker-Dealer focusing on raising funds for cannabis businesses while giving residents the opportunity to invest in local businesses. Also, I plan on expanding our insurance to nine states from three. You can learn more about Cimone Casson and Cannas Capital on their website.