The future of cannabis is female! December is DOPE Magazine’s Women’s Issue, and we wanted to continue to highlight women across the industry on all of our platforms. We sent a questionnaire to outstanding women in cannabis — some familiar to us, some new — and will be showcasing their answers in individual blogs this month. Today’s story highlights Julia Jacobson, CEO of Aster Farms.
DOPE Magazine: Who are some of your greatest role models?
Julia Jacobsen: Elizabeth Warren. It’s said she zooms so fast she almost falls over and yet, never stops. I’m a zoomer. Also, my mom. She’s an inspiration and part of the reason I got into cannabis.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Running my first company and being a female founder in the male dominated tech sector. Going through the Techstars incubator, then on to work at the company that acquired us, I felt the double standard.
What’s something someone would never guess about you?
I’ve been trying to win “Civilization III” since 5th grade.
What’s your go-to self-care routine?
Early to bed, early to rise. I take sleep very seriously. And hydration, I always carry water with me.
Favorite “guilty pleasure”?
Two orders in a single night of Bareburger, vanilla shake and fries — I dip the fries in the shake. It’s part of my self-care routine, hah!
Where do you see your career/business headed in five years? Twenty?
We are all so fortunate to be part of an industry that’s on the brink of global acceptance. I see myself being in the cannabis space for the rest of my career. In five years, running Aster Farms. In twenty years, I will be a mentor and resource for the industry.
How do you feel about the industry-wide assertion that cannabis is a female-friendly space?
The bar is low, but so far, I haven’t felt the same bias as my experience in other industries. We’re all on this roller coaster together legalizing cannabis, and there’s only room for compassion and support.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An inventor. I wanted to work for IDEO, and still do. Someday, perhaps.
If you could talk to yourself five years ago, what advice would you give?
The difference between success and failure isn’t the outcome, it’s how you handle it.
What advice do you have for other women looking to get into the cannabis space?
This advice is not just for women; be resilient and have a sense of humor. We’re building the airplane while flying, and it doesn’t always go smoothly. In fact, regulatory quirks and new barriers to entry come at you every day and if you can’t laugh at it and keep on going, it’s gonna’ be an uncomfortable flight.
Recommend a book, album, and movie you think everyone should read/listen to/watch while stoned!
Book: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” (I like to clean and organize while stoned). Album: Radiohead, “Kid A.” Movie: “The Labyrinth,” starring Jennifer Connelly and David Bowie.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be here now.
What’s your favorite cannabis product?
3 Leaf Edibles Quinoa Granola Bites are so good it’s hard to not eat the whole bag.
What’s the one thing you would bring if you were stranded on a desert island?
What do you hope for the future of the cannabis industry?
That the medicinal focus continues to be a priority in the industry and strides are made in treating illnesses.
Fill in the blank: I could never live without ________
Sam, my husband, business partner and best friend.
What do you think needs to happen before we achieve federal legalization of cannabis?
One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is education. There are new consumers entering the industry trying cannabis for the first time or retrying it for the first time in a couple decades when product was very different. Today there are so many new ways to consume and new data we’re learning about the effects. Consumer education will be key for a healthy and successful national rollout.
What’s your smoking/cannabis consumption ritual, if you do partake in cannabis?
I’m a traditionalist and always choose sungrown flower, usually our Maui OG. I vape flower with my Pax and occasionally smoke pre-rolls. Cannabis is my version of a glass of wine to unwind at the end of a day.