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 Julie Dubocq, controller of Shango Premium Cannabis.
DOPE Magazine: Who are some of your greatest role models?
Julie Dubocq: The biggest inspiration in my life right now is one of our founders, Brandon Rexroad. His ability to see the big picture and his desire to help people by introducing them to cannabis is inspiring to me. He is success-oriented and driven to reach his goals, which makes me want to work harder every day.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
The over-saturation in the Oregon market over the past year has been challenging on many levels. The market is so saturated that cultivators are being forced to heavily discount product to stay competitive. The consumer is driving the market prices as they can just shop for the lowest prices regardless of quality. Entering any new cannabis market is and will continue to be arduous. New markets are difficult because of frequent regulatory change, from packaging to lab testing, these frequent changes are hard to keep up with, and also costly.
What’s something someone would never guess about you?
I have a great sense of humor even though I come across to most as being very serious; I love hanging with my family and friends; I am loyal to a fault, and put company objectives before personal needs; I’ve become a huge fan of the Portland Timers; my partner and I have taken guardianship of an underprivileged child; I love craft beers and great wine and can problem solve with the best of them.
What’s your go-to self-care routine?
Get plenty of sleep, read instead of watching TV, disconnect from work and take a vacation when you can’t figure out how to disconnect.
Favorite “guilty pleasure”?
A really good IPA.
Where do you see your career/business headed in five years? Twenty?
In five years, I see Shango having a footprint in every state, and I hope to be an integral part in rolling that expansion out. My twenty-year goal is to continue to guide Shango towards success. I look forward to looking back at what we have accomplished in this industry and within Shango; knowing that I was a part of it will be a great reward to look forward to.
How do you feel about the industry-wide assertion that cannabis is a female-friendly space?
I think that some areas in the space are more female-friendly than others. As a whole, I think cannabis professionals are just that, professional — regardless of your gender, race etc. I have always felt respected by my peers and within Shango.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
After I watched “The Silence of the Lambs” I wanted to be Clarice Starling — an FBI Agent was always my dream job.
If you could talk to yourself five years ago, what advice would you give?
Keep your eyes on your goal, regardless of what gets in your way.
What advice do you have for other women looking to get into the cannabis space?
This industry is in need of professional women. Don’t let your inexperience in the industry deter you; it is likely that your experience outside of cannabis is something the cannabis industry needs. It will pay off if you work hard and prove yourself, your level of commitment and your capabilities.
Recommend a book, album, and movie you think everyone should read/listen to/watch while stoned!
“Friday” is an all-time favorite stoner movie on my list. For music, I enjoy Stick Figure.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Be impeccable with your word, once it comes out of your mouth it cannot be taken back.
What’s your favorite cannabis product?
I am an avid gummy connoisseur. My favorite non-Shango brands are WYLD and Wanna Brands. Another edible that is at the top of my list are the fruit chews from Chalice Farms.
What’s the one thing you would bring if you were stranded on a desert island?
Kelly, my partner and best friend.
What do you hope for the future of the cannabis industry?
I hope to see federal legalization in the very near future. [I hope to see] the removal of the 280E tax code; we are operating legal businesses and should not be governed by a tax code that was intended to apply to drug dealers. Technically the pharmaceutical industry is dealing drugs, why aren’t they governed by 280E? Federal legalization is key for our industry.
Fill in the blank: I could never live without ________
What do you think needs to happen before we achieve federal legalization of cannabis?
The first hurdle was to get some of the old regime out of office. There were politicians who made stopping the legalization of cannabis a priority. Now, they have been replaced. If the men and women who have been elected recently truly want to change the landscape, they need to either ease banking restrictions or, more importantly, take cannabis off the Schedule 1 list. If we are able to maneuver freely in the workplace legally, you will see cannabis become the biggest source of new jobs in the United States.
What’s your smoking/cannabis consumption ritual, if you do partake in cannabis?
I am a bedtime consumer to help with a good night’s sleep. I usually smoke a little flower and eat about 40mg of THC and 25mg of CBD in order to get a solid night of sleep.