In an ordinary looking warehouse in the East Bay, tiny seeds have popped and green tendrils have begun to unfurl. I stand in an indoor grow room with four other women who are cooing over baby cannabis plants. Emily Scarbrough, the founder of Empress Extracts, gently takes up tweezers and helps a tiny Pink seed plant escape from its shell. “Welcome to the world,” she says.
Emily shares, “It is extremely gratifying to be a mom-and-pop operation and get such credibility. I am fortunate for the team I have.” Being a female business owner can be challenging; Emily still has days where people assume that she is an employee or a girlfriend. Those assumptions only push her harder to prove herself and her product—most of her staff are women. The warehouse has a trim room and grow rooms, though the breakroom reveals the true spirit of the Empress. Emily’s mother handcrafted tapestries to give the space a homey vibe and there are toys for the staff’s babies who come to visit.
Emily started out as a cannabis broker eight years ago. When a friend’s mom was diagnosed with cancer, doctors said she only had four months to live. Determined to extend the prognosis, Emily created an RSO cannabis concentrate we now know as Gemmy’s. Three years later, the mother is still alive and Emily and her partner Mark have a budding cannabis business. They moved into their warehouse in the fall of 2015 and are planning to expand outdoors. The purchase of 60 acres in Northern California will allow the Empress team to grow and be fully involved from seed, to bud, to extraction.
“It is extremely gratifying to be a mom and pop operation and get such credibility. I am fortunate for the team I have.” -Emily Scarbrough
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