Page 26 - BusinessWest December 12, 2022
P. 26

  Women in Business
Grass-roots Effort
Meg Sanders Infuses Energy, Innovation into Canna
By George O’Brien
‘Buy Weed from Women.’
That’s what is printed on the back
of the coat Meg Sanders was wearing as she led BusinessWest on a tour of Canna Pro- visions’ Holyoke dispensary recently.
Those words cover a lot of ground. They’re
a request, as well as a statement. They’re also an operating philosophy. And in some respects, they constitute hope for what people will be able to do more easily in the future.
Indeed, buying weed from women — as in women who own or co-own the dispensary in question — is not something easily done. The startup and operating costs for such an opera- tion are extremely high and, for many people — and most women — simply prohibitive. And once one is in, it’s a challenge to stay in.
Sanders, CEO of Canna Provisions, is one of the rare exceptions.
She shifted her career from compliance in financial services to compliance in cannabis while living in Colorado at the time the industry was simply exploding and turning into what she called ‘the wild west.’ She is now a promi- nent player in the not-so-wild but very intrigu- ing Western Mass. market, overseeing, with
her partner, Erik Williams, two dispensaries (the other is in Lee) and a cultivation facility in Sheffield.
Moving forward, she envisions one more dispensary in Western Mass. — she and Wil- liams are looking at several options for acquisi- tion — and the buildout of another manufac- turing facility in Lee. And from a bigger-picture perspective, Sanders is looking to hone a busi- ness model that will create more profitability in an industry where only a third of all busnesses are profitable.
When asked about what separates those who are profitable from those who are not, Sanders said it comes down to being smart — with everything from which products (and how much inventory) are carried to the training and
26 DECEMBER 12, 2022 WOMEN IN BUSINESS BusinessWest

   24   25   26   27   28