Ladies’s Month Highlight: Andrea Cabral




What’s your proudest accomplishment within the hashish trade?

My proudest accomplishment is my contribution to the creation and progress of a vertically built-in adult-use hashish firm in Massachusetts in 2018 proper on the heels of adult-use legalization. AWH began in Massachusetts with 5 individuals and we had been one of many first, if not the primary, adult-use hashish firms within the state. MassGrow and Ascend Mass – our cultivation, manufacturing, and retail operations – have grown enormously in lower than 4 years and through a pandemic the place the adult-use market was initially deemed non-essential. It nonetheless amazes me.

Do you are feeling that the hashish trade has extra alternatives for female-identifying individuals than different industries?

As a comparatively new and subsequently extra open trade, hashish presents extra alternatives for female-identifying individuals, and definitely, there are numerous feminine entrepreneurs within the house, however govt and center managerial management remains to be predominantly male. There are a variety of causes for this that aren’t particularly tied to gender bias, however that bias does exist and the hashish trade will not be resistant to its penalties. Firms have to be very intentional and centered on recruiting and retaining feminine participation and management in any respect ranges. It doesn’t occur organically.

Do you are feeling you need to work twice as laborious as male colleagues or do you suppose the trade has moved previous that?

I don’t personally really feel that I’ve to work twice as laborious as male colleagues, however that’s due partially to the skilled background I dropped at the job and my title, however I’m actually conscious that my circumstances are distinctive. Once more, the hashish trade will not be resistant to perceiving competence and judging work efficiency very otherwise based mostly on gender.

What was your largest problem in enterprise and the way did you overcome it?

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My largest problem was studying the enterprise of enterprise.  I got here to hashish from a 28-year profession in authorities, politics, and regulation enforcement. Studying about non-public trade, notably a brand new and thrilling one like hashish was a really massive problem, however such a enjoyable and rewarding one. Additionally, the nexus between authorities and hashish created by legalization and regulation is simply fascinating given their historic antagonism and I needed to be a part of how that relationship developed in Massachusetts.

What has you or your organization executed to assist in giving extra alternatives for girls?

I’ve been very intentional about hiring female-identifying individuals in any respect ranges and wherever attainable. However mere hiring isn’t sufficient. There needs to be a commensurate concentrate on retention and the sorts of alternatives for skilled progress and development that make retention sustainable. These issues will be very totally different for women and men. It’s additionally a problem as a result of there’s numerous pure attrition in hashish and whereas many are comfy stepping into the trade, many nonetheless aren’t. Federal legalization would change that.

What are your private targets for 2022?

My private targets for 2022 contain pushing for overview of state rules to make them extra consonant with the precise impression the trade has had on the state versus the impression coverage and regulation makers feared it might have.  Not one of the anticipated public security penalties, which closely influenced regulatory content material, have occurred.  Hashish firms not solely convey vital income to municipalities and the state, their presence improves the communities in cities and cities the place they function in some ways. The stringency of the rules ought to replicate that.


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Andrea J. Cabral is the Massachusetts CEO of Ascend Wellness Holdings, a vertically built-in, multi-state hashish firm.  She leads MassGrow LLC, a hashish cultivation and manufacturing firm and Ascend Mass LLC, a multi-site grownup use retail hashish firm.  In 2020, she was listed by Forbes Journal as one among Fifteen Highly effective and Modern Ladies in Hashish.  Her management in AWH follows a 28-year profession in authorities and public service.  Andrea is a former Assistant District Lawyer, the twice-elected Sheriff of Suffolk County and a former Patrick Administration Public Security Secretary.  She is the Chair of the Public Security and Group Mitigation Subcommittee of the Hashish Advisory Board appointed by Lawyer Basic Maura Healy as an skilled in prison justice reform.

Ms Cabral additionally offers weekly commentary and authorized evaluation on Boston Public Radio, The Jim and Margery Present on WGBH Boston Public Radio.

She is a graduate of Boston Faculty and Suffolk College Legislation College.

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