Nichole West started out in the California cannabis industry in 2008 as a real estate agent, helping marijuana businesses acquire and broker sites. In that role, she developed a legal cannabis exit clause for both parties in real estate transactions, and created a method for vetting properties for zoning, electrical capabilities and consumer demographics. Not long after, West was offered a partnership by one of her clients, managing and working on the board of the Medical Cannabis Collective in Long Beach, California, before the city overturned its ordinance for the business. From there she moved on to Sweet Leaf, a chain of marijuana shops in Denver, where she’s now working on launching the chain’s next three stores in Colorado (to bring the total to nine).
She’s also helping expand the company’s reach with its first Massachusetts medical marijuana dispensary and its second Oregon grow and dispensary operation.
“Cannabis has always had a huge impact in my life,” West says. “I have been growing since 2004 and helped a friend start an edible company in 2006. I have been in the licensing, marketing and legal business development part of the cannabis industry 100% since 2008, and haven’t looked back once.”