Company: Green Thumb Industries
Title: Chief strategy officer
In 2018, as Green Thumb Industries was preparing to go public, CEO Ben Kovler, head of capital markets Andy Grossman and chief strategy manager Jennifer Dooley visited hundreds of prospective investors to educate them about the opportunity presented by the U.S. cannabis industry.
The experience, Dooley says, was “incredible,” but “in most cases, I was the only woman in the room and the last handshake, if at all.”
One can imagine the look of surprise when Kovler and Grossman would turn the pitch over Dooley, who has an MBA from Northwestern University.
“I wasn’t there just to take notes,” Dooley says, pointing out that 48% of GTI’s leadership team are women, “and we are driving our business every day.”
This year, Dooley is focused on solidifying the fundamentals to position GTI’s staff, infrastructure and business for long-term, sustainable growth. GTI is currently one of a dozen or so multi-state operators that are expanding rapidly throughout North America, but it wasn’t that long ago that the Chicago-based company was just another upstart chasing the potential riches of legal cannabis.
Dooley remembers the exact date she joined the company — March 15, 2016 — and the pitch that drew her in — “How would you like to build the most tantalizing marijuana brand in the world?”
“I remember the date,” she says, “because I believe I hit the jackpot in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a once-in-a-lifetime team. … There’s a phrase: the more things change, the more they stay the same. We have grown from one production facility and one retail store on my very first day to a portfolio of fantastic brands produced and distributed across 10 production facilities with about 20 stores open and many more to come, (but) the strategy has been the same every step of the way and it comes to life every single day.”