What is it like being the co-owner of Rhode Island’s largest cannabis dispensary?
Filmed onsite at Mother Earth Wellness in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Cannabis Science and Technology sat down with Co-Owner, Gina Pakuris. Mother Earth Wellness hosted the Canna Boot Camp during Cannabis Science Conference Fall 2023, and provided an unparalleled opportunity for a behind-the-scenes learning experience. In this interview, Pakuris shares the origins of Mother Earth Wellness, what it’s like being a woman in the industry, and more!
Read an excerpt from the interview here:
How did you get started in the cannabis industry?
Gina Pakuris: I actually am a social worker by trade, so I worked through the years mostly in corrections, but with a slew of different folks, and when this opportunity arose to try to implement some natural remedies, some natural treatments for different mental health issues—I mean it's an exciting time to be making that transfer because there's so much information. We’re on the precipice of so much information. So, I applied some of the mental health information, the substance abuse information, and my experience. It was a really cool connection to get involved with cannabis because of that prior experience and that prior knowledge. It's exciting to imagine what's around the corner once more long-term research is completed and to see how that could actually medically be indicated to be helping people with PTSD or autism or whatever the case may be, so it's an exciting time.
What’s it like being a woman in the cannabis industry?
Pakuris: It’s really exciting being a woman in the cannabis industry. I think that this is typically a male dominated industry—and we could talk a lot of reasons why women are disempowered—but it's exciting. We're half female-owned, and I love that I can be a face and be the representation. I think that when women come in here to shop, it's helpful to have a familiar, relatable face. There's some really interesting generational differences with women who come in here, but I think regardless of the age or the demographic, I think that for patients and customers, sometimes that's just the relatability or the familiarity that helps drive the information or get the sale. This can be intimidating for anybody really, but I think specifically women appreciate a fellow relatable face in the industry and it's really exciting. I'm happy to be a part of it.