Womxn in Cannabis: Ann Brum of Joint Venture & Co.!
By vanessadeburgo | 10 June, 2021
by Beya Jiménez – Afrolatina on the Rise, 2021
This Womxn’s Month we celebrate all the pioneers + hot mamas making it possible for cannabis to be accessible for all. With legalization well underway in Massachusetts, we are watching closely how those most impacted by the War on Drugs – specifically Black + Brown people- are finding ways to engage with cannabis and claim back their communities’ right to wealth. These womxn have been on the forefront of cannabis equity and we want to celebrate their accomplishments as they push for equity on all sides.
Definition: Womxn –
The term Womxn is an alternative term for the English language word “women” which has been used to explicitly include non-cisgender women. It has been used in a similar manner as womyn and wimmin, as a rejection of the English-only etymology of ‘woman‘.
For our final edition, Ann Brum of Joint Venture & Co. poured her heart out to us & shared her aspirations and vision for the brand once again proving how unstoppable womxn in cannabis are!
Ann Brum is the CEO & Founder of Joint Venture & Co., a business development agency working in the cannabis space. Ann is a sought-after expert in the cannabis and wellness industry and draws on her 10+ years of experience to help her clients navigate and master the complexities of the medical cannabis, adult-use cannabis, and wellness markets. Her goal is to make any client, whether a first-time cannabis consumer, a municipal official, a large dispensary or a healthcare organization, comfortable with both personal and business decisions in the cannabis and wellness arenas.
How did cannabis become a part of your life?
Natural medicine has always been an essential part of my life. My parents are immigrants from the Azores Islands of Portugal, for generations the family shared knowledge of homeopathic remedies for all sorts of different ailments using herbs or food as medicine and treatment. When my parents migrated to the United States, they continued the practice of homeopathic remedies as well as the allopathic medicine that they now had available in the United States.
“ As a little girl, I can’t even begin to count how many times I was served a hot cup of garlic tea at the first hint of a cough or cold, which is a practice I still use today for myself and my partner. ”— Ann Brum
I have always felt drawn to the cannabis plant as a young adult and always preferred cannabis in social settings. When I turned 18, my experience with and appreciation for the plant shifted. My usage became more self-medicinal. At the age of 18, I lost my father. Feelings of grief, anxiety, and unprocessed childhood trauma consumed me and cannabis became a part of my self-care routine to help process. Cannabis- along with daily acts of self-care- continues to be an integral part of my healing journey.
What has been the most challenging for you as a womxn founder? Who were your early champions?
What’s been the most challenging as a womxn founder has been believing in myself. I feel like I’ve underestimated my performance, and feelings of “I’m not doing enough” and self doubt are no strangers to me. What’s helped me is being self aware and getting into a mindset that shifts my confidence (thank you Mel Robbins’ 5 second rule!) When you start to constantly check in with yourself, you build that confidence and focus more on fulfilling your company’s goals.
“Womxn founders have grit and an unshakable commitment to be on the leading edge of this ever evolving cannabis industry landscape, and I consider myself one of them.”— Ann Brum
There can be the all-too-common perception that women founders’ are not as determined, capable and dedicated to build a massive company and/or cultural movement. This isn’t a cute hobby, a lifestyle, or an experiment. This is my life’s work. What keeps me the most grounded is that I have a tribe of people supporting and rooting for me: mentors, family, friends, colleagues, clients, project partners, and my Clinton.
What advice do you have for minority owners hoping to enter the cannabis business space?
My advice for minority owners is don’t wait, yet be patient with the process.
Some of my earliest memories are of my father, mother, aunts/uncles building the local Portuguese community producing the weekend festas (cultural festivals) rooted in music, food and traditional religious celebrations. My father and his brothers are founders of the Portuguese American clubs: Faialense Sports Club (Cambridge) and the Portuguese American Civic League (Somerville), and these festas were a major piece of the economic engine to sustain these clubs. My immigrant family is an example of being the minority and not waiting to enter into a space! They did the best with what they could and utilized what was available to them to make it happen.
Partner with people who are a catalyst for change where real work for a bigger cause is being developed and invested into. Seek those who show their support for the long term, and have receipts of working with a diverse community. We are so fortunate to be living in Massachusetts at this time with access to a growing industry, legislative development, and available resources for minority owners. This is a great time to apply all of your potential and make a difference in cannabis.
What is your long-term vision for Joint Venture & Co.?
In the near and distant future I envision Joint Venture & Co as a trusted leader in the space connecting businesses, people, missions and messages. The foundation of the business thus far has been the production of events and educational series and fundraising for a veterans health and cannabis study and business development and growth strategy for clients. I look forward to expanding that work, adding new clients, creating new experiences, and having a lot of fun along the way.