Social Equity Partner Highlight: Sarah Woodson and the Color of Cannabis

Sarah Woodson has entrepreneurship ingrained in her.

The daughter of entrepreneurs, Sarah, is driven to succeed on her terms. But after earning her Associate’s Degree and two Paralegal certificates, and founding what would become Colorado’s largest Pro-Se Bankruptcy business (including a social equity program for Women of Color), she experienced professional burnout.

Sarah’s husband was interested in cultivation and encouraged her to find a place in Colorado’s then-new cannabis industry with him – as dispensary owners. Unlike her husband, however, Sarah wasn’t a cannabis consumer. In fact, at the time, to Sarah, cannabis didn’t represent positivity and opportunity. When we spoke with her, she said, “My husband was negatively impacted by cannabis despite his interest in cultivation, so initially, it didn’t leave a good taste in my mouth.” 

But by 2015, Colorado’s cannabis industry started to mature, and Sarah’s opinions shifted. Her entrepreneurial DNA had her looking for a way into the burgeoning industry. 

Sarah entered our industry through hospitality, by-way-of her business, Kush and Canvases – an upscale consumption-friendly forum for cannabis-fueled art. She also continued to look for new opportunities. As fate would have it, an encounter at Denver Startup Week with Cannabis Global Initiative founder, Wanda James, who said, “if you’re not in politics, you’re not in cannabis,” changed the direction of her career. 

Realizing thousands of people are still imprisoned for cannabis offenses in a state that ended its prohibition, Sarah looked at ways to give back. She started volunteering with Denver’s Turn Over a New Leaf program to help expunge the records of Coloradoans with low-level cannabis convictions. 

Through her work with Turn Over a New Leaf, Woodson found a mentor in Kristi Kelly of the Marijuana Industry Group; she also found a job with MIG. And with her experiences, education, and cannabis industry connections, the die for the Color of Cannabis was cast.

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