Genifer Murray is a champion of cannabis health and safety and an established expert on cannabis science and business. She is the Founder and CEO of Carbon Blue Consulting, which provides results-driven science, health and safety, laboratory setup, training, and education intelligence to new and existing cannabis companies. Prior to founding Carbon Blue, Murray was the CEO of CannLabs, the pioneering medical cannabis laboratory she founded in Denver, CO in 2010.
With a passion for science and an entrepreneurial spirit, Murray has played a key role in the development of a credible, safe, and successful medical marijuana industry in Colorado and across the U.S. She contributed her cannabis testing expertise to the Colorado Governor’s task force for the implementation of Amendment 64, and works with state and foreign governments as a leading specialist on responsible legislation.
Genifer has lectured on cannabis testing at the University of Colorado, and has spoken at trade conventions and symposiums including the Cannabis Investment Conference, the Women Grow Leadership Summit, and the National Cannabis Industry Association’s Cannabis Business Summit & Expo.
When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important?
Women are often more compassionate and less ego-driven than men, and we have proven ourselves as patient caretakers and cannabis advocates. This makes us ideal stewards of a fair, legal cannabis industry that honors the movement and its social justice values. We also bring many of the same qualities that made us leaders in patient advocacy and legalization efforts to the table as leaders and entrepreneurs. Compassion, collaboration, and an incredible ability to multitask are just a few of the traits that make women so essential to the industry’s long-term success. Women are also one of the fastest-growing demographics of cannabis consumers. There is no one better qualified to understand women’s needs as consumers and deliver cannabis product solutions that work for them than other women. There are so many ways that women can benefit from cannabis as a therapeutic plant and a business opportunity, but we need to lead from the start to ensure that these benefits still exist for us as women years from now.
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?
I want the US to end Prohibition. I believe we will see the day when cannabis is de-scheduled entirely and I am dedicated to pushing that agenda forward. In the meantime, we must continue to take steps that will bring the truth about cannabis forward and move our society towards free, safe access to this incredible plant. We must continue to work on the state level to decriminalize cannabis, expand medical programs, and bring forward successful adult-use legalization initiatives.
Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?
Cannabis and hemp have the potential to revolutionize our lives and offer sustainable alternatives to many existing products. But we have to ensure that we are thinking with the future of the industry and the planet in mind as the legal cannabis market expands. Many if not most cultivation facilities are indoor operations that use incredible amounts of energy. I’m very concerned about the long-term environment sustainability of these resource-hungry indoor grows. We should encourage cultivators in states with climates conducive to greenhouse or outdoor grows to use these more energy-efficient alternatives—states could reward lower energy consumption with a tax credit, for example. I am also worried about the amount of waste that our industry generates. In Colorado, packaging laws require most edibles companies to wrap single servings in plastic, inside plastic, childproof containers. This creates so much waste, and it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Creating more product or ingredient-specific regulations would allow us to continue to protect consumers while minimizing waste.