Wanda James is the CEO and Co-Founder of Simply Pure, one of Colorado’s most recognized dispensaries. Simply Pure is known for being a politically focused dispensary, which fights for the rights of cannabis patients, veteran’s right to use cannabis for PTSD, and social justice surrounding the arrest of people for possessing the plant. Wanda founded Simply Pure with her husband Scott Durrah. Together they are the first African-Americans licensed in Colorado to own a dispensary and an edible company.
When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important.
Seeing that women are 52% of the population, it is extremely important. American ingenuity, businesses and industry are better when we have voices from different genders.
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?
There are many, but I will be brief. First the decriminalization of marijuana needs to take place immediately, followed by the plant being removed from all schedules. Also, every state needs to be allowed to decide on its own taxation of cannabis. Immediately following those steps, we must free all prisoners whose third offense was cannabis related and seal all records concerning cannabis convictions.
Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?
Environmental sustainability is essential because we must be instrumental in every industry for the survival of the planet. If we are truly a ‘green’ industry and truly bringing Earth substances into a positive light, then our companies should be allowed to do everything we can for the future of the planet.
How do you incorporate gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability into your work and the growth of your business/organization?
Gender parity, racial parity, as well as looking to hire those who have served their country. For Simply Pure it’s just a matter of how we do things. It’s not that we only hire people from those groups, but we effectively look for those groups when looking for new team members and new partners. As far as social justice, the very fact that my family is involved in cannabis is social justice. As far as the environment is concerned, Simply Pure does all it can to keep a small carbon footprint, as we only grow the cannabis used in our direct operations.