Cannabis Industry Who’s Who: Meet Plant Science Educator Emma Chasen – In honor of Women’s History Month, The Weed Blog is highlighting several fascinating women from the cannabis industry.
Today, we’re featuring Portland-based cannabis educator Emma Chasen.
Learn what inspires her journey, and more, in this insightful Q&A.
How did you get into the cannabis industry?
I’ve been working with cannabis illegally for quite some time.
However, I first entered the legal cannabis space in September 2015 as a budtender.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Ethnobotany and Medicinal Plant Research from Brown University, so I am very familiar with the secondary properties of medicinal plants and how they can interact with human physiology.
After graduating from Brown in 2014, I went on to work for the Brown University Research Oncology Group coordinating clinical oncology trials nationwide.
After my supervisor openly laughed at a cannabis trial and instead chose to go with another billion dollar pharmaceutical trial, I quit.
I packed up my car and drove across the country to Portland, OR.
Two weeks after arriving in Portland, I got a budtending job at the popular Portland dispensary Farma.
There, I was able to study cannabis and help patients reframe their relationship with the plant.
I was named Portland’s Best Budtender by the Willamette Week Reader Poll and was quickly promoted to General Manager of Farma.
After managing the shop for just over a year, I stepped down and carved out a new role for myself as Director of Education.
I trained staff on cannabis science, kept up on the latest research, and worked with patients who had severe medical issues.
After working for Farma for two years, I left the company to focus on creating a cannabis science training program and consulting.
What’s your current position?
I am a cannabis educator and consultant.
I work with cannabis businesses to elevate their brand presence by creating consumer facing educational marketing collateral and educational programs.
I also help retail cannabis businesses successfully navigate the transition from medical to adult-use cannabis.
I help with business organization, structure and also create in house educational training programs so that employees are better able to service the consumer market.
In this highly competitive market, cannabis businesses must distinguish themselves and the way to do that is with highly trained and educated staff.
I also teach workshops in Portland for both lay enthusiasts and cannabis industry professionals on the fundamentals of cannabis science.
Since I have a robust background in medicinal plant research, I feel it is part of my job to explain cannabis science in an accessible and meaningful way for people of all backgrounds.