Former senior executives of Kraft, Wrigley, and General Electric will convene virtually on Wednesday to share how they transitioned to cannabis companies and identify professional opportunities for women in the nascent yet multi-billion dollar industry. 

“I see increasing professionalization on many fronts,” says panelist Alice Peterson, who joined Michigan-based cannabis company Fluresh in early 2019 and whose background includes corporate finance roles at Pepsi and Kraft and who also served as founding executive of Sears Online. 

“Like any other manufacturing business or scalable offering, you need to show your investors that you are operating at a high productivity level.”

The panelists will also share best practices in maneuvering within what remains a legally gray industry with few precedents and, relative to Fortune 500 companies, even fewer resources. 

“You have to shoot from the hip all the time and can’t always have someone there for you researching official answers to questions,” Peterson said. 

Additional panelists include Lisa McClung, who recently became CEO of Denver-based edibles company Coda Signature and previously served as a senior executive of Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company. Amy Dordek Dolinsky, the chief revenue office of Illinois-based cannabis company Justice Grown, is organizing the panel, which will also include Andi Goldman of the Arcview Cannabis Angel Investing Network.The Zoom webinar The Cannabis Industry: The Next Generation of Weed, is hosted by the Illinois chapter of the International Women’s Forum and will be held on Wednesday, September 16 at 11:30am CST. Register here.


Brad Spirrison is a journalist, serial entrepreneur and media ecologist. He lives in Chicago with his son. Interests include music, meditation and Miles Davis.