Illinois Women in Cannabis was founded by Dina Rollman in 2014 with the goal of ensuring women would be at the starting line of Illinois’ newest industry. Since then, we’ve witnessed some big milestones – cultivators harvested their first crop of medical cannabis, dispensaries stocked their shelves with product, registered patients gained access to life-changing medicine, and recreational consumers were given the ability to safely and legally consume cannabis.
IWC members have been on the frontlines of the Illinois cannabis industry as:
- Government regulators who designed the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.
- Advocates who helped patients get certified for medical use.
- Business operators who built facilities and implemented sophisticated operations to provide safe, high-quality cannabis.
We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure that as the industry develops and matures, it does so with women at the forefront.
Today, IWC committees:
- Plan networking events that connect men and women already working in the industry with those looking to get involved.
- Create free educational events to destigmatize cannabis use and dispel the myths and stereotypes that obscure the real benefits in our communities.
- Work with employers to provide IWC with information about industry job openings.
- Connect with women throughout Illinois so that they are aware of all the opportunities available to them.
- Advocate for change to federal and state policies to increase opportunity and equity in the industry.
While we may be individually strong, we are collectively powerful.
Worldwide Inside Sales Business Manager with Microsoft
What we do
Networking is key to creating an inclusive cannabis industry. By bringing women together, we can build female-powered businesses that will profoundly change our communities for decades to come.
Many of our members work at the highest organizational levels in almost every field. Their leadership and guidance can help women in cannabis reach their potential.
We create leadership opportunities for women throughout Illinois.
We work to inform the public about the varied uses and benefits of cannabis consumption.
We lead efforts to change federal and state policy to increase opportunity and equity in the industry.
Meet our leadership team
Dina is the Founder and President of Illinois Women in Cannabis. She is also Chief Compliance Counsel for Green Thumb Industries, a multi-state operator of licensed marijuana cultivation facilities and dispensaries. Dina earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and a law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She is passionate about helping women succeed in the cannabis industry and helping the industry enjoy continued success as it grows.
Vanessa is a Director and Vice President of Illinois Women in Cannabis. She is a Principal at the law firm of Goldberg Kohn Ltd. and a member of the firm’s Corporate, Securities & Tax Group. She is also a member of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association. Vanessa earned her B.A. in English, cum laude, from the University of Arizona and her law degree from Northwestern University School of Law. She is committed to the growth and success of the medical cannabis industry, as well as the creation and promotion of opportunities for women in it.
Kirsten Velasco is a Director and Assistant Secretary of Illinois Women in Cannabis. Combining her entrepreneurial, business and customer service skills with public speaking and patient advocacy, Kristen provides the positive connection to the public that is fundamental for the acceptance and success of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program. She created the first and second volunteer cannabis education campaign in Illinois and is regularly invited to present cannabis education seminars throughout the state.
Kalee Hooghkirk is the Satellite Coordinator for Illinois Women in Cannabis. She is also the founder of Full Spektrum Services. Kalee joined Illinois Women in Cannabis to help promote opportunities for women across the cannabis industry.
Carrie Armour is a Director of Illinois Women in Cannabis. Carrie has more than fifteen years of experience representing physician organizations as a health care government affairs attorney and advocacy consultant. Prior to forming her consulting firm, Armour Advocacy, Carrie worked for the American Medical Association in its state government affairs division where she developed advocacy campaigns as well as provided legislative, legal and strategic support to state and national medical specialty societies on medical cannabis along with many other issues. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Miami University and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola University School of Law. She is also a member of the Illinois Cannabis Bar Association.
Gina Gault is a valued board member and serves as Secretary for Illinois Women in Cannabis. Gina joined IWC to assist them in their mission to reach and empower women of all backgrounds. Gina is an active social media influencer sharing the benefits of medical cannabis, fighting stigmas and championing practical social norms around medical cannabis patients. She believes strongly in the IWC mission and hopes to empower the canna-curious to educate themselves and join this wonderful organization.