Denver Moms Budding Marijuana Startup Continues To Grow

Denver Moms Budding Marijuana Startup Continues To Grow

Moms Find Opportunity In Marijuana Industry

Pot Moms, Higher Standard Packaging
photo: New York Times

On Wednesday, CBS News took a look at Pot Moms, a group of moms in the marijuana industry in DC. Unlike a bridge club, a tupperware party or a bunch of ladies bying LulaRoe, after helping with homework, breakfast and getting kids out the door, they discuss their business, the pot business.

Chanda Macias, holds a Phd and an MBA. She’s also a mother who’s youngest is seven years old. She is a licensed distributor of medical marijuana.

Leah Heise is another “pot mom”, who’s a licensed attorney and now the President of a company that is licensed to dispense marijuana in neighboring Maryland.

Today, marijuana is legal in some form or fashion in over half of the United States and the District of Columbia. The changes in the law have created a new thriving industry said to be worth nearly $7 billiodn dollars. The industry continues to grow as marijuana laws are have been on the docket in all state governments over the last few years.

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, so does the opportunity for startups. In the case of Barb Diner (56) and Deb Baker (62), starting up was the route they took. Many Americans will turn to opening up dispensaries and licensed grow facilities. Some have fond a niche creating law firms for the marijuana industry.

Baker and Diner have created an entirely new business from a need that existed in the industry. Both women are retired and both have adult children. Baker is a retired high school teacher while Diner is a retired marketing executive.

The two dynamic retired women created a company called Higher Standard Packaging. They’ve created child resistant marijuana containers and bags that comply with Colorado’s mandated regulations. As marijuana became legalized the goto container for pot was the same plastic baggies and medicine vials used on the illegal side of the industry. When dispensaries turned to other container solutions, the ladies found they gave off a strong chemical odor. Armed with an idea they went to work in their kitches and created a solution.

Higher Standard Packaging

“We thought consumers would want to store their edibles or medicines in containers that were F.D.A.-approved to store food in,” said Diner told , “so we looked into making them from recycled plastic milk jugs.”

Their first products were plain white canisters in a variety of sizes, all with child resistant caps. They cold called 100 businesses in the marijuana industry and then hit the streets and showed off their product. They began to get customers and the business continued to grow. Now they’ve sold nearly seven million units of packaging in Colorado and other locales where marijuana is legal.

In addition to the containers the duo has created tubes, more child resistant caps and child resistant single serving barrier bags. The bags are made of heavy duty plastic that requires scissors to open.

Some of their customers enjoy visits from the two older ladies who remind the pot business owners of their own moms or aunts. Dispensaries get a kick out of visits from the women when they have a new product, order or a payment to pick up. Things have evolved over the last couple of years but when Higher Standards first started out, the marijuana industry in Colorado was a 100% cash business. “Their first payment from a Denver cannabis dispensary was typical — $5,400 entirely in small bills and reeking of marijuana.” wrote.

They’ve recently began attending marijuana conferences, including a big one in Las Vegas. “In my day, a pot convention was six people hanging out in a college dorm room,” Baker joked.

Both ladies’ adult children joked about the business at first, like two older ladies retired and selling tupperware. Now they realize Higher Standard Packaging is big business.