GENIFER M creates beautiful, cannabis-inspired jewelry for men and women that want to express themselves in a unique and personal manner.
The company stands for freedom, respect, tolerance, inclusion, and diversity. We support women and donate regularly to women-focused charities including breast cancer research and awareness.
We recently had the opportunity to talk with Genifer Murray to learn about how she started the company Genifer M Jewelry and what she thinks about the evolving cannabis industry. Check out the full Q&A below!
With more than seven years in the cannabis industry, Genifer Murray is a pioneer and influential female leader, including president and founder at CannLabs, one of the first cannabis testing labs in the U.S., and she was a founding member of the Women’s CannaBusiness Network, which was a part of The National Cannabis Industry Association; this organization was the foundation for Women Grow.
- Your father was a jeweler, your an entrepreneur, what was your “ah ha’ moment that that inspired you to approach your father about the opportunity to start this business?
G.M. Early on in the industry, I was one of the first women to begin a testing lab. I quickly became a spokesperson across the USA, Barcelona, and Canada. I wanted to wear something that represented cannabis and this evolving industry. I wanted to wear it proudly on my suit, I wanted to own it! I’m in my 40s, and yes I do smoke cannabis…I’m a successful businesswoman and I wanted my product to represent that.
G.M. I did a lot of research online (for cannabis inspired wear) and I found a very robust pot culture so I approached my dad one day, and said, ‘hey, can you make me a lapel pin?’. He created a stunning 2.5 carat diamond pavé indica piece and said, ‘You will wear it proudly’, and I did just that! Very soon I was approached by people everywhere, on the plane, on the streets, in the grocery store, people are genuinely curious about it, and as a result, ‘Gems by Gem’ was born!
G.M. What started out as a few skus quickly became many more skus. Shortly thereafter, I realized that there was a want for something less conspicuous, more of a ‘secret handshake’. What became of this idea was the ‘Molecule Line” It was to be not a symbol of the familiar leaf, but a representation of its natural form; a belief, a passion, a knowledge of what this plant can do to assist in the treatment of mental health, epilepsy, chronic pain, easing cancer side effects, and so on. It’s something that is natural, green, and beautiful.
2. What draws consumers to your products?
G.M. Quality, Symbolism, Women, a Message! In the beginning it was mainly the women that Genifer was doing business with that were drawn to the product however with those relationships came referrals. Probably one of the most significant impacts to the business though was our attendance at the many Cannabis Expos. People wanted to know more; ‘Are they real diamonds?’, ‘Is it real silver?’, ‘What does it stand for?’. Once they realized the quality and significance, they wanted it, they wanted to be part of Genifer M.
G.M. The interview I did with 2 Chainz, “The Most Expensivest’, was enormous! Each time it ran, the more business we got!
G.M. The jewelry stands for ending prohibition for patients that need access to the products and consumers love this, they want this. Our goal is to see the end of prohibition in our lifetime, not just in the US but Worldwide. Wearing this jewelry is a symbol of that knowledge, belief, and need.
It’s heartbreaking to see that parents are having to split up physically so that one parent can take their child to a state that has legalized Cannabis in order to get treatment. This is happening in our own Country! There are so many coming to Colorado to get help. I still get emails from people around the country trying to find out where they can get cannabis support in USA.
3. What do you hope your products provide as people enjoy and wear them?
G.M. The jewelry my customers wear speak to ending prohibition for patients that need access to these Cannabis products.
G.M. I want my products to represent Cannabis in a beautiful way, a way that makes people comfortable when they wear them. The goal always being a representation of acceptance, education and to end prohibition as quickly as possible.
G.M. For the more conservative, we carry tiny tiny earrings however we also can customize to any size you want. People want to express themselves and want to show support in a non traditional T-shirt kind of way. Hitting the retail market the next big sector for us.
4. Do you have a favorite piece?
G.M. Of course – My diamond pavé. I have 5 or 6 necklaces but it is hard to not wear that!
5. What was your best seller this past holiday season?
G.M. The Molecule line, subtle, but the message is there. It comes in silver and gold, both with precious gemstones.
6. Tell us about women working in the Cannabis industry. How is it different than women contributing in other industries?
G.M. The industry itself deals with so much opposition and hostility and then add being a women, even more so a mother, there is so much more to lose.
G.M. Living in Colorado, the women I worked with, well we became a tight knit group in a male dominated industry. We needed support and all we had were each other. We had began to have breakfast meetings and various events together and I was becoming a prominent women advocate.
G.M. I want young women to be entrepreneurs. Women made up 36% in executive and ownership positions in Cannabis at one time.’ The number is declining and is now at 27%.
7. What do you think the next five years has in store for the industry?
G.M. I wish I had a crystal ball! I thought that the US would be legal by now in every state. There are rumours that Trump will legalize! Like all industries, it comes down to the dollar, Pharma continues to dominate. Constellation brands invested billions of dollars into canopy growth. My best guess is that it will become available for recreational use in the US. It will depend on scheduling, regulation set-up and what will become of dispensaries.
G.M. An important question to also be answered is; ‘does your medicine have to be synthetically made’? If you look at Epidiolex, it’s only the rich that can afford it. We need the insurance companies to subsidize so that it is attainable to all.
G.M. I would bet that CBD regulation is going to come fast as there are too many that don’t know what they are doing and regulation needs to be put in place to stop this. The plant is the plant is the plant, there is no separation from medical and recreational. To me though, it’s all about the medicine, this is what is critical.
8. Have you noticed any common traits among the entrepreneurs you see in this industry, which set them apart from the people in more well-established industries?
G.M. I think people are sick of the wheel, they want to expand their horizons. Young entrepreneurs in particular have so many great ideas and having to work around the laws requires them to be able to quickly adapt these ideas if necessary. MJ freeway is a wonderful example of this. The opportunities out there require you to not only bring your skill set, but change it as well!
9. What do you love most about working in the Cannabis industry?
G.M. I absolutely love what we are doing for those that need medical help, and then of course it’s working with the outstanding women I come in contact with everyday!
10. Where can consumers in Canada find your products?
G.M. So far in Canada they are available online and the goal is it have the silver available in dispensaries.