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How Altitude Products CEO Krista Whitley is diversifying the cannabis industry

Marijuana brings people together. Proving that statement stands Krista Whitley, an award-winning cannabis entrepreneur, the CEO of the Social Media Unicorn, and founder of Altitude Products.

Her work within the cannabis industry means more to culture now than it ever has before. Thus far in her career, she has not only broken barriers in a male-dominated industry but she has brought a new meaning to diversity.

When do you sleep? At least a dozen folks have asked me this one question over the last week. I love what I do, who I do it with, and why we are doing it. Every day, in every way, we are normalizing the use of cannabis. An all natural plant medicine that helps people to feel better, relax, and live their best lives. Isn’t that incredible? I wake up at 6am without an alarm, determined to put my million ideas into action. I fall asleep dreaming of a better world where my daughters will lead without 80+ years of prohibition. A world led by truth and fact, rather than politics. My energy comes from belief. I believe in what I am doing and the positive energy is endless. The world needs more people doing what they do best. Be one of those people. 🚀🚀🚀 #entrepreneur #ladyboss #leadership #business #marketing #enthusiasm #positivevibes #silly #vegas #boss #happy #joy #longhair #longhairdontcare #beautiful #marijuana #cannabis #community #weed

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Last summer, a study was produced showing that the percentage of women in executive roles within the booming cannabis industry fell from 36 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2017.

Proving that the traditional executive structure of more mainstream businesses, where men occupy more than 75 percent of senior roles, is seeping into the cannabis industry.

With that said, another group of people that have been blocked by the male-dominated cannabis industry is the LGBTQ community. Currently, Whitley’s company looks to change that as her entire leadership team and board are made of women and the majority of her employees are veterans or members of the LGBTQ community.

Whitley’s team is 80 percent LGBTQ and her company just decided to donate five percent of their total company earnings to The Center in honor of Pride Month. It was in October that her goals to have enough LGBTQ people on her team to compete in the Las Vegas Pride Parade came true. She spoke to Authority Magazine about the feat. She said,

“Diversity makes our company stand out… We hear too often that the cannabis industry is run by men in suits, but I believe that we have a unique opportunity to build organizations that value diversity and use the perspective of everyone in the organization to create more effective products. A couple of months after I created the company our family went to the Las Vegas Pride parade. As I watched Capital One and MGM with their massive floats and teams, I made it a personal goal to someday build a team who could have their own float in the parade. This last October I finally had a team large enough to be in the parade and we won for best float. My team exceeds my expectations every day and I could not be prouder to work alongside them to help people.”

EXHALE: One of the questions I am asked often is ‘how do you do it?’ There is really no secret to it. I wake up each morning determined to do what I do best for a cause I believe in with people I love. We are tireless. We don’t talk about it. We take action. We are driven by the belief that ideas are pawns and execution is king. Last night I checked a bucket list goal off my list and it’s entirely thanks to sharing that goal with my team, who embraced it as their own and took action. Everything your mama said about choosing your friends wisely was correct. Choose to soar with eagles and they will take you higher than you ever dreamt you could go. The @socialmediaunicorn team, including our extended @dope_foto @wishingwellnessmedical @mrglennmeier team members are beyond rockstars. So grateful for their support as we work to normalize the consumption of cannabis. 🌈🦄💚 #teamwork #leadership #entrepreneur #business #socialmedia #ganjapreneur #cannabis #cannabiscommunity #weedfam #lasvegas #vegasweed #lgbtq #thegayagenda #pridelv #pride #loveislove

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Trust that Whitley’s ideology of a more diverse cannabis industry will catch on as her multiple businesses under Altitude Products are booming. Social Media Unicorn was created to help cannabis brands navigate the confusing new industry. In an interview with Thrive Global, Whitley touched on the importance of cannabis entrepreneurs being activists first. She said,

“Cannabis entrepreneurs have to be activists first because our industry requires education to overcome generations of stereotypes and propaganda.”

She’s a true entrepreneurial superstar. Whitley was ahead of the Nevada recreational marijuana boom before anyone else. In fact, that head start helped her craft some of the dopest cannabis products to hit the market yet.

From products like Bella, which is a CBD infused skin care line designed by and tailored for women to The Weekend Box, a monthly variety box of the top products in cannabis. The Weekend Box comes in three types — the standard box, the wellness-focused CBD Box, and the premium Caviar Gold box.

Lest we mention all the dope celebrity cannapreneurs she has collaborated with like Whoopi Goldberg and her company Whoopi and Maya and marijuana king Snoop Dogg.

She’s even been sighted with Post Malone. Low key, we all know that this was one musty dap.

Whitley is definitely an inspiration to people who feel like they can’t get ahead because of the way look or because they feel different.

For Whitley, there is nothing that can stop her. She spoke on maneuvering around the misogynistic BS in an interview with Fierce CEO. She said,

“When I was fundraising, an established investor told me it was ‘cute’ that I wanted to make money. Women are powerful forces to be reckoned with. I have yet to come across a speed bump, stereotype, or challenge that I cannot overcome with grace.”

Let’s take a page out of Whitley’s book for sure. There’s nothing better than getting high AF with a bunch of diverse people. Everybody deserves a position in the cyphe of life, JU HURD!