Women continue to be the fastest-growing demographic in cannabis consumption, and reports from the past two years have shown that increasing numbers of people feel more comfortable purchasing cannabis from women-owned brands. But whether you are buying consumables from ganja goddesses, or doing business with the fabulous females leading the evolution in ancillary spaces, it's clear that women are paving the way for the future of the plant revolution.

For our Honey Spotlight - and Women's History Month - we reached out to some of the top communicators, service providers, and brand innovators in our community. They opened up to us about their inspirations, their ambitions, and what nobody else talks about when it comes to being women entrepreneurs in the cannabis space. We're thrilled to give these ladies their flowers.

Anne Forkutza, Head of Social Impact & Industry Partnerships at Dutchie, on Iona Beach, British Columbia (C) Allison Kuhl @allisonkuhl

Who Is Anne Forkutza, Head Of Social Impact And Industry Partnerships At Dutchie?

Anne Forkutza is Head of Social Impact and Industry Partnerships at Dutchie, an all-in-one dispensary platform solution designed for the cannabis industry. Dutchie helps nearly 6,000 dispensaries across North America stay compliant by providing them with point of sale, ecommerce, payments, and insurance, including New York’s very own Conditional Adult Use Retail Dispensary (CAURD) licensed retailers.

Having started in retail and digital strategy at age 18, Anne developed award-winning campaigns for major brands including Starbucks, Electronic Arts, and Nike before pivoting to cannabis. She’s a force in the industry - a member of the Cannabis Association of New York (CANY) retail and policy committees, a Technical Advisory Board Member of the Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers (ACCRES), and a mentor for students at the University of Buffalo’s Entrepreneurship Program. She also served as a 2023 Board Member of the Asian Cannabis Roundtable.

(C) Anne Forkutza

HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What inspired you to get into the cannabis industry?

ANNE FORKUTZA: I’ve always wanted to be part of something bigger than myself and have the opportunity to create industry best practices that have not been invented yet.

How would you describe Dutchie’s mission regarding social impact?

Dutchie aims to power positive societal change that cannabis can bring to the world. That means more than just making a donation or offering a “social equity discount” for our product and services. In order to generate lasting positive societal change, equal access to education, opportunity, and resources need to be provided. Some ways we are beginning to take steps towards this mission include: providing free access to compliant cannabis retail education and technology resources to underserved communities, as well as cultivating partnerships with local nonprofit groups to ensure fair access and opportunity for underrepresented groups in the cannabis industry. 

Cannabis is a force for good, yet licensed, legal cannabis retail operators still get discriminated against and treated like criminals even in first world countries like Canada, where cannabis has been federally legal for over five years now. That is not okay.

What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment in the cannabis space so far? 

Advocating for licensed, legal dispensaries to stay open and be recognized as an essential business during COVID. At Dutchie, we were able to mobilize online ordering and payments in a matter of days so licensed dispensaries could stay open and not lose their business to the illicit delivery market.

What is your hope for the future of New York’s cannabis industry?

A lot more licensed, legal dispensaries open. A lot less illicit bodegas.

What’s the best thing about being a woman in cannabis? 

Being living proof that women can have a successful career and be taken seriously in both the cannabis and tech industry. 

What’s the worst thing about being a woman in cannabis? 

Being mistaken as a diversity hire to meet a quota. I am here because I am smart and I work hard. 

For more about Anne and Dutchie, visit business.dutchie.com and follow Anne on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anneforkutza/ 

*A version of this article originally appeared in Honeysuckle's 17th print edition, featuring Havoc of Mobb Deep. Get your copy now at dispensaries nationwide or click here to order!

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Anne Forkutza


Cannabis Association of New York

Association of Canadian Cannabis Retailers

University of Buffalo School of Management

Asian Cannabis Roundtable

Allison Kuhl


Featured image: Anne Forkutza, Head of Social Impact & Industry Partnerships at Dutchie. Courtesy of Anne Forkutza.