Melanie McLaughlin: Advice for Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis

It’s no secret that the hot topic of legalization has sparked some serious entrepreneurship in the cannabis industry. We see new companies popping up left and right with fresh talent at the helm, ready to take on some big challenges ahead.

But every now and then, we get a chance to sit down with a true expert and industry veteran, and it puts it all in perspective. While shiny, millennial friendly branding is fun, it’s truly about running a strong organization with great leadership and delivering on product promises.

Today’s chat is with Melanie McLaughlin, COO and managing partner of Montel by Select, and President of Montel Williams Enterprises. She’s had a long, incredible career in cannabis, and lots of wisdom to share.

Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us, Melanie!

As a COO, managing partner and president, I’m sure you have a lot on your plate. What’s one of the best, and one of the most challenging, things about your role?

The best and most challenging part of my role is keeping both organizations focused.

We’re constantly being presented with new opportunities and keeping up with them, while making sure we’re delivering on our existing commitments.

Melanie McLaughlin, COO and managing partner of Montel by Select

It’s a daily source of both stress and excitement for me.

You have a ton of experience in business development and marketing. What can cannabis entrepreneurs learn from the successes and fails of other industries about what to do / not to do when it comes to branding and promotion?

The cannabis space is crowded, and I think new brands often try too hard to be everything to everyone. It’s important that new brands clearly understand who their customer is – every piece of a brand should flow from that.

Once you know who your customer is, develop a strategy and an authentic message that meets them where they’re at. Don’t try to be something you’re not.

Looking into your crystal ball, where do you see Montel by Select 5 years out from now?

This industry is changing so rapidly that it’s difficult to predict where we might be a year from now, much less five years out.

I think we’ll be in many more states, have more items associated with our brand and be operating in a more favorable regulatory environment.

Any advice for women entrepreneurs looking to start or join in on a CBD company?

As with any industry or company, do your homework and know your value. For too long, the cannabis industry was effectively a boys club, but over time, we’ve seen more and more women enter the industry, both at the entry and executive levels.

Women looking to enter the industry as entrepreneurs should keep in mind that women are a growing customer demographic who will be looking for women-owned businesses to support.

Thanks, Melanie! Learn more about Montel By Select below & we’d love to know in the comments below – who is a female cannabis executive that inspires you?


About Montel By Select

While other celebrities have recently joined the bandwagon of creating trendy CBD products to make a quick dollar, Montel has been an active voice in the cannabis industry since 2000. His mission to transform the world’s conception of wellness through cannabis advocacy and empowerment began when he discovered that it was highly effective in treating the symptoms of his multiple sclerosis.

Montel launched the Montel by Select line to provide people with better access to the same high-quality CBD products that he personally has relied upon for nearly two decades to improve his own quality of life. Montel by Select’s 100% hemp-derived CBD products combine the holistic effects of CBD with plant-based terpenes. Our gel capsules are available in two unique formulations: ALERT (designed to take in the morning) and RELAX (designed to take at night).

Read our product review post here about Montel By Select’s ALERT and RELAX CBD gel caps.

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