A huge welcome to Weed Queen, Maria Barragans! Maria was considerate enough to take the time to answer some questions about her success in the cannabis industry, how she did it and how you can do it too!
More about Maria Barragans and Con M de Maria:
Con M de María is an online store comprised of natural products derived from hemp and it also serves as a safe space for female entrepreneurs. The accessories sold my M de Maria are made by entrepreneurial women. During our time together, Maria told us about her awesome company, herself and gave us a great advice on what it takes to be successful in the weed world. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to share it with other Weed Queens!
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am a freelance communicator, I write about the history of cannabis and I generate content. Right now I am also studying business training.
What makes Con M de Maria unique?
Con M de María it is not a fad, it is a project that was born from my 12 years of experience in the cannabis industry in Spain. Born from scratch and without funding. It is an undertaking that is born from my soul and from the passion for my work
What’s your favorite part about your job? Least favorite?
My favorite part is communicating and normalizing the history of cannabis and its many uses, as well as dealing directly with the customer. Helping people I love. The one I like the least is the heavy workload being alone
What inspired you to start your company and how did you get started?
What inspired me to create Con M de María, is that despite having been very happy working for other companies in the sector for years as a commercial agent or reporter for a cannabis channel and a writer, I did not quite feel identified with anything of the that I saw around me. I missed a feminine space on cannabis. Three years ago I started writing the project Con M de Maria in my dream book and today it is already a reality.
What is your vision and mission for Con M de Maria?
My mission is to spread the wonderful history of cannabis and all that it can offer us women, personally and professionally, to expand the line of natural products derived from the plant and respectful of the environment and to continue designing accessories with enterprising women. My vision is to make Con M de María the reference space for cannabis and women in Spain.
What were you doing before you started Con M de Maria ?
Since 2009 I have worked for different cannabis companies in Spain. I started as an account agent in a marijuana seed bank and in recent years I have dedicated myself to communication and writing articles for other companies in the sector.
How did that influence what you do?
It influenced a lot, in Con M de María I believe from my experience and without anyone to order me. I wanted to be the owner of my time and do things my way and I have succeeded.
How did you learn the skills to start and run a successful business?
Observing a lot and getting involved one hundred percent in every job I’ve had over the years. I read a lot about cannabis and its history, and I learn every day, I love it.
What factors have contributed towards your path of success?
Believe in myself despite being alone and having difficulty starting a cannabis business in Spain
Did you ever expect a career in the cannabis space?
I never imagined having a cannabis business, the path of life is unexpected but I feel very lucky.
Were your family and friends supportive of your venture?
My family is my treasure, my partner and my daughters support me from the first moment and my friends also. The support of the people who accompany me in life is very important.
What has your personal experience with cannabis been?
My life since I was a child has not been easy at all, I accumulated a lot of pain inside me and at the age of thirty I began to suffer depression, I wanted to give up because the medication did not help me. I had never seen a cannabis plant in my life, starting to work in the industry was my salvation, with a lot of information I started to consume cannabis responsibly at the end of the day. Cannabis has helped me regain my enthusiasm for life and overcome depression.
Did you ever feel like you weren’t taken seriously because you are a woman?
Throughout my life many times, that has made me strong.
How/do you think your involvement in this industry is going to positively impact your community?
Being a woman and talking about cannabis in Spain is a risky adventure, luckily it is becoming more and more normalized. I think humanizing my brand has helped other women overcome the fear of saying, I use cannabis
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry to date – and how have you overcome it?
The lack of support, in Spain the industry is very small and there is not much union. Believing in what I do despite being alone encourages me to continue.
What’s the biggest change you want to see in the cannabis industry?
I dream of the legalization of cannabis in Spain, we are going through a very difficult time, many companies are being investigated and some have been closed.
Now that cannabis is legal, what excites you most and what worries you the most?
In Spain there is no law that regulates cannabis businesses, we are walking through a huge legal vacuum. The majority of the population is in favor of legalizing cannabis but politicians ignore us.
As a woman, what challenges did you encounter (if any) building your business in a male-dominated industry and how do you plan to create change and inclusiveness for future WOC joining the industry?
There are many barriers to female entrepreneurship, not just cannabis. For me, creating alliances between us is fundamental. Con M de María accessories are created by an enterprising woman who has nothing to do with cannabis but is a woman and fights for her dreams. Supporting each other is very important so that the road is less difficult.
What would be your best piece of advice for fellow women looking to pursue the cannabis industry?
Let them embark on the adventure of conquering their dreams even with fear, there is nothing more beautiful than seeing a woman working for what she believes in and being the owner of her life.
What would you consider to be the most effective way or initial steps of breaking down barriers and ceilings to pave this path for women in the industry?
The real union, I am tired of hearing words like sisterhood that are not put into practice later.
There’s still a perception or stigma attached to the people involved in the cannabis industry or just consumers that partake in recreational or medical use, as being stoners- if you have encountered this kind of close minded perspective, what would your argument be to shift the conversation to one of the importance of the weed market and why it should be celebrated/normalized?
Show my photos from before, how much I took antidepressants and afterwards, consuming cannabis has left more than one person speechless. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
Do you have any suggestions on how we can help normalize cannabis?
For me, the best way to normalize cannabis is by being myself, always with education and respect.
Where can we reach you? (IG/ Twitter handle and or email) Through Instagram at
Name 4 of your favorite women in weed that you’d like to give a shout out too. What do they do and where can we reach them?
Jane West, @thejanewest and founder of @ShopJaneWest is one of the women I most admire and one of the first to discover years ago when she founded Women Grow. I love their cannabis standardization work and their evolution in the industry
Dr. Dina @drdina420 She is one of the most important personalities in the international cannabis industry. I was lucky enough to meet her here in Spain, in 2014 at the III International Cannabis Social Forum of Expogrow Irún. For the first time in history, the conference table was only for women and she gave me one of the most valuable tips to be a cannabis woman.
Chloe Villano @chloe_villano is one of the most powerful women in the cannabis industry in the US, her vision is incredible. She is the owner of Clover Leaf Consulting, founder of the prestigious Cannabis Business Awards, president of Clover Leaf University the first cannabis university in Denver.
Mary Prior @iammarypryor is co-founder of Cannaclusive a collective focused on inclusive marketing and business promotion in the cannabis industry. I admire his personal and professional history with cannabis.
Key Takeaways from Maria Barragans:
- Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
- Supporting each other is very important so that the road is less difficult.
- Create Alliances.
- Believe in what you do.
- Be Yourself