Ganja Goddess is leading the way in the new world of cannabis delivery. A premium brand with delivery services and award-winning products, they cater to consumers in California, along with sister site CBD Goddess, a national e-commerce site for consumer and pet CBD products. The company is currently experiencing 100% growth, which has accelerated the upward trajectory that cannabis delivery was seeing prior to the start of the pandemic.
Ganja Goddess is led by Tara Wells, who has more than 10 years of experience in retail cannabis. Wells has been a pioneer as it relates to female entrepreneurs in the cannabis sector. She saw that women were underserved in the space, and her company was founded on a mission to change that. Tara keeps a close eye on the company’s direct-to-consumer data on consumption habits and trends, which enable Ganja Goddess to quickly anticipate consumer demands.
Previously, she was an executive producer and writer, winning an Emmy for “The Amazing Race” on CBS. Her background in production, business and marketing has made her adept at understanding the cannabis market.
During our time together, Tara Wells gave us a great understanding about what it’s like to be an executive in an industry where women don’t normally hold high positions and also gave great advice on what it takes to be successful in the weed world. Check out the interview below and don’t forget to subscribe and share!
How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I embrace all facets of cannabis in our society, which to me is the definition of a Ganja Goddess. My mission is to share the many ways that cannabis can help us all. As one of the early pioneers in this industry, I started an edibles company in 2006. By 2011, I founded Ganja Goddess, an easy, convenient and accessible cannabis delivery company that delivers to everyone in the state, no matter where they live. This brand continues to be a major focus of mine — California is such a large state and there are so many people, so it’s an exciting place to be on the forefront of this industry.
Additionally, I founded one of the first legal cannabis storefronts in the country, also named Ganja Goddess, which opened its doors in Seattle in 2014, and this year launched CBD Goddess, which delivers hemp-derived products to customers anywhere in the nation.
What is your company about? What do you guys do?
Our main focus is delivering cannabis to your doorstep in California, and will soon be in Arizona and other legal states as well. We take great pride in vetting and curating all of our products to ensure that our customers know they’re getting the best cannabis for the lowest price, and we have one of the largest selections of cannabis products in the world. I believe in access for everyone, which means including products with lower price points so everyone can afford to get to know the plant.
What makes Ganja Goddess unique?
Our focus on customer service is what makes us stand out amongst the crowd and what keeps our customers so loyal. I personally find it so annoying when I can’t get a hold of someone to ask questions if there is an issue with an online order. My first instruction to everyone that works with us is to please the customer — listen to them and understand that things sometimes go wrong. Supporting our customers is the number one goal, so we make sure we have an easy number to call or email address provided. We take a lot of pride in talking directly to our customers and working to solve problems immediately — it’s who we are.
What’s your favorite part about your job? Least favorite?
My favorite part of running Ganja Goddess is the ability to educate and normalize cannabis in our society. I appreciate all of the healing aspects of the plant, so it feels great to help people understand its use and application and try new products, as well as help turn the tide from cannabis being a ‘devil’ drug to a healing pathway that helps everyone. Our business has a wide variety of customers, including working moms, retirees and high-powered executives, so I see the spectrum of cannabis use and embrace the ability we have to provide it to the masses.
My least favorite aspect is the enormous amount of paperwork and crazy government machinations we have to go through to just provide products to people, which is a major time and money waster. It is also impossible to get low-cost banking for our industry, and there is minimal support on a federal level for tax breaks. It’s tough to be profitable in this industry due to the tax burden that just doesn’t exist for businesses in other industries.
What inspired you to start your company and how did you get started?
I was originally inspired to start Ganja Goddess after cannabis helped me personally. It’s a terrific anti-inflammatory, and it worked wonders in treating my knee issues caused by my past as a dancer and athlete. I also loved the creative insights I came up with after using small amounts of cannabis for my previous job as a TV writer and producer. Cannabis was a boon for my brain and my body, so how could I resist exploring it more?
What is your vision and mission for Ganja Goddess?
My mission is to raise awareness around the benefits of cannabis and help bring it to the world; to normalize its use in everyday life. It’s not just about getting high — it’s about finding the perfect dose to be able to work, play and experience life more fully. At CBD Goddess, we have many hemp-based products that help with a variety of issues including inflammation (like Ojai Energetics’ Elixir), which I have a lot of in my knees. Cannabis is a great sleep aid as well, and products like the Blue Farms’ Dream Tincture and high-CBN Slumber Sleep Aid really do the trick. Many cannabis-based products we carry at Ganja Goddess also assist in relieving stress, mending physical ailments and helping to find joy in the everyday functions of life.
What were you doing before you started Ganja Goddess? How did that influence what you do?
For 20 years, I was a TV writer, producer and director. Believe it or not, this was a perfect springboard for the cannabis industry, as I learned how to quickly organize things, and it gave me a huge amount of confidence in turning my visions into realities.
How did you learn the skills to start and run a successful business?
I really learned from trial and error, but honestly, cannabis is like any other business. You need to focus on the outcome and not get discouraged by roadblocks. I have embraced this industry wholeheartedly because I believe in the healing aspects of cannabis. Getting to know the market and what my customers want, and then responding to that, has been the greatest success. It’s always an adventure.
What factors have contributed towards your path of success?
Following my vision of the explosion of cannabis across all markets has been a driving factor of our success. Starting small, investing our profits back into the business and delivering great customer satisfaction has also made both Ganja Goddess and CBD Goddess a success.
Did you ever expect a career in the cannabis space?
Never. It was really an evolution for me. I had not even entertained the idea until I actually experienced the benefits of cannabis myself.
Were your family and friends supportive of your venture?
Definitely. My family and my friends have always encouraged me to follow whatever dreams I had. This was no different.
Did you ever feel like you weren’t taken seriously because you are a woman?
I have a pretty big personality and tend to not be affected by what others think of me, so I forged ahead whenever I met any opposition. As a woman in business, you get used to being the only female in the room, although that has changed a lot in the past 5-10 years. Perhaps I wasn’t taken seriously at times, but it gave me an advantage because it taught me to be wily and follow my gut.
What has been your greatest obstacle in this industry to date – and how have you overcome it?
The regulation of this industry has been a real hardship for everyone. A major hurdle has been the overzealous regulation, with all sorts of local and state controls and heavy handed taxes. It makes it hard to navigate, but I’m fortunate to have to have a great legal, accounting and oversight team to help get us through.
What’s the biggest change you want to see in the cannabis industry?
Federal legalization is really needed to make this a “normal” space to operate. We need to overturn cannabis as a Schedule I drug so we can advance the industry. It has made it impossible to have competitive banking or thrive like other businesses can.
What would be your best piece of advice for fellow women looking to pursue the cannabis industry?
Learn everything you can about cannabis so you know the medium. Also, build a good business background in general, because while cannabis is a new industry, it is still a business and you need to embrace a marketing, legal and financial sense to succeed.
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?
Cannabis makes you feel good. It heals you physically, mentally and spiritually. Our customers run the gamut, from working moms and retirees to legal professionals, and they all love it. Thankfully, the stigma is rapidly declining as legalization continues to sweep the nation.
Where can we reach you? (IG/ Twitter handle and or email)
Key Takeaways from Tara Wells:
- Learn everything you can about cannabis so you know the medium
- Build a good business background in general
- Follow your vision
- Start small, invest your profits back into the business and deliver great customer satisfaction
- Get to know the market and what customers want
A huge shout out to Tara Wells for taking the time to share her story, advice and experience. You can learn more about Tara Wells and Ganja Goddess here.
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