It’s not everyday that an accomplished broadcast journalist quits on air to become a cannabis queen. Born Charlene Egbe, reporter turned weed businesswoman Charlo Greene made a dramatic exit from her KTVA job in 2014 after the local CBS news affiliate covered Alaska Cannabis Club, a medical marijuana organization which she owned. Her goal? To dedicate herself full-time to pot.
Narrowly escaping 54 years of jail time after Alaska piled on criminal charges for recreational use, the cannapreneur now uses her experience in the bud business to assist others entering the industry. She also penned a transparent memoir titled Fuck It: A Guide To Letting Go and Living Free about her trials and triumphs as a Nigerian-American and her journey through sexual assault, stripping and selling weed.
"It's so important to me, as one of most visible people in cannabis, to show others that the industry is for them—that the community that exists right now is for them," she told Forbes. "In cannabis, you don't have to fit anyone's mold; you can create your own.” She eventually led the state of Alaska to legalize marijuana, garnered over 100 million views for a ganja-themed online talk show and launched a CBD beauty line. Today, she is one of the leading Black voices in marijuana reform. And because the disparities between Blacks and non-Blacks in the cannabis community are well-documented, her accomplishments on the road to legalizing the drug are monumental, unprecedented and revolutionary.