How One Woman Turned Tragedy into an Empire
August 1 , 2018
Updated 11:30 PST
Women in general are used to wearing many hats - It’s what we do, and we wear each hat well. But, every so often there's one rare woman who wears several hats, and THEN SOME. Meet Chloe Villano - the woman who knows just about all there is to know about cannabis, and she’s more than happy to help teach you.
Villano is a dynamic woman that took a tragic situation and turned it into a lifetime career of educating others on not only the importance of legalization - but the ins and outs of staying compliant within the ever-changing realm that is the legalized cannabis industry. Back in 2009 Villano launched Clover Leaf Consulting, an executive cannabis business firm. Fast forward just three years after, and she founded the nation’s first state-licensed cannabis university, Clover Leaf University. Chloe Villano’s journey simply goes to show, women truly do have the power and drive to get the job done.
Let’s start from the very beginning:
Villano was living on the east coast when she received a jarring call from her mother - her younger brother, her entire world, was dying of cancer. The (now) ganjapreneur packed up her things and moved back to her home state of Colorado to help her family, and be with her brother. Fortunately enough, Villano had a friend in the medical industry who suggested she give her brother cannabis. After that, everything fell into place.
Villano’s entire world-view shifted when it came to cannabis. Naturally curious, she learned everything she could about the plant, and how effective its healing, and natural pain relieving properties truly are. Unfortunately, Villano’s brother lost his battle - but this only drove Chloe to win the war.
Villano decided she’d stay in Colorado, close with her family. Around this time she began working with a business attorney as his paralegal. When medical marijuana exploded in 2009, Villano found herself fully immersed in the initial stages of legislation, working with the Department of Revenue and several other agencies. She was given a first-hand-account of what it took to become a compliant canna-business. Soon, she developed a name for herself as one of the most sought-after cannabis business consultants in the industry.
Her experience and knowledge, combined with the massive influx and demand for education on the ins-and-outs of starting a legitimate canna-business - naturally led her to start her consulting firm Clover Leaf, LLC. The official launch was held on her late brothers birthday, June 28,2010.
Since its genesis, Clover Leaf Consulting has gained speed - hosting educational events, symposiums and conferences for business owners, business professionals and legislators. Villano was up to her eyeballs in clients, navigating through the complex and highly regulated world of legalized cannabis. She had her clients in groups, assisting with the ins and outs of each industry she had as a canna-client. Eventually, her classes had become so popular, she needed to figure out a better way to manage it all. In comes Clover Leaf University.
Overwhelmed by the amount of clients she had and the different compliance needs they needed covered, Villano wrote up the first real industry business compliance and training system and sent it off to the Department of Higher Education’s private occupational school board. Shocker - she received 100% approval. The university officially started in 2012 with a mission to provide high quality vocational and occupational training available to students, government agencies, execs and business professionals.
That’s a lot for one woman in only three years. Going from someone who initially questioned medical cannabis use, to becoming one of the most coveted cannabis consultants. In an industry just wobbling on its baby legs, individuals and most importantly women, like Villano, are helping pave the way to insure legalization is understood, and businesses stay compliant. Which is so incredibly vital to the industry as a whole.
Though her endeavors, Villano has become a nationally recognized marijuana expert - she’s had her hands in every aspect of the industry, as a public speaker, policy adviser, even as a former dispensary owner. Her knowledge and expertise goes even as far as having advised various government agencies on the development of local and state regulations and compliance standards.
Having the ability to not only understand the complex inner workings of cannabis legalization and regulations, but to take that knowledge and grow it into a platform that disseminates it to others for a more conducive industry - is no easy task. It’s a task only a woman like Chloe Villano could tackle, and she did, and continues to do so. It’s no surprise she’s been featured in People Magazine’s “Marijuana Millionaires” and The International Business Times “20 most influential people in the cannabis industry.”
And now, we recognize her as a true Canna Queen, paving the way for other women to trailblaze in the industry. Chloe Villano is living proof that you can take any experience, good or bad, and with enough drive, passion to learn, and business savvy, turn it into something that benefits the world. Thanks to women like Chloe, the cannabis industry only becomes more legitimized in the eyes of non-believers. A compliant industry is a well regarded industry - and Chloe has lent a huge hand in ensuring the Cannabis Industry, is just that.