In the bustling landscape of the cannabis industry, innovation and vision have become the cornerstones of success. AssurPack® has worked tirelessly to be a beacon of diversity and innovation and was recently recognized and certified as a Women Owned Business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Going a step beyond that, AssurPack is the first Women-Owned Cannabis company!
We sit down with Nancy Warner, AssurPack®’s founder, and we delve into her journey, the significance of WBENC certification, and the company’s aspirations in shaping the cannabis packaging sector.
A Journey Defined by Resilience and Innovation
Nancy Warner, a trailblazer in the packaging industry, has always stood out as the first woman in many of her professional endeavors. Armed with a college degree in packaging, her career has been a testament to breaking barriers. Early on, she became the head of packaging in the pharmaceutical industry at a remarkably young age, showcasing her work ethic and tenacity. However, she felt that she needed to fit the mold of the corporate landscape, and its limitations led her to embrace sales and business development, offering her the freedom to interact with a diverse set of individuals.
“Sales equals KPIs; nobody can question your performance when you’re producing results,” she emphasizes, highlighting the entrepreneurial spirit that has defined her career choices. She recalls being the first woman to sell pharmaceutical contract packaging, overcoming considerable challenges and biases. “It was a boys club. They gave the guys better accounts and resources,” she reflects, acknowledging the inequality and her determination to carve her own path. Being the only woman in a male-dominated industry emphasized that anything she wanted to achieve, she’d have to pursue on her own, to get.
Pioneering Cannabis Packaging with Purpose
The decision to enter the cannabis industry was born from a personal connection to legalization discussions in Colorado. Attending trade shows and interacting with the community highlighted the industry’s nascent state, especially in packaging. “Things were very rudimentary,” she recalls, explaining the industry’s early packaging requirements. At this point, states still needed regulations in place for product packaging. Having spent time observing, acting, and understanding packaging for controlled substances, Nancy knew she could bring her expertise. AssurPack®’s flagship product, AssurCard®, emerged as the star SKU, featuring patented child-resistant mechanisms and being accessible enough to open with one hand.
“I wanted to do more than just create packaging; I wanted to make a difference,” she shares, underscoring the drive behind her entrepreneurial journey. Nancy had previously worked to build a different contract packaging company that didn’t work out due to regulation changes. During this, she learned all the fundamentals of building a business: creating and managing supply chains, sales systems, and operations. AssurPack® was poised for growth.
Empowering Diversity through WBENC Certification
The recent WBENC certification marks a significant milestone for AssurPack®. “I wanted to set the bar,” the founder asserts, describing her motivation behind pursuing the certification. Collaborating with WomenGrow and Trulieve in a certification-focused boot camp, she navigated the extensive process. The certification process demanded a well-structured, woman-run, and owned business with thorough documentation, an attribute AssurPack® naturally possessed.
“The WBENC certification brings credibility and third-party validation to our claims,” she explains. It is no small feat to become the first certified women-owned cannabis company. It is history. This certification aligns with AssurPack®’s method of validity in the marketplace, making the products certified to the highest quality so nobody can question your claims.
Shaping the Future with Sustainability and Innovation
AssurPack®’s commitment extends beyond certifications, focusing on sustainability and innovation. As a proponent of eco-friendliness, Nancy believes in responsible packaging solutions. “The future of the packaging industry is at a perilous point,” she acknowledges, aware of the challenges in transitioning to more sustainable practices. Despite hurdles, AssurPack® endeavors to make impactful strides within its resources, finding new and different ways to make packaging as effective as possible while minimizing environmental damage as much as possible.
One such innovation is AssurSeal®, a culmination of innovation from pharma packaging experience and a sealing mechanism to protect cannabis quality. “It’s airtight, easy to open with one hand, and highly compliant,” she proudly states. This packaging solution showcases AssurPack®’s dedication to meeting and exceeding market demands.
A Glimpse into the Future
Looking ahead, Nancy envisions AssurPack®’s role as a catalyst for positive change within the cannabis industry. “I want to create packaging solutions that are technically sound, environmentally friendly, and continually evolving to meet the industry’s needs,” she enthuses. With her technical expertise, a diverse staff of seasoned veterans, and a steadfast commitment to progress, AssurPack® aims to shape the future of cannabis packaging.
In a world where innovation, empowerment, and sustainability converge, AssurPack® is the head of this progress. With a pioneering spirit, a dedication to diversity, and a focus on creating purpose-built solutions, this Women Owned Business is poised to leave its mark on the cannabis packaging landscape.