Wanda James – CEO | Simply Pure
Ms. James is the CEO of Simply Pure Dispensary and the managing partner at the Cannabis Global Initiative (CGI), a marketing and consulting firm that specializes in public relations, regulation and political outreach. The company is dedicated to consistently providing innovative solutions through strategic alliances, and message development surrounding the decriminalization and legalization of cannabis.
Ms. James is a leading advocate in the cannabis industry. She and her husband were the first African Americans licensed to own a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado, and the cutting edge cannabis edible company, Simply Pure.
Wanda’s political, professional and financial work on cannabis reform has led to her being named the 2010 Marijuana Advocate of the Year by Westword Magazine and has featured her in numerous national and international shows including The BBC, Smile Jamaica, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, CBS Sunday Morning Holiday Special, “Eat, Drink and be Merry” and on CNBC’s Marijuana USA.
Ms. James past clients have included Jared Polis for Congress in Colorado’s CD2 and Lt. Colonel Jay Fawcett for Congress in Colorado’s CD5. In 2008, Ms. James was appointed to President Obama’s National Finance Committee and became one of the largest bundlers of donations for President Barack Obama in Colorado.
Prior to starting her own venture, Wanda was the Corporate Director of Marketing at Southern California Presbyterian Homes and the Southwest Regional Sales Director for two Fortune 100 companies, Unum Insurance and Avery Dennison.
Wanda graduated from the University of Colorado in 1986. Upon graduation, she was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy. Her position in Naval Integrated Underwater Surveillance (IUSS) transferred her to Virginia Beach, Bermuda and New York City.
Ms. James is a graduate of the Inaugural Class of the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute at the University of Southern California and a former President of the National Women’s Political Caucus. She was appointed to the Los Angeles Small and Local Business Commission and sat on the Board of Directors for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Greater Los Angeles African American Chamber of Commerce. Ms. James was also a member of the University of Colorado Alumni Board of Directors.