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Kristin Murr-Sloat: “Regarding reform”

There’s such a large misconception that feminism is a bad word or equates to man hater. When in reality, feminism is humanism at its core. We just want the same rights as everyone else, and I say this as a white woman. I would be remiss to not mention that Black women have it harder […]

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There’s such a large misconception that feminism is a bad word or equates to man hater. When in reality, feminism is humanism at its core. We just want the same rights as everyone else, and I say this as a white woman. I would be remiss to not mention that Black women have it harder than I do, by far. So again, it’s important to vet your employees and the people you do business with, make sure they are good companies that stand and fight for what’s right — equality. As a society, we can also support women run businesses and businesses that fight for what we deem important. We also need to stop sexualising women as a selling point for cannabis, this is so hurtful to the movement and what we could stand for as an industry.


Asa part of my series about strong women leaders in the cannabis industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kristin Murr-Sloat, Co-Owner at AlpinStash.

Kristin Murr-Sloat was born and raised in Colorado where she grew up playing hockey. After sustaining a back injury, she began the typical regimen of OTC and pharmaceutical pain remedies. It wasn’t until Murr tried cannabis that she noticed immediate relief. With two years of commercial cannabis bakery experience and a desire to continue paving her way in the emerging cannabis industry, Murr joined AlpinStash, handling logistics and cultivating cannabis along with her husband and AlpinStash co-owner Danny Murr-Sloat. Over the years, the couple have brought their vision of helping people access the highest quality cannabis possible to life. Today, Murr’s also a proud, pro-cannabis mom. AlpinStash is a licensed Colorado-based company known for healthy and beautiful cannabis cultivated using all-natural methods. Small-batch, grown-with-love, hand-trimmed and glass-cured to perfection, AlpinStash is a leader in the craft cannabis movement.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the cannabis industry?

When it comes to consuming cannabis, I was a late bloomer. I started smoking when I was 20 years old at the suggestion of a close friend. I was taking opioids and muscle relaxers for a hockey related back injury. This changed my life drastically, so I stopped taking opioids and my perception of cannabis evolved. Fast forward to 10 years later — I was teaching pre-school and deeply unsatisfied. I went to a float tank session and decided I wanted to enter into the cannabis industry to work on a cause I believe in. At this time, AlpinStash was just getting off of the ground and couldn’t afford to pay me. We decided it would be smart if I went to work at a bakery and learn another side of the industry while making money at the same time. So, I began working at a cannabis bakery in Boulder for a couple years, finding time to visit the grow on my off hours and the weekends.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

Old habits die hard I’ve found, and by old habits I mean…the patriarchy. With so many women in high ranking positions in this industry, I was excited to join them. Unfortunately, in the beginning, I experienced a bit of sexisism. A lot of times when Danny, my husband/co-owner, and I would speak to people, they would look past me and only address him. Or I would receive comments like, “Your job is to keep him in line right?” or “Who does all the heavy lifting?” This happened a lot, and at the time AlpinStash was mostly women. This was frustrating to say the least since I had met so many amazing strong women in the industry.

Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

These experiences pushed me to vet businesses before speaking with them, to make sure our morals and beliefs aligned. They’ve also inspired me to follow and focus on women and their journey in our industry, which has evolved to include other cannabis moms.

Do you have a funny story about how someone you knew reacted when they first heard you were getting into the cannabis industry?

I’m not sure I have a funny story really. When I told my family and friends I was leaving early childhood education and focusing on cannabis no one seemed surprised or shocked in the least bit. It was mostly “ you’ll be a great fit” or “ that suits you.” I’m extremely lucky to have an amazing support system.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

I’m often asked about my experiences when I was learning to grow and who I learned from. I am so thankful and lucky to have learned from someone I also love, my now husband Danny Murr-Sloat. He is an extraordinary grower and an even better teacher. Running a business with your partner is, and can be, complicated, but I think what really helps us, is that we excel where the other lacks. I’ve always had a love for plants and interest in them, but I definitely lacked knowledge when it came to the intricacies of growing organic and in living soil. We laugh a lot and argue a lot… if I’m being honest. But I think it’s what makes our company special, we are literally a mom and pop shop.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Despite great progress that has been made we still have a lot more work to do to achieve gender parity in this industry. According to this report in Entrepreneur, less than 25 percent of cannabis businesses are run by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender parity moving forward?

Unfortunately, this issue is something we are and have been fighting for in all walks of life, as women and as a society for decades. As previously mentioned, this industry has a lot of potential to pave the way in equality on all accounts.

I’ll never forget my first podcast interview with a pretty large name in the industry. He asked me what my experience had been so far in the industry as a woman. As I was sharing the shortcomings and sexism I had experienced, he interrupted me to tell me HIS interpretation of being a woman in the industry: “There’s so many women in high paying positions, being a woman in cannabis is great” and so on. This reaction was unfortunately not surprising, as women are used to being told what their experience is by men. So I would ask that when you are running a business, it’s important to make sure you are hiring people that are willing to listen to all voices. Do I think you should hire only women? No. Do I think you should hire feminists? Yes.

There’s such a large misconception that feminism is a bad word or equates to man hater. When in reality, feminism is humanism at its core. We just want the same rights as everyone else, and I say this as a white woman. I would be remiss to not mention that Black women have it harder than I do, by far. So again, it’s important to vet your employees and the people you do business with, make sure they are good companies that stand and fight for what’s right — equality. As a society, we can also support women run businesses and businesses that fight for what we deem important. We also need to stop sexualising women as a selling point for cannabis, this is so hurtful to the movement and what we could stand for as an industry.

You are a “Cannabis Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the cannabis industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each.

I strongly suggest touring the facility you want to work for before accepting the position. You want to make sure that they are following the guidelines and laws. This is extremely important on the growing side, as you want to make sure their facility is clean and they aren’t using harmful products that can affect your health and the product.

As a woman this is also extremely important as you want to make sure you are safe and working for someone who respects you for your brain and work ethic. Talk to people who have worked there or with the company as they usually won’t hold back. When I first started working at the cannabis bakery, there were some red flags from previous employees that I ignored, this ended up being a bad idea in the end.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the cannabis industry?

  1. I am so excited and thankful that we have this platform to spread education about this medicine and the stigma attached to it.
  2. I hope as the industry grows and we continue to educate, the momentum can lead to the expulsion of records for people who are still in prison due to cannabis, moreover BIPOC who are discriminated against and wrongly held in prison and jail for cannabis charges.
  3. The possibility that cannabis can be prescribed by doctors and take the place of harmful pharmaceuticals is exciting as well.

Can you share 2 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

  1. Banking: the fact that the only banks available to us cost an arm and a leg per month per account and have large waiting lists. It is so frustrating! It makes it very hard for small businesses like ours to use this option.
  2. I worry often about the possibility of large corporations coming in and taking over. Which would undo everything we are fighting for as far as equality and sustainability.
  3. Regarding reform: We can improve the industry by using more artistic and inventive marketing by supporting local artists, making it more inclusive to a wider variety of consumers. Making banks more accessible to us as they are to most businesses would be a step in the right direction. VOTE! And be aware of national and local elections and decisions being made about cannabis.

What are your thoughts about federal legalization of cannabis?

Federal legalization would be wonderful wouldn’t it? This would provide so many people with the relief they so desperately want medically. Not to mention, this would also mean that our goal of education and de-stigmatization would be well on it’s way, as well as the fight to free the people wrongly incarcerated for cannabis. I am 100% for pursuing federal legalization, but I admit there is also some fear that comes with this. I do worry that with these large corporations will become big players in the game, similarly to the beer industry. My hope is that there will always be a place for craft products.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends.” — Albus Dumbledore.

This is actually painted on the wall of my son’s nursery. We often learn to stand up to those who wrong us or stand in the way of our dreams. But, it’s rarely explained that these obstacles or issues can come from friends or people you love. I also believe that we have a responsibility to those we love to be honest and hold them to the same standard (if not higher) than we hold everyone else. I happen to be someone who holds people I care about to a much higher standard than most, this can be complicated and difficult for all involved. However, I think I can equate the long lasting and close relationships I have to this as well.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

This year is difficult, and I think there are so many long lasting evils coming to light. Get behind the “movement” — I hate using the word “movement” for the fight against systemic racism, because it’s been so prevalent in our world since the dawn of time, but it has been an issue since the beginning of time, and we need to stand with our BIPOC community. Activism comes in all forms. I suggest finding what suits your ability best. Educating yourself and those around you is a great starting point and PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE VOTE.

Thank you so much for the time you spent with this. We wish you only continued success!

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