Meet Dani Baranowski, City Trees Brand Manager and Vice President of The Chamber of Cannabis. Dani's passion for cannabis and her drive to positively impact the industry made her the perfect fit for our client Q&A series.
Read on to learn more about City Trees, The Chamber of Cannabis, and Dani's vision for the cannabis space.
Describe your journey into the cannabis industry. How and when did it happen?
After graduating college with a degree in International Studies (which I could not have done without the assistance of cannabis), I began working in the Tourism and Hospitality industry and enjoyed sharing my passion for the ocean as a scuba diving instructor. I wasn’t able to consume cannabis while working on the sea, and I was unhappy, stressed, and considering leaving the industry; and then I survived a catastrophic, category 5 hurricane in 2017, Hurricane Irma, and I felt like that was the sign I needed that it was time to pivot. Coming back to the mainland of the US, I was enticed by the exploding cannabis industry. I moved to California and wasn’t able to land a job in a mature and highly competitive market but felt drawn to persistently apply. On a whim, I applied for a job based in Las Vegas as an International Account Manager for a dry herb vaporizer company and they took a chance on me. My first day was MJ Bizcon and I knew I had found my niche. Sharing my love for cannabis, wellness, and health - educating consumers in an informative way, and building relationships. I found a group of friends and a like-minded community when I joined a cannabis advocacy group which launched me into volunteering and being a community servant, all in the name of cannabis.
What was the inspiration behind the Chamber of Cannabis and what do you hope to achieve?
I have been involved in community building and nonprofit organizations my entire life. Early on I recognized that volunteering and helping others get what they need and want was something I was passionate about. The life skills and relationships built with volunteers are valuable and finding like-minded builders of community provides meaningful and deeper connections that can be the catalyst to bigger and better opportunities on all fronts.
Upon joining the Nevada cannabis industry I joined Las Vegas NORML - my background of being charged with a cannabis felony at age 18 gave me street cred and simultaneously furthered my understanding that the unjust cannabis laws from failed drug policy need to be updated, and I could be the person to do so(!). I met Tina Ulman, co-founder and President of the Chamber of Cannabis at a NORML meeting and we became close colleagues after we spent time volunteering and at community events. During the pandemic, we realized that something was missing in our industry, there were patient advocacy groups, medical groups…but there weren’t any organizations that were focused on advancing and representing the businesses and license holders, or those that wanted to move commerce forward in our industry. We realized that everyone in our community was waiting for someone to create a coalition, so we thought, why not us?
We hope to achieve a more united and stronger coalition of leaders that continues to drive innovation and commerce in the Nevada market forward. Due to our economic and tourism infrastructure, Las Vegas will be the Amsterdam of America. Many people will come from all over the world and have the opportunity and privilege to try cannabis for the first time, and I can’t wait to continue building the space to do so. I hope our organization will change our demographics of ownership by bringing diversity and inclusion, and elevating those that have the same drive to make history.
What are your hopes for the future of the cannabis industry as a whole? Any specific changes or advancements you’d like to see?
You recently joined City Trees as Brand Manager. What is City Trees doing differently than other companies in the space?
How can brands like City Trees stay competitive in a booming market like Nevada with all of the different competing companies?
City Trees partners with other cultivators and producers to collaborate as we seek to create products that consumers want and drive the market forward. We never compromise our core values and only produce end products that we, ourselves would consume. Our team is fully committed and passionate about their craft and our leaders respect our expertise and allow this passion to drive the company forward, and provide the opportunity to innovate. Our focus on sustainability and consideration to consumers' needs results in customers aligning with us. Remaining true to our core values and ethos has allowed us to build long lasting relationships with our customers and partners.