Genifer Murray is one of the leading figures in the rapidly growing legal cannabis industry, and she is co-founder of a cannabis inspired jewelry company that is headquartered right here in the Valley of the Sun. She is considered to be both a pioneer and an influential leader in the industry, and was the first to introduce CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta to “Charlotte’s Web,” a high-CBD, low-THC strain of cannabis that is being successfully used to treat epilepsy – often when other conventional treatments have failed. This introduction led Gupta to write a series of important essays that outlined why he changed his views on the legalization of marijuana (he is now in favor of legalization), and is considered an important milestone in the march toward replacing prohibition with sensible regulations, and increasing scientific research.
At the time of the Gupta interviews, Genifer was the founder and president of CannLabs, one of the first cannabis testing facilities in the nation.
But let’s start the story even earlier.
Genifer had researched the medicinal value of cannabis and CBD – one of the many non-psychoactive components of the plant. She had personally talked to hundreds of people who told her of their personal stories with medical marijuana, and how the plant improved their quality of life, reduced or eliminated certain ailments, and provided healing where mainstream medicine had failed. After years of researching the issues, Genifer became an ardent supporter of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
However, at the time, there was a major problem with the cannabis supply in America… it was largely unregulated and untested. This meant that a patient didn’t really know what they were getting, and the plant they used today could be completely different than the plant they used next week.
Murray decided to help tackle this problem by opening one of the first cannabis testing labs in the nation.
“At first, the results we were getting were terrible,” she said. “A large percentage of the cannabis we were testing was showing signs of contaminants, or the percentage of active ingredients was inconsistent from one plant to another.”
Through dogged pressure, Genifer, along with concerned citizens, regulators and industry influencers, started pushing for better and cleaner grow operations that could provide higher quality products on a consistent basis.
During this period, while Genifer helped create the framework for industry standards, she was also involved with helping women get into the burgeoning cannabis industry.
She became a founding member of the Women’s CannaBusiness Network, which later became the foundation for the Women Grow organization and movement.
Having moved to Colorado, Murray lobbied for cannabis regulation, banking, and the 280E tax issue; served on the Governor’s Task Force; and helped implement Amendment 64 to end cannabis prohibition.
It was during this time, when she was meeting with state legislators, that Genifer asked her father, Glenn Murray, a Scottsdale resident and jeweler and gemologist by profession if he could create a piece for her that would demonstrate her passion for safe and regulated cannabis. Glenn hand-crafted a beautiful gold pendant in the shape of a indica cannabis leaf, and filled it with diamonds. This attention-grabbing piece became the focus of conversation everywhere she went. The father and daughter duo realized they were on to something, and along with her stepmother, Pam, the Murray’s decided to start a cannabis-inspired jewelry company. They named it GENIFER M Jewelry, and rest, as they say, is history. Today, the company is the leading luxury cannabis-inspired jewelry company in the nation, and is selling its products from coast-to-coast.
Genifer said that her primary reason for starting GENIFER M Jewelry was to stimulate a conversation about the many benefits of cannabis – such as healing, job creation, and increased revenues for communities. And while many of the company’s customers are passionate about cannabis, others just wear the jewelry because it is so beautiful.
“The truth is, while many of our customers are ardent supporters of cannabis legalization, others just love the look of our pieces – especially our leather and beaded bracelets and “molecule” necklaces,” she said. “I am proud that my father has designed a full line of jewelry that ranges from subtle to bold, and allows people to personally express themselves in a manner that suits their individuality.”
Murray’s dedication to the cannabis industry was recently acknowledged when she was named Cannabis Industry Woman of the Year, an award she is humbled and honored to have received.
Genifer is a proud Arizonian who now splits her time between Colorado and the Grand Canyon State, and is appreciative to be on the front lines of an industry that she loves and cares about so deeply.