Co-Founder and CEO of Wana Brands Nancy Whiteman to Serve as Keynote Speaker for 2022 Spring Commencement

Known as “The Martha Stewart of Cannabis Edibles,” Whiteman will address more than 1,200 graduates.

The Community College of Denver (CCD) will welcome noted cannabis entrepreneur Co-Founder and CEO of Wana Brands Nancy Whiteman as its keynote speaker for the 2022 spring commencement on Thursday, May 12, on the Auraria campus.

Over the past decade, Wana Brands has become a top international brand available in more than 3,000 dispensaries across the United States and Canada. Whiteman leads the company’s strategic vision and has been instrumental in Wana Brands’ growth into new and emerging markets, including the recent deal with Canopy Growth Corp., a licensed producer in Canada, which has purchased the right to acquire the company upon federal permissibility of THC in the US.

“I am honored to have been invited to address CCD’s graduating class,” Whiteman said. “It is inspiring to see institutions of higher learning such as CCD embracing the potential of the cannabis industry for their students through cannabis degree programs. I look forward to sharing some of my life experiences in the hopes that my journey will resonate with the class of 2022 as they embark on the next chapter of their professional career.”

Whiteman has been recognized as one of High Times 100 (April 2022) and named MJBizDaily’s first-ever Industry Impact Award Winner (December 2019).

Prior to Wana, Whiteman was a principal with The Whiteman Group, a sales and marketing consultancy, and previously held multiple positions as a senior-level marketing professional including Vice President, Marketing and New Corporate Ventures for the Paul Revere Insurance Group in Massachusetts. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

“We are thrilled to have Nancy join us and share her entrepreneurial journey with our graduates,” said CCD President Marielena DeSanctis, Ph.D. “What makes community colleges so special is that we can quickly design academic programs that answer the needs of our changing business industry. CCD is one of a handful of institutions creating a pipeline of cannabis professionals, and we are fortunate they can learn from successful leaders like Nancy.”

CCD was the first higher education institution in Colorado to offer degrees that directly address the cannabis industry. In 2021, the college launched an Associate of Applied Science in Cannabis Business and a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Cannabis Science and Operations. This fall, CCD will expand its cannabis program, adding three short-term non-credit certificates in Cannabis Retail, Cannabis Manufacturing and Cannabis Cultivation to its academic offerings.  

The hybrid commencement ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 12. Graduates are invited to participate in person on the Auraria campus and virtually via a live stream of inspirational speeches and a scrolling list of graduate names. The in-person celebration will be held between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 9th Street Park, next to CCD's Confluence building. To learn more about the commencement ceremony, please visit ccd.edu/commencement.

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About Community College of Denver 

Community College of Denver (CCD) is a leading point of entry to higher education for the city and county of Denver. CCD provides cost-effective, high-quality college education, along with access and opportunity for non-traditional students, workforce development, training resources for local organizations, and community partnerships. CCD is a federally funded Hispanic Serving and designated Military Friendly Institution. Learn more at ccd.edu.