Meet Nickole Ross, cannabis queen

March 5, 2024

For Nickole Ross, cannabis is a family business.

The chief operations officer for Noohra Labs co-owns the medical marijuana processing company with her family. Her dad, Ted, is CEO; mom, Niki, is outreach director; and sisters, Neariah and Taylor, are operations director and quality manager, respectively.

“We are a company that makes medicine,” Nickole said. “We take flower that has been grown from cultivators. Then we extract all the oils and all the different cannabinoids that are inside of the plant and make it into product.”

Nickole’s path through the cannabis industry actually began with infused dining. She partnered with a chef friend to launch the first cannabis restaurant in California.

“One day we just said, hey, let’s incorporate cannabis and food together. Because they are two major components that people are willing to share,” Nickole recalled. “Traditionally people use it in edibles like cookies or brownies, but you rarely find people using it for food. The conduit of food is such an important ingredient to our body. So we just decided to pair those two things together.”

At the same time, she began working with her family back home in Dayton to write their application to become Ohio’s first minority-owned, women-led cannabis company. The state awarded their license in 2019.

“There are a lot of different things that we wanted to be able to make sure we had in this cannabis industry. One was ownership,” Nickole said. “So many people are left out due to the war on drugs. It has been a privilege to…create the impact that’s important for those who have been incarcerated based off of the same thing that we now now get to use from a legal and a medical perspective.”

But the path from getting a license to opening the manufacturing floor, was not easy — or cheap.

Check out Nickole’s full story in the latest episode in our I Am an Entrepreneur series.