Katie Stem’s journey to a career in cannabis started with traditional Western medicine studies in college. That path took a left turn, however, when she was introduced to natural remedies while researching at Oregon Heath & Science University. She switched gears and completed a master’s degree in Chinese medicine instead. She decided to ply her entrepreneurial skills and medicinal expertise to launch Peak Extracts. Katie’s expertise, however, didn’t shield her from sexism and homophobia in the cannabis industry, nor the challenges of Oregon’s saturated market.
Katie positioned Peak to thrive by:
- Intelligently introducing automation into her extraction facility.
- Recognizing and creatively maneuvering around barriers that others tried to place in front of her.
- Operating leanly in a saturated marketplace.
- Taking a hands-on approach to bringing innovative products to market.
Who is Katie Stem?
Katie Stem is the co-founder and CEO of Peak Extracts, a Portland, Oregon-based company that manufactures vape cartridges, edibles, tinctures and topicals. The Washington state native was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in the early 2000s, which led her to use cannabis as a personal treatment and become her own test subject for developing strain-specific products.