Shanita Penny, MBA is a cannabis advocate, business professional and entrepreneur with over 18 years of experience helping world class companies and startups solve complex issues and improve business performance in multiple industries. As an internationally recognized management consultant and certified Project Management Professional, Shanita brings an essential skillset coupled with immense passion to the cannabis industry.
Shanita is a proud alumna of North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Transportation and Logistics Management and completed internships with Polo Ralph Lauren, Harley-Davidson and Miller Brewing Company. As a lifelong learner, she brought her corporate experiences into the classroom during her graduate studies at the University of Baltimore and Towson University. Shanita fearlessly led a team of marketing consultants in Lisbon, Portugal as a Wright Global Scholar while working towards a Master of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in International Marketing.
In 2015, Shanita took a leap of faith and founded Budding Solutions, a boutique cannabis consulting firm based in Baltimore, MD, to provide Management and Strategy consulting services to small businesses and multistate operators. Budding Solutions supports cannabis advocates, business professionals, entrepreneurs and policy-makers nationwide to achieve exceptional results. Over the past 5 years, she has helped clients establish and scale compliant, successful cannabis businesses, while simultaneously empowering them to positively impact the burgeoning cannabis industry and the greater community. Budding Solutions’ client portfolio includes: 4Front, Ardent Cannabis, FiveTen Wellness, Julian Marley JuJu Royal Brand, Keystone Dispensaries and Kind Therapeutics just to name a few.
Shanita is the immediate past President of the Board of Directors for the Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), the first non-profit organization created specifically to progress the cannabis industry by increasing diversity through the creation of equal access and economic empowerment for cannabis businesses, their patients, and the communities most affected by the war on drugs. Under her leadership, the MCBA hosted its inaugural Congressional Black Caucus Lobby Day, multiple policy summits and produced a model municipal ordinance that has influenced social equity policy throughout the country. In June 2019, Ms. Penny testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Small Business Committee for a hearing to examine the role of small businesses in the cannabis industry.
Shanita’s entrepreneurial pursuits in recent years include partnerships in a Pennsylvania medical cannabis cultivation and processing operation and a North Carolina hemp farm. She lives to “end the stigma associated with cannabis” through her advocacy, businesses and responsible consumption.