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People's Magazine - Marijuana Millionaires

Villano doesn’t sell marijuana, but she has made a small fortune – $2 million, according to her records – untangling the complicated business issues for those who do. For instance, can you market weed for recreational use if you’re licensed to sell medical marijuana? (Answer: Nope.) The former bikini model and event planner was working as a paralegal in 2009 when she started fielding questions from clients interested in the medical-marijuana biz. Now Villano is the go-to cannabis consultant, charging $100 an hour for advice on licensing, branding, mergers and acquisitions. A self-described “workaholic,” she began the first accredited marijuana university (offering courses like Cannabis Business Marketing 101 and Intro to Greenhouse) and an industry awards show. Some of the proceeds from the show go to a children’s charity, and she is starting a trade association to help those who want to enter the field even beyond Colorado’s borders. (Medical use is legal in 22 states.) Still, Villano, who drives a 10-year-old Mercedes, says, “I’ve never felt that I’ve ‘made it.’ Anything can happen. If the feds decided to shut down every business in this state, did we make it?”

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