When the world’s most famous hip-hop star and successful businessman, actor and cannabis activist personally taps you to launch his highly anticipated new brand, chances are it’s because you’re the best. And make no mistake, Tiffany Chin is precisely that. Ask Snoop about his head of cannabis ventures at his new Death Row Cannabis brand.
Chin’s career took off in earnest more than a decade ago with an internship at Snoop’s entertainment management agency, Stampede, which was founded by fellow University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School grad Ted Chung. “People who graduate from my university usually go into banking or consulting; they don’t go to Los Angeles and pursue an entertainment career,” Chin says, who holds a B.S. in Economics from the same prestigious Ivy League institution. “My boss went to the same school, so for lack of a better term, you could call it ‘distant educational nepotism.’”
It was a bit of a gamble for both sides, but Chin quickly proved her business chops and moved up to the role of business development manager at Stampede. Her love of cannabis and its culture also played in her favor. “No one in the company had the business acumen and education I had while also smoking cannabis every day,” Chin says. “No one understood the culture and could keep up when it came to blunts, jays, vapes, edibles—all that stuff.”
Chin is the first to admit her hesitancy in accepting the role, as she didn’t want to be pigeonholed at the start of her career. Plus, cannabis was only legal for adult use in two states. “I didn’t really understand what the trajectory of this industry would look like,” Chin says. “Luckily for me, I stayed.”
Most recently, Chin, along with her team, including legendary west coast legacy cultivator AK and Snoop’s long-time producer, Shaggy, launched Death Row Cannabis. Chin says the move comes as a full-circle moment for Snoop, who in 2022 purchased the Death Row Records label—where he was first signed as a young artist. At the time, Chin was taking a hiatus from cannabis to become a mom and work with tech start-ups. Chin remembers Snoop telling her he’d purchased the Los Angeles-based record label, texting her to say, “It’s mine.”
While Chin has noticed more women stepping into influential roles since returning from her hiatus, she says she’s still not seeing enough women who are true decision makers, holding positions including legal counsel, marketing experts or operation consultants. Women, in general, are what I like to call ‘CPOs’ or the ‘chief purchasing officers’ of most households,” Chin says. According to multiple sources, women make 80 percent of household purchasing decisions on average. Chin says, in cannabis, it’s not quite as high—more like around 60 percent. Yet, when you look at the people who constitute the organizations, the retailers, the facilities and grows, the majority are men.
To some extent, Chin believes that gender bias still exists within the industry and says that ideally, there would be more female CEOs and presidents running businesses and creating value, as women are proven to be more effective in running businesses. “There’s a Harvard Business Review article called “Research: Adding Women to the C-Suite Changes How Companies Think” that states women run more efficient businesses, just as much as men; they’re more risk-seeking in terms of wanting to take actions that may or may not be proven to help their bottom line; and they also end up resulting in more socially responsible business as well,” Chin says.
When it comes to the future of cannabis, Chin wants to see more women in those high-power, decision-making roles—“not just ‘You’re our CMO and here’s a budget,’ but rather, ‘What’s the budget and how can I affect that change and position it in places where I think it will be most effective?” she says, adding that it often starts with having the confidence to speak up and stand up for yourself. “I’d love to see more women, not just near the top, but at the top, to really affect meaningful changes—not just for women, but for everybody.”