Women in the Cannabis Industry
You may be wondering who is surprisingly close to the front of the pack in such an exciting and daring market. Women in the cannabis industry have a significant impact on the cannabis markets. It’s been a wild ride in the world of regulated cannabis over the last few years.
According to a July 2019 Cannabis Industry Daily article, women held nearly 37% of executive-level positions in cannabis. There are also books, magazines, and even a documentary about women who use cannabis. While there appears to be much to be optimistic about as a woman entering the cannabis industry, some argue that we still have a long way to go for equal representation and ownership for women in weed.
History of Women in Cannabis
Some say the landscape is still as welcoming to women in business and ownership as it is to anyone interested in cannabis. While 37% is an outstanding share for women in a single market, MJBiz Con’s study shows this number shifting over time.
Today, the percentage of women holding those top positions has dropped to 22%. That’s despite the findings in a recent white paper from The Arcview Group and the National Cannabis Industry Association concluding companies with women in leadership roles are actually more profitable and produce more than twice the revenue per dollar invested than those without them.
Women in Weed Unite
Organizing is a massive weapon against patriarchal society. The good thing is that groups and organizations are working on it. The industry that affects all other verticals is a nurse, marketer, farmer, attorney, and product maker.
Overall, a major concern for women in weed is a lack of capital to grow large-scale businesses. Women also report low support for working in cannabis. Thousands of small businesses and startups exist, but they need more capital, support, and professional resources to survive.
Top 5 Women in the Weed Industry
For a long time, cannabis culture stereotypes centered on the stoner dude. In the popular imagination, weed warriors were guys. And now it’s women’s. We need to recognize the talented women that are driving the cannabis sector. While there are many qualified cannabis experts, we’ve chosen the top 5 women in the cannabis industry.
1. Jennifer Whetzel
Jennifer Whetzel is the founder of Women in Cannabis Study (WICS) whose study’s end goal is to advance diversity in the industry while continually supporting businesses, consumers and policy advocates. She is also the principal of Ladyjane Branding, whose mission is simple to “help entrepreneurs stand out and sell more”.
2. Amy Margolis
Amy Margolis is a cannabis lawyer. She formed the largest advocate group, the Oregon Cannabis Association. She recently started The Initiative, an incubator for female-based cannabis firms. A massive network of women aiding women, mentorship, education, and funding assistance. She used to be a lawyer, advocating for the rights of cannabis users.
3. Wanda James
The War on Drugs has extensively criminalized black communities in the US, often targeting cannabis. Wanda and her husband own Denver’s Simply Pure Dispensary. First African Americans to open a legal cannabis growing and edibles business. Wanda continues to push for racial fairness in the cannabis sector.
4. Dr. Sue Sisley
Dr. Suzanne Sisley is a psychiatric pioneer in cannabis research. She is famous for her pioneering work on cannabis as a treatment for PTSD.
Sue understands the value of accessibility, having been born with a vision problem. She has been using cutting-edge technologies like digital stethoscopes to treat patients in remote and neglected areas since 2009. Debunking myths and reducing stigma, she teaches other doctors about the benefits of cannabis.
Dr. Sisley has fought the FDA for over a decade to have cannabis flower approved as a medication. Currently, many patients can hardly afford medicinal cannabis treatment. If Dr. Sisley wins, US insurance companies will have to cover cannabis like any other drug.
5. Fernanda de la Figuera
Another legendary senior to end this list. Fernanda de la Figuera, dubbed “Spain’s weed granny,” is a legalization vet. Commercial cannabis is illegal in Spain, but personal growing and usage are legal. Personal producers frequently form cannabis clubs, agreeing to share use and not distribute beyond their circle.
This group was created to help women who use medical cannabis find safe sources. The noble actions of Spain’s weed granny resulted in a nine-month prison sentence. The ridiculousness of the allegations and targeting of an old woman shows how far Spain’s cannabis laws have to go. In the end, Fernanda hopes to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
We don’t have a crystal ball or any other way of predicting what the future holds for women in weed. Our vision is to remind ourselves and our community during Women Empowerment Month that we can do anything we put our minds to.
At Sugar Ray’s, we say focus on your WHY, your mission, put one foot in front of the other, and don’t waste time judging what others are doing at the moment. Focus on getting clear about what you need and want, and you will attract others who want and need things that align with your mission.
That goes for any industry. Those who direct their power in a positive direction will be supported by the universe.
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