There are more women in the Cannabis industry than any other at the moment! According to a study by Marijuana Business Daily, from 2015, women make up 36% of executive level positions in the cannabis industry, and that is compared to the national U.S. average of 22%. Legal marijuana could in fact become an industry dominated by women if the percentages we are seeing continue to rise. In the corporate world, women hold few engineering positions in tech, and many are sorely underrepresented as executives in finance, as well. There is a chance here in the cannabis market, for women to become a driving force and get to that next level, for which other industries often elude them.
The idea is that, since this is an industry being born essentially at this moment in time, there are myriad of ways to break traditions and develop new business models as they are clearly not set yet. As the industry emerges and evolves, women are deciding they will not care if they are pre-judged or stereotyped anymore, they are empowered by creating their own rules. This is an opportunity to enter a dynamic field that has no hierarchy as of yet, maybe even shatter that glass ceiling.
It is true there could be big payoffs for entrepreneurs in this market but we are also talking about something that is federally illegal, which can easily destabilize its status. Never before has there been such potential for leveling the ratio of female executives, and women are willing to assert this risk. The encouraging thing is, as a multi-million dollar industry, cannabis lends itself to the world of health, wellness and self-care, something that most women are naturally adept with.
Another interesting aspect of creating work through the cannabis market is that there is a very real difference between how a new industry approaches the work-life balance. This is something that has typically always plagued women, as they are mostly the ones to have to juggle family and work, and most other corporate jobs do not lend themselves well to flexible scheduling. This doesn’t mean that female entrepreneurs in cannabis, don’t work tirelessly at what they do, it simply means, reaching that positive balance is considered an extension of a healthy lifestyle for anyone fit to run a company, and women know how to find that sweet spot for their busy, modern lives.
Mina Carrillo left her job as a software engineer to launch her company, ‘Baron’s Confections’, a line of clean, green and certified edibles infused with cannabis to help her daughter Christina (who suffers from seizures, brought on by a rare brain disorder), and others who are battling severe illness. As successful as her endeavor may be, she maintains that this is ‘not about money, it is about being a humanitarian.’
Cheryl Shuman founded her line ‘Beverly Hills Cannabis Club’, that delivers high quality cannabis products to several countries, after her struggle with battling cancer. She feels cannabis was a huge factor is saving her life.
A distinct example of an organization that embodies this is ‘Women Grow’, which launched in 2014 and now boasts a membership of over 30 active chapters across the United States. Their aim is to educate women about cannabis so that they can feel confident to succeed within the industry with events that center around topics of how to launch a company and how to cultivate a client list. There is an urgency to get in on it now, before larger companies have a chance to muscle themselves in with money and politics. It is an exciting time, and with women helping women, the possibilities are endless.