The female personification of marijuana, Mary Jane and the significance of the female flower as the source of THC, have set the cannabis industry up to be female-focused.
It’s A Woman’s Weed World
Unlike other historically male-dominated industries (commercial banking, government, military, etc. i.e. everything else), the cannabis industry is new enough to be totally fair game for women to lead and make some serious money while doing it. In fact, the weed world happens to be an industry worth billions of dollars, which could prove to lessen the wage gap that also occurs in other industries. Call it a two bird with one stone kind of thing, but the marijuana industry offers some serious opportunities for Mary Janes all over the country.
And weed women are not only taking hold of this industry opportunity, but they are crushing it. According to a survey of professionals from Marijuana Business Daily, women hold 36 percent of leadership positions across the entire industry. In U.S. companies, in general, less than 20 percent of positional leaders are women.
In an effort to support women’s role in this new world, awesome national organizations like Women Grow was started in 2014. Last week, Women Grow held their second Leadership Summit in Denver, Colorado where Melissa Etheridge compared the significance of women in the cannabis world to social movements like LGBT and marriage equality. A whopping 1,400 cannabis industry professionals attend the event, most of whom were female pot pros rocking the industry.
It is no secret that gender and age diversity within an industry also means innovation and diversification in product creation. In the weed world, the edibles and cannabis-infused health-and-beauty products are growing areas in the industry where women are kicking ass. In processing and infused product manufacturing and testing labs, women hold 48 percent of key decision-making positions such as president, CEO, or owner/founder. In the retail side of the industry, women fill 38 percent of executive roles at dispensaries and recreational stores.
The cannabis industry is proving to be a place where women have more opportunities to climb the ladder to leadership and are progressing towards those goals faster than in all other industries in the U.S.
However, gender roles have not totally dissipated (yet). In the world of marijuana cultivation and cannabis investing firms, most of the leadership is still predominantly men. It is also crucial to note that currently, most marijuana customers are mostly male, but women could be the fastest-growing consumer demographic once national legalization takes place. This is at large due to the fear that women losing their kids to Child Protective Services for an association with marijuana is a very real threat.
The truth of whether women will continue to lead and dominate the cannabis industry can only be proven with time. However, it is incredibly inspiring that at this moment in the cannabis industry’s infancy, women are making serious headway. So for right now, I am hopeful.
What do you think about the marijuana movement led by women? Let us know on social media or in the comments section below.