The cannabis industry is constantly changing, growing, and evolving. In recent years, the prejudices around this powerful plant seem to be slowly disappearing. The green revolution started, not just in the US, where many countries already legalized weed for medicinal and recreational purposes (or at least medicinal), but worldwide. There are more educated people than ever before, and it seems that trend will continue. One thing is sure – the story around cannabis is moving in a much better direction.
Weed legalization brings many perks, and not only for the consumers. There are many economic benefits, such as investment opportunities, new jobs, and more income, tax revenue, to name a few. Many women managed to break into the legal marijuana business, but it raises the question: are women in the cannabis industry just a myth, or is it a successful reality?
Women in the world of cannabis
The legalization of cannabis keeps bringing many benefits, including the economic ones already mentioned. Everyone familiar with this growing industry will say it is fast-paced, which is all about creating innovative opportunities. It requires people who can quickly solve business issues, individuals with unique skills, and high emotional intelligence. The industry is offering many different options and positions to women, and many are successfully contributing.
Yes, many women managed to break into the cannabis business. Many are part of the industry in one way or another, with fantastic examples of accomplishments and influence brought to the field. But, there is a lot more potential and space to be fulfilled.
For a long, cannabis has been the field that was super promising for women. One of the studies from 2019 showed that the weed the market had 37 % female executives. The number is impressive, especially when compared to the national average for other markets that was 21 % only. Logically, the expectations for the future were high. However, as the years pass by and more states legalize cannabis, it becomes clear the setting for women didn’t evolve much.
Another thing that changed over the years is the fact mainstream money came into the story, along with the expansion of weed and hemp social acceptance. Many multi-billion dollar companies are in the business and are growing, but there are no women on board, no female leadership. Compared with the time the weed industry journey began, it’s pretty apparent the situation is a lot different now.
Issues along the way
Unfortunately, many females who enter the industry face so many issues, and lack of equal representation is just one of them. In addition, women have to deal with many disadvantages, from unequal pay in the industry that already pays less compared to other industries to lack of capital access.
The barriers don’t end there. The industry is relatively young and keeps changing. It can often be hard to follow all the novelties. In addition, there is a lot of work, and the compensation is everything but high, at least in the beginning. There are a lot of risks involved, and women are generally pretty cautious.
Last but not least, the story about women that support other women should become more than just a talk or something that should be said, but perhaps not practiced in reality. There is enough space for everyone in the cannabis market. When women provide support to other females entering the business, equality, better positions, and fewer issues along the way will see the light of the day much faster.
Overcoming the barriers
Many women managed to overcome the barriers and challenges that were blocking their way to success. There are many issues those who want to enter the industry will face, but being ready to conquer them all is the first step towards big things.
“As a woman, a lot of times in business, you find yourself in a room filled with just men, and a lot of men lead with ego. Of course, that’s a generalization, but I find that a lot of men lead with “I’m the sh**, and I know this.” Early in my career, I took that as they do know everything. I think that obstacle I needed to overcome and learn throughout this journey is that everyone is figuring it out,” said Kate Miller, co-founder, and CEO of Miss Grass. “Now, when I’m in those rooms, I almost use that as my strength,” she added.
Thinking outside of the box, being creative, compassionate, and being ready to step out and live out of your comfort zone are just some of the things that can turn into the most significant assets.
“Women are more creative, more clever, and are better listeners than men. Any one of these attributes alone puts women in a business power position. Still, these are “soft” skills that many women don’t recognize as assets. Spoiler alert for men: they are powerful assets. Use them!” said Janine Penman, pharmaceutical researcher and cannabis entrepreneur. “The most powerful person in a room is the one who is listening, not talking. The one who is creating, not copying. The one who is outsmarting, not asserting. As a woman, you are the most powerful person in the room. Remember that and use your innate skills to create an opportunity for yourself,” she added.
Wrapping it up
When the cannabis industry started, women had a much better and brighter position than in any other sector, with some incredible numbers to back it up. Over the years, legalization moved forward. But the status of females in the weed market didn’t change much even though otherwise was expected.
When a woman enters the business, either working for someone or becoming an entrepreneur, the road is usually everything but simple. So many challenges and issues can be pretty tough, but yes, overcoming everyone is possible. Fortunately, many success stories motivate others to step into the risky industry with a veil of the unknown and turn their dreams into reality.
Women in the cannabis industry are not a myth because they managed to clear the way through all the obstacles and reach the place they deserve. But, it is not a successful reality either. Why? Because the industry has so much unfulfilled potential, lots of areas require more work and improvements. The women’s cannabis landscape can be much brighter than it is now, and hopefully, that’s what it will become.