The cannabis industry is witnessing a revolutionary change and women in cannabis are leading the charge. More women than ever before have joined the industry — shattering stereotypes and providing expansive opportunities for other women.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the women who are paving the way in the cannabis industry.
Celebrate National Women’s Equality Day
Women’s Equality Day, celebrated on August 26th each year, is a significant day that commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment granted women the right to vote, a pivotal moment in the fight for gender equality.
Women’s Equality Day serves as a reminder of the progress that has been made in advancing women’s rights and the ongoing work needed to achieve true equality. August 26 is a day to recognize the achievements of women throughout history. Plus, it’s a great time to honor women and their contributions in various fields — including the everchanging wild west of cannabis.
A look at women in the cannabis industry
According to a survey conducted in 2019, women represent approximately 37 percent of executives in the cannabis industry. This is higher (no pun intended) than the national average for all industries.
Additionally, a white paper from The Arcview Group and the National Cannabis Industry Association concluded that “companies with women in leadership roles are actually more profitable and produce more than twice the revenue per dollar invested than those without them.”
Important women in cannabis you need to know
The cannabis industry has seen an influx of inspiring women who are blazing trails and reshaping the landscape. Here are some of the names you should know as they pave the way for a more inclusive and diverse cannabis industry:
- Jazmin Hupp: Featured in The Economist, Fortune, and Forbes for her work in the cannabis industry, Hupp is a co-founder of the organization Women Grow. Through her professional network for women in cannabis, over 25,000 female entrepreneurs can connect.
- Wanda James: As the first black woman to own a dispensary in Colorado, James has been a fierce advocate for diversity within the industry. Additionally, James spends her time focused on social equity and justice with cannabis.
- Cat Packer: Currently the Director of the Department of Cannabis Regulation in Los Angeles, Packer diligently works to create a platform for recreational use within L.A. and California. In fact, her work has helped pave the way for cannabis legalization nationwide.
- Mary Jane Rathbun: Affectionately known as Brownie Mary, Mary Jane played a significant role in advocating for the medicinal use of cannabis and helping AIDS patients.
- Nancy Whiteman: As the CEO of Wana Brands, Whiteman established her brand as a major player in the cannabis industry. In fact, she became a leader in edible manufacturing.
Nuggets from Holly
As a woman in the cannabis industry myself, here is my quick take on women in cannabis:
First, I thought I would share that across the U.S., 19.9 percent of cannabis businesses are owned by women. And according to a report by MJ Biz Daily, just 8 percent of all cannabis CEOs are women.
As an industry overall, cannabis requires people to stake out their own place. In terms of representation, women, particularly those over 40, are severely lacking in the cannabis community. This is where I believe I can make a meaningful impact.
Women over 40 account for a quarter of the U.S. population. Read that a couple of times. Let it sink in. With financial resources at their disposal, these women face various physical and psychological issues such as sleeplessness, menopause, anxiety, and more. All, of which, can help through the consumption of cannabis.
I aim to give these women a voice. Whether creating products that cater to their needs and preferences or hosting retreats, I do it all for the women of this community to connect.
There is no quick fix. But more than ever before, I am devoting my life to creating and leaving an enduring mark on this ever-changing industry.
The cannabis industry isn’t just a man’s world
It’s true — the cannabis industry has long been dominated by male voices and stereotypes. However, today women in cannabis are breaking down barriers and shattering these preconceived notions. Today, women continuously prove that the industry is not just a man’s world. In fact, women are leading the charge in challenging stereotypes in roles from CEOs to budtenders to growers.