by Andre F. Bourque, SheKnows Expert
The trend of states relaxing their laws regarding medical cannabis has encouraged many female entrepreneurs to get join the new ‘Green Rush’ that is the ‘Cannabiz.’ While it’s true that the cannabis industry is male dominated, more women are getting involved in all areas of this lucrative and growing business. “Research indicates that women hold significantly more executive roles in cannabis than in mainstream American industries,” said Jane West, CEO of Jane West and co-founder of Women Grow.
Breaking the glass ceiling
Many female entrepreneurs flock to the cannabis industry because they can see opportunity. Perhaps it's a land grab where leadership roles abound. Some see it as the Wild West, where big wins and profits can happen quickly, and far faster than in ‘tech-bro’ Silicon Valley or traditional business environments. In the typical business model, many women find it difficult to advance to certain high-level positions by the impenetrable glass ceiling that allows only well-connected males to hold these positions. Academic qualifications and years of experience can fall by the wayside, and the limits can be frustrating.
The cannabis industry in contrast, is now coming into its corporate manifestation, yet is still considered to be in its infancy (and even slightly dangerous to dabble in if you’re a rank and file executive, male or female). WeedTech has given the industry a sheen of legitimacy, with corporations such as Tom Bollich’s Surna, Inc. bringing forward new systems of production. Even the Pax2 Vape has been spied in boutiques at Martha’s Vineyard, and tucked into the designer bags of socialites as memorialized on the hit show, Billions.
If the cannabis industry is in fact the new Gold Rush, then women are grabbing the power and cashing in: 36 percent of the executives are female, as opposed to 22 percent in traditional business. This number is slated to increase as women realize how fertile and lucrative the space is. Leadership, legitimacy, cultural acceptance, and buy-in from the American public will pave the way for dynamic growth across the industry for those that give in first and early.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve had a brand new legal industry which purportedly will be as large as the coffee industry and this one is mostly about a female plant,” remarked Susan Soares, executive director at C.A.R.E., an organization that embraces new approaches to cannabis advancements through producing elegant cannabis culture events, outreach and research. “The female plant or more specifically the flower or ‘bud’ dominates the market. The male cannabis plant’s place is limited to a very specific market, mostly for breeders and researchers."
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