Written by Kyra Reed, CEO, Kadin Academy
The Women’s Movement in Cannabis is exploding, and it’s truly unlike anything I’ve ever witnessed.
As I wrote previously, women professionals are coming to cannabis in droves with high expectations. They want to help build an industry that is female-inclusive, with workplace environments where women’s contributions are openly celebrated and supported.
The promise of greater opportunity for women in cannabis is catching on like wildfire.
Scores of articles, podcasts and documentaries are being produced daily to highlight women’s progress in cannabis. It’s becoming a required topic of discussion at conferences, and summits like “Women of Cannabis” are quickly becoming a regular occurrence on trade industry calendars.
But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be a “woman in cannabis.” Yet.
Cannabis is a hyperlocal industry
Trying to get a cannabis-based business off the ground can be brutal for a woman without deep ties to the community she’s launching in, and the stigma that still surrounds the industry means most entrepreneurs in new markets are often building those networks from scratch.
So how is the Women’s Movement in cannabis helping fuel entrepreneurship?
Through small communities organizing on a local level, providing women with education on cannabis, business networking and the chance to just be heard by those who won’t judge their choices. These groups, connected like a web across the country, are where our real power in the movement exists.
Local events create local business opportunities
Anyone who has attended the yearly monster of a conference that is MJBiz knows how easy it is to feel lost and overwhelmed. Massive expos like MJBiz are beyond exciting and loads of fun, but they rarely provide the opportunity to really get to know someone and develop the kinds of relationships that have the potential to carry many women their entire careers.
Local meetups and networking gatherings allow women to find the support and resources they need to grow their cannabusinesses, along with elements of bonding, trust and sharing that help build real relationships.
I 100 percent believe that we will build a female inclusive industry over the next few years, but a big part of that success depends on local event organizers providing the right opportunities for women to connect and build these crucial relationships.
With more business and cannabis education, inspiring speakers that address REAL issues, intentional networking, dialogue throughout the supply chain on critical issues, and organizing around POLITICAL ACTION - we will succeed!
Local events let women cannapreneurs get REAL
We need events where we can talk about the real problems like pricing, packaging and shelf space in our industry, and how we can solve them. We need to air out the politicians who are pushing back in our communities. We need to talk straight about how hard it is to hire good people, deal with regulatory changes… and on and on. We need a space to do this, and it matters most that this happens locally.
Lady Jane Society is a great example of a company that is focused on making these kinds of events happen, in gorgeous spaces with inspiring speakers and joyous activities. (Full disclosure, I’m a partner).
In a few weeks we’re hosting the Women in Cannabis Central Valley Retreat as a way to allow women from around the region to really understand how the business is booming, learn from successful cannabusiness owners from across the supply chain, and further expand their California networks.
The venue, Bella Forrest, is a gorgeous, garden-like setting that is straight out of a fairy tale. There is a pop-up shop so women can share their products, locally-prepared meals, classes on terpenes to keep everyone up to date on new science, awards to honor local women leaders, and of course, a cannabliss consumption lounge for serious bonding time.
As an industry, and especially as women, we need these types of events to organize our voices and amplify our message. I encourage you all to support local events and event producers, since they’re building the foundation for the Women’s Movement in cannabis to grow.
Invest in their success as a sponsor or attendee. Participate in the discussions and contribute your talents to the experience. Or better yet, galvanize with others and figure out how to launch your own local gathering.
The more we connect, the more we share, the stronger we will be.
As always, we are #bettertogether.
Photo via Instagram