California’s leading cannabis manufacturers and distributors recently announced its commitment to eliminate gender disparity by requiring that 50% of its cannabis suppliers be female-owned or operated businesses by the end of 2020.
“We have an incredible opportunity to build an industry from the ground up that welcomes and supports all participants and doesn’t carry forward the long-established prejudices of other industries,” Bloom Farms CEO Michael Ray said in an AP statement released on Nov. 13, 2018.
The move comes in response to growing concerns that the cannabis industry is not taking the necessary steps needed to become gender equitable.
“The cannabis industry should be a transformative force in many aspects of society as it expands across the country, from urban and rural renewal to state and local finances to creating opportunity for a wide range of entrepreneurs,” said Sallyann Nichols, Bloom Farms’ President of Distribution, in the statement.
How bad is the situation for women in the male dominated weed industry? Pretty bad.
Marijuana Business Daily found that the percentage of top ranking female executives in the cannabis industry fell from 36 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2017.
A recent Forbes article revealed that the largest cannabis companies in the US and Canada are dominated by men.
At the time the Forbes article, written by Amy Margolis, was published in Sept. 2018, there was only one woman among all the listed executive teams and just three female board members in the following top cannabis companies: Aphria Inc., Aurora Cannabis, Canopy Growth, the Cronos Group and Terra Tech Corp.
What the hell is going on?
“The inequalities we face compared to other federally legal industries is beyond maddening,” said Kate Guptill, co-founder and VP of Operations and Finance at Oregon-based Eco Firma Farms.
“Until we’re treated like any other business, this will always be a problem, similar to the inequalities women face throughout the business world. I hope to be one of the women who helps change that,” Guptil told Civilized.
Bravo Bloom Farms for getting the ball rolling. Shouldn’t the rest of the cannabis industry get a move on? We’ll give you until 2020.