With its money making potential and popularity among young people, the rapidly growing cannabis industry is one of the most progressive businesses out there right now.
Given the changing legalization around both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana use, it stands to reason that the market – in the coming years – will be veritably flooded with new products, strains and brands made with the popular substance.
Fortunately, cannabis isn’t just an ideal sector to get into because of all the changing laws – it actually has progressive potential that goes beyond the green stuff.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, approximately 36 percent of executives in the cannabis industry are women compared with 22 percent across the spectrum of other industries.
For women like Becca Foster, an independent consultant with the cannabis company Healthy Headie, “It’s a new chance for many women who have been in the corporate world who couldn’t get to the next level.”
Given the numbers by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and the total retail sales of hemp products in 2015 rising to $600 million, cannabis may just be the ideal industry for many women looking for market growth, a new opportunity and more equality.
As the popularity of the cannabis industry continues to grow, many women are joining the fore in order to cash in on the newfound fame of the green stuff.
Fortunately, while a variety of sectors are set to grow in the coming years, here’s why marijuana may be a prime opportunity for female entrepreneurs from other sectors.
There Are No Rules
There may be many industries out there that offer pathways for women to success, but given the relative newness of the cannabis sector, it has the added benefit of being pretty flexible.
According to Nancy Whiteman of Wana Brands, “There's no glass ceilings to be broken, no preconceived industry that this is more male oriented. It's just brand-new and we're all figuring it out together.”
As a result of the industries inherent newness, the opportunity exists for many entrepreneurial ventures – led by women – that can deviate from standards that have been more traditionally applied to business.
For example, brands like Subtle Retreat have capitalized on what it means to have a luxury brand, featuring oils, extracts, accessories and creams that are high-quality and appeal to the upper-crust cannabis user.
In addition, given marijuana’s potential use for menstruation and the side effects of chemotherapy for breast cancer, women may have a vested interest in the possibilities cannabis affords for their own health.
Opportunity for Working Moms
Whether it’s technology or finance or construction, there are a variety of sectors where the presence of women is less common and the needs of women are more marginalized.
Fortunately, while it might seem like the cannabis industry is subject to the same laws, the upcoming popularity of the sectors means that it exists outside of the confines of many entrenched cultural practices.
As Jane West, founder of Edible Events says, “The legal cannabis industry doesn’t have the entrenched patriarchal power structures that dominate most of professional life, and the sector is growing fast.”
For women like Becca Foster, a consultant for Healthy Headie, it was difficult to balance her finance career with her desire for family life.
As a result, she and many women like her are finding the flexibility of the cannabis industry, and the openness and newness of many who are employed by it, quite different from other cutthroat professions.
Instead of balance being a detriment, women are finding other ways to define the industry criteria that will help them succeed.
Investing in Community and Diversity
Community and diversity have become important buzzwords across the board in recent years, but it’s the progressiveness of pot’s potential that enables many start-ups - from medicinal marijuana to recreational offerings - to truly enable the industry’s growth and development.
While this has led to a variety of interesting products, from marijuana seeds to CBD oil to luxury-branded edibles, it also offers the opportunity for contributing to a positive, socially conscious ethos.
As Diane Czarkowski, co-founder of the cannabis consulting firm Canna Advisors, says “Big business is still standing on the sidelines, this is not just a new industry; it’s a new kind of industry. It is rooted in advocacy, community and diversity.” With it’s still outsider status, the cannabis industry is finding advocates in their respective communities that are looking to improve overall health, benefit local suppliers and contribute positively to the bigger picture.
Given women’s interest in health, social causes and sectors related to caregiving, the rise of women in the cannabis industry may mean great things for the sector that exist beyond the familiar business-as-usual tenets.
Cannabis has incredible healing power, it aids in diseases and disease prevention - works to decrease anxiety, and can potentially contribute to overall well-being, cannabis is the future, not only as it relates to pharmaceutical alternatives, but in how women can contribute to the values of the industry.