By: Lindsey Griffith
It’s no secret that the cannabis industry is booming. Recreational and medical leaders are emerging, and thousands of dollars are being pumped into local economies. As it stands, there are still many roadblocks in getting federal funding and normalizing use, and there is an excellent need for fearless leaders to advocate for change and educate others both within and outside the industry. Women have come into this industry determined to shape policy, educate peers, and make an impact in the growing market. Here we’ll discuss just some of the ways women are changing the cannabis industry and how you can get involved in creating a continued positive impact.
One of the most significant ways women are pioneering cannabis is through relaying their knowledge and experience to others. Whether it’s webinars, seminars, blogs, or instructional classes, women are stepping up and filling educational positions within the industry. These pieces inform cannabis employees or advocates on licensing, operational management, financing, marketing, and more.
Recently, many colleges and universities have incorporated cannabis classes into their curriculum, with many women stepping up to teach courses and offer their insights. In 2020, the University of Colorado announced it would be offering a degree in marijuana “Biology and Chemistry,” with Northern Michigan University starting course work for the 4-year degree program in “Cannabis Science.”
Advocating For Change
There are many political leaders and lobbyists within the cannabis industry that are women. One of the biggest leaders in pioneering a positive view of cannabis is Dr. Raquel Peyraube. Dr. Peyraube grew up with a negative viewpoint of the industry, due to propaganda and little medical research at the time. She then began to realize it’s medicinal benefits and has since become a cannabis educator and advocate for policy change in the cannabis industry.
Another influential figure is Tulsi Gabbard, who advocated for the legal use of marijuana during her 2020 presidential campaign. Gabbard also argued the hypocrisy within the government that often accepts the legal use of opioids but more often looks down upon the use of cannabis. While Gabbard didn’t end up scoring the democratic nomination, she still stands as an influential voice within the industry.
But it isn’t just females in the spotlight that are changing the game. Every day, women working on the ground level within the industry are working hard to improve upon today’s current cannabis environment consistently. These daily changes feats all amount to powerful change that can be seen and heard across the nation.
Utilizing The Product
Cannabis use among women has skyrocketed over the past five years, reaching an all-time high (no pun intended) in 2020. While a simple Google search may show you a wide range of research on cannabis use during pregnancy or menstruation, the fact of the matter is more women are increasingly using the product recreationally. Aside from its ability to alleviate pain caused by symptoms of a woman’s menstrual cycle (headaches, cramping, back pain, etc.), some research has shown that more and more women are using cannabis outside of its medicinal purposes.
Building your brand and cultivating the right message can get you far in the industry, but will begin to trickle off if you forget to reevaluate your audience. Knowing the use among women within the industry is extremely important to keep in mind, especially if you work in cannabis marketing or branding. Knowing the audience that uses your product is slowly changing is essential to keeping the messaging on point. Incorporating elements of different usage is necessary to keep a majority of females interested in your cannabis company.
Offering Mutual Support
No matter the industry, it can sometimes feel like women are easily isolated and left fighting for solutions to problems all by themselves. Now, more than ever, offering mutual support to fellow women is critical in keeping everyone feeling comfortable and safe within the industry. With the rise of social media, it’s easier for women within the industry to feel connected and come together to create change. Facebook groups are one of the easiest ways to engage with other women who may work in different facets of the industry – including marketing, copywriting, management, and more.
As cannabis businesses have become a relatively new concept, many men and women are learning through trial and error. While keywords within this industry might be a bit hard to find when searching for Facebook groups, lean on others you know within the industry to send you invites to these groups and ask for help when getting started online. You may be surprised at how many other women within the industry are also seeking advice, job opportunities, or creative ideas!
For more information on how to get involved in social media, check out this helpful Cannabis Marketing Association blog here.
Taking The Industry By Charge
Some reports suggest that women and minority-owned businesses generally experience significant disparities in their ability to get financing, licensing, or access to the tools it takes to own and operate a successful business. This disparity is present in almost every field. However, the landscape is beginning to change drastically. According to MjBiz Daily, women account for more than a third of all marijuana business executives.
To give a comparison as to how large of an accomplishment this is, consider the executive employment ratio in the workforce almost twenty years ago. In the year 2001, women accounted for only 11 percent of the United States’ corporate leaders. The landscape was looking even worse for women of color, with only 4.7 percent in senior-level positions. While there is still a lot of work to be done, business leaders and officials have become much more aware of these disparities. Many groups have been established that protect and engage women and minorities within the workforce, including the American Business Women’s Association, Ellevate Network, and more! See a full list of these women in business groups and other helpful resources here.
As the cannabis industry grows, we’ll certainly see new leaders, both male and female, rise ready to pioneer within their state and local communities. Coming together with new ideas and advocating for beneficial policies will benefit not only those within but also the patients and recreational customers. It’s amazing to see more females and minorities continue to gain not only executive power but respect as knowledgeable and experienced members of the community. As we continue to advocate for change, the future continues to show optimism for women within the industry, and we are so excited for what’s to come.
About the Author
Hello! My name is Lindsey Griffith and I’m the Creative Content Strategist for ThrivePOP located in West Michigan. We are a growth agency that specializes in web, marketing, and design for many industries including cannabis, optometry, and technology service. I have been curating content for our cannabis clients for some time now and I am excited to share my experience in this growing industry (no pun intended) with others!