When you think of weed, your mind likely conjures images of famous big stoners like Bob Marley, Willie Nelson, and Jay-Z. Maybe you even picture a male-dominated scene from the popular stoner flick High Times at Ridgemont High.
But did you know that women are also big buyers when it comes to cannabis? That’s right; ladies are blazing major trails (pun intended) when it comes to the cannabis industry. Not only that, but we’re starting some pretty dope weed businesses too. Men may still be the dominant consumers, but women aren’t far behind, and maybe we’ll soon surpass them.
Where Women Stand in the Weed Business
New data consistently shows that weed is popular among American women. According to a report from the Pew Research Center, “21 million American women over the age of 18 who earn $75,000 or more per year have tried cannabis.” Another report found that more women are turning to weed than alcohol. Eighty-two percent of people surveyed said weed had helped them to drink less. Eleven percent claimed that weed made them go cold turkey on booze altogether.
It makes sense that women are turning to weed. Cannabis helps with common female problems like pelvic pain and PMS. Female celebs like Whoopi Goldberg rally around it for its many healing properties and safe, effective use. And it’s helping a lot of professional women get to the next level.
Women Helping Women
Since the cannabis industry is so new, there’s a lot of room for women to get in and grow new business. In fact, women fill about 36 percent of executive positions in businesses that cultivate, test, and sell legalized weed. And there’s a lot of women who want to help fellow women succeed, like Jennifer Gote. She worked her way up from a trimmer at a weed cultivation facility to a manager. Then she quit her company altogether to start her own cannabis business, AOW Management.
“I would love to hire women,” she told CNN Money. “In fact, I would hire women right now with no experience. This way I can teach them from the beginning everything that I learned.”
Jane West co-founded Women Grow, a professional networking group for women in the weed business. Industry veterans and aspiring entrepreneurs come together to foster new connections.
“There is nothing but opportunity for women in this industry. We need to spread the word,” West told CNN Money. “Women are coming up with terrific business ideas. Many of them are driven by their advocacy for legal marijuana.”
Women Are Big Players in the Cannabis Game
“I’m seeing a lot of female entrepreneurs,” Melissa Meyer, chair of New York’s Women Grow chapter, told The Village Voice. “And they’re coming from sophisticated professions like law, finance, media, and tech.”
In fact, some of the big and most powerful players in the cannabis business are women. Dr. Lakisha Jenkins has a doctorate in neuropathy and is a master herbalist. Charlo Greene is the founder of the Alaska Cannabis Club and uses her connections to help people of color succeed in weed. Laura Harris is the executive director of Colorado Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, a major role in a state where legal weed is the law of the land, and a highly important state for the cannabis industry.
Someday soon, we women could truly take over cannabis.