What’s Happening. By 2018 medical or recreational marijuana will be legal in 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia according to this article in governing.com. This burgeoning industry is one of the most female-friendly sectors today (after all, the active ingredients come from the female plant!). In 2015 as the industry began to blossom the penetration of women in CEO or founders positions was about 36%. Now, less than two years later that number has declined to just under 27% according to a recent survey by MJ Biz Daily (founded by Anne Holland). While still outpacing all other industries (some as low as 22% female-led), the decline has been attributed to the industry becoming more mainstream and recruiting from traditional industries that do skew male (some figures have a 75-25% male to female bent). In the extreme beginning the playing field started out evenly (without all the old boy connections common to many other industries like tech and finance)…it still has one of the highest percentages of female entrepreneurs of any industry.
Why You Should Care. Women were early market leaders. The Women Grow 2016 annual report cites huge increases across the board: social and media impressions; new members, subscribers and chapters; partnerships and website views–every measurable category increased well into double, even triple digits. However, Women Grow has had its growing pains recently. Under the direction of a brand new CEO, Kristina Neoushoff — it is working to right itself according to this article in MJ Biz Daily.
Who’s Leading. Of particular note is MJ Biz Daily’s founder Anne Holland. In order to have an editorial focus and no conflicts, her company will not advise or consult, they fairly report the news on the industry.
What Can you Do? It’s still an immature industry that people from all job sectors can find new careers–whether legalization has come to your area or not–there are opportunities. As a woman, it’s worth checking out. With barriers for entry low (but as the industry matures, this is changing) and the need for detail and discipline high in navigating the regulatory and legal requirements for operating a cannabis business — it seems women do very well. In fact by the year 2021 this industry is projected to have a 241% increase in revenue from 2016 (at $16 billion) — to about $70 billion according to MJ Biz Daily here.