The cannabis industry is quickly becoming a magnet for female entrepreneurs

Women in business is a hard thing to come by statistically. The percentage of women in executive positions is only 22% nationally, however in the marijuana industry, that number is vastly outpaced at 36% a joint report by the Pew Research Center and Marijuana Business Daily confirms. 

The industry is on an exponential growth pattern, with an estimated value of over $5 billion in 2015, compared with $1.8 billion in 2013. New Frontier’s founder and CEO Giadha DeCarcer offers this insight, “The cannabis industry is so new that there are very few barriers to get in, especially for women.”

This is in contrast to many other fields which are predominantly male dominated, and are more difficult for women to rise to the top levels.

Jane West is a cofounder of Women Grow. Starting with only 70 attendees at its inception in 2014, the professional networking group now boasts over 44 chapters in various cities with thousands following on Instagram, and receiving the newsletter. “There is nothing but opportunity for women in this industry, we need need to spread the word. Women are coming up with terrific business ideas. Many of them are driven by their advocacy for legal marijuana.” 

Salwa Ibrahim from the Bay area, the birthplace of the medical marijuana movement had already been an advocate for legal marijuana when she and a business partner started Blum in 2012. Located in Oakland California, the medical marijuana dispensary is staffed by over 70 people, half of whom are women. After having been acquired by Terra Tech Corp, she plans to open more dispensaries in Las Vegas and Reno. 

There is room for improvement on the cultivation side however. Jennifer Gote says a friend suggested she work as a trimmer at a cultivation facility where she learned about growing, harvesting, packaging and distribution. When asked about her new company, AOW Management, Gote says, “I would love to hire women. In fact I would hire women right now with no experience. This way I can teach them from the beginning everything I learned.

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