Women in Weed: In California’s Estimated $23 Billion Cannabis Industry, How Do Women Fare?
How successful are they though? According to a recent article in the Orange County Register, California is already making an estimated $23 billion dollars in cannabis cash. That’s far higher than the next biggest commodity, milk. Are women a part of that economic boom?According to a 2015 chart by Marijuana Business Daily, women have snagged a higher percentage of the executive positions in the cannabis industry then they have in non-marijuana businesses–an average of thirty-six percent compared to a mere twenty-two percent in businesses as a whole.
An article in Telesur, a news organization with Latin roots, speculates this is because “the industry is so new, it isn’t weighed down by a roster of veteran patriarchs, leaving room for women to join its charters.”
One woman suggests, “Nobody is inheriting a business from their father, nobody’s been doing this for 20 years.”
Coming from the Emerald Counties where outlaws have been growing marijuana for close to 50 years, assertions like this erase years of history. However, we have noticed an apparent larger number of women involved in executive in the industry centered around a plant perhaps fittingly nicknamed Mary Jane.
A documentary called Mary Janes: The Women of Weed will be coming out this year. It looks at some of the women creating businesses in cannabis industry. One woman in the film trailer states, “We have the opportunity to create the first billion dollar sector that is not dominated by men.”Whether women from the Emerald Counties, particularly women farmers, will be a large part of this growing sector remains to be seen.
An article in the Christian Science Monitor that came out yesterday points out though that, particularly in cultivation (and investment) “women leaders remain sparse.” The article suggests that “women, particularly mothers, might shy away from growing because there is a stigma associated with it.”
We’d like to see the numbers on women marijuana farmers–particularly those in our area. Hopefully, this will be one area that Humboldt State University’s Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research delves into soon.
We know some local women are already benefiting financially from cannabis. We’d like to know how many and how much they are part of supporting our local economy.