Article by Kerri Robins, High! Canada
omen are staking their ground in the weed patch Wand why not? In an industry largely dominated by men, women are fertilizing the ground with diverse professional skills and fresh points of view.
“Women make a lot of purchasing decisions, and as a result, cannabis growers, cultivators, and distributors want their particular opinions and perspectives,” says Bridget Hoffer, Co-founder, Marigold Marketing & PR, Toronto, Canada.
It’s true that women make major family medical and social decisions, and they log more hours caregiving than men; whether it’s their children, elderly parents or both at the same me. The Alberta Medical Association reported a 2015 ThinkHQ Public Affairs Inc. survey, nong caregivers are:
• More likely to be women (58 percent) than men (42 percent).
• Heavily skewed to the middle-age category, where 53 percent of family caregivers are between 35 and 54 yrs.
• Disproportionately a “sandwich generation”, in the sense that they are caring for aging family members while they still have kids living at home (40 percent).
The thing about these numbers, is many of the professional women represented here are poised to enter this vast new commerce. That’s a circle of life win if you ask me!
As women move into decision-making roles in the cannabis business, the knowledge they bring makes for more informed decision-making; crucial in the cannabis world that’s tightly bound in regulation and safety protocol.
“Women offer much-needed creativity and resourcefulness to the Cannabis Industry,” says Kourtney Krysta, Public Relations and Communications Specialist, Bloom Culvaon, Calgary, Canada.
“They provide expertise in so many areas, such as caring for the plants in the grow rooms (cultivation), administration, production management, retail and sales, marketing, and event planning,” explains Krysta, adding that, “women are creating their brand and spreading positive messages.”
And indeed, the opportunities are endless as social groups, professional associations and career paths open up for women in this brave new world.
Heather Egger got into the Cannabis Industry and took a couple courses in the Cannabis Professional series. “Now that I’m up-to-date on Health Canada’s medical marijuana regulations – I’m ready to create friendly and informative blogs for licensed producers,” says the blog writer. And it’s not just in Canada. A trio of gals in Richmond, Va formed Virginia Pharmaceutical Processors, after helping procure a CBD license. These ladies are a healthcare IT executive, a real estate broker, and a granite countertop company owner. Once forged, this women-only alliance banded with Green Leaf Medical to bring cannabis to Richmond.
As the cannabis industry promises a bright future for many people, women emerge from their own experiences with cannabis stigmas. In this sense, they’ll be instrumental in destigmatizing the plant and shaping a whole new belief system.
“Prior to legalization women didn’t want to run into people at the dispensary, they wanted to be discreet,” says Hoffer. “But the social acceptance legalization affords us, frees up many women to feel more comfortable pursuing opportunities in this growing business.” Continuing, Hoffer says the responsibility for ensuring accurate and relevant information is available, is shared between Health Canada, the Canadian Government, and the cannabis medical and business communities.
While growing their niche in cannabis, women understand that the key issue for Canadians is education and information. Krista agrees saying, “We need to educate the public to give people a solid knowledge base about safe, responsible use. Canada has an opportunity to be a leader in this area.”
Research is key, and RJ Irwin, founder of the Cannabis Research Fund (CRF) says, “CRF is gender neutral, and will support the mavericks of cannabis without bias.” CRF’s goal is to attract researchers at the undergraduate and masters level in the social, medical and global business of cannabis.
“Women are hugely underrepresented in science, social, business and even medical research of cannabis. That’s changing though, as women demonstrate their strengths in the global legalization of cannabis while capturing the immense opportunities available to them,” says Irwin.
The seeds of change are upon us, so the next me you come across a great prospect in cannabis, tell your girlfriend, she might be exactly what that prospect needs.