Women with Willpower: Pioneering the Cannabis Industry

Caroline Morris
March 8, 2018

Celebrating Cannabis Industry Success on International Women’s Day

The cannabis industry isn’t just a new industry, it’s a new kind of industry; and it seems to be ideal for women. After all, it’s the female cannabis plant that produces smokable flower buds, and “Mother” plants are cherished for producing genetically ideal offspring in cultivation. The proliferation of “Mary Jane” slang, strains named after celebrities like Margaret Cho and Lindsay Lohan, and the explosion of cannabis wellness and beauty product offerings, all illustrate women’s heavy involvement in the rapidly expanding legal cannabis industry.

A Woman’s World

As we celebrate International Women’s Day today and throughout the whole month of March, we look to commemorate and encourage women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements in the cannabis industry. Pioneering women have pushed boundaries, flipped stereotypes, and overturned laws so that others don’t have to suffer the injustice, fear of punishment, and shame that has surrounded the use of this plant for so long. Women are no longer standing on the sidelines; they are now entrepreneurs, advocates, and investors in one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

Cannabis relates to health and wellness, helping people, social justice, and natural products, areas that women feel particularly passionate about. We all know that women are powerful and influential in today’s society, and the same holds true about women in the cannabis industry. From high-level business executives to stay-at-home moms, and everything in between, women who use cannabis are as dynamic and evolving as the industry itself.

“If all we gain at the end of our careers is having made a lot of money, then we will have failed.” -Diane Czarkowski

Canna Advisors’ Commitment to Women

Here at Canna Advisors, we pride ourselves on fostering an inclusive culture for women, and we strive to set high standards as an example for other businesses. We love our unique group of women who make up more than 50% of our employees and fill five of our senior-level roles. Our co-founder, Diane Czarkowski, puts a huge emphasis on mentoring and supporting women in the industry. As a Founding Benefactor of Women Grow, a mentor for CanopyBoulder, and a sustaining member of the SSDP, Diane has supported and encouraged dozens of women on their paths to success throughout the years.

canna advisors women

The Wonderful Women of Canna Advisors (minus a few!)

Concerns for Women in the Cannabis Industry

Women like Diane have been extremely impactful in the industry so far, but there is still a lot of work to be done to open more peoples’ eyes and minds to the benefits of this incredible plant. As the industry evolves and corporate America starts paying attention, it seems that more women are being pushed out of influential and powerful positions. Between 2015 and 2017, the percentage of women in executive roles within the industry dropped from 36% to 27% in the U.S. While that number is still ahead of the curve compared to all U.S. businesses (23%), the dip represents a rising concern that traditional business executive structure (where men fill more than 75% of executive roles) is penetrating the cannabis industry. The investment sector of the industry is vastly lacking women, with only 10% holding executive roles in the industry. This is compounded by the disturbing fact that just 2% of venture capital funding gets distributed to female entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Always the advocate, Diane saw this as a huge disadvantage for women, and it prompted her to co-host the first-ever women-only lunch at the Arcview Investor Forum 2018 in Los Angeles to address the issues that directly impact women. More women entering the industry and having their voices heard has to be a priority, and focusing on having more female involvement in male-dominated ancillary industries (like the investment sector) is imperative for breaking the industry’s “Grass Ceiling.”

Womens lunch arcview investor forum

Founding Partner Diane Czarkowski co-hosts a women-only luncheon at the Arcview Group’s Investor Forum in Los Angeles- January 2018

Canna Advisors’ Community of Women

The cannabis industry has produced an army of strong, compassionate, intelligent women who are dedicated to improving people’s lives in a natural way. Women have the ability to make a profound impact on the cannabis industry because it is rooted in advocacy, community and diversity. Women need to unite as one strong force on the front lines in order to break down industry barriers. Continually setting new benchmarks and reaching new milestones is key in expanding influence and bringing people together. Though there are concerns about the industry becoming too male-dominated, women have been, and will continue to be, the powerful driving force working for patients’ rights and safe access for all.

Ready to develop your cannabis business or get consulting support with an existing cannabis operation? This group of powerful women, along with the entire Canna Advisors team, can help scale your cannabis brand from seed to sale. Contact us to get started or learn more about our full staff of cannabis experts today.

***Check back here this month and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & LinkedIn for more featured stories on the incredible women who are building the industry!

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