It’s a Woman’s Cannabis World
Women occupy 63 percent of executive positions in cannabis testing labs, according to a recent survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily. Industrywide, it’s 36 percent of all legal-marijuana executive positions.
If that second percentage sounds low, consider out of all business executives worldwide, only 15 percent are female.
Internet essayists, who are mostly male, speculate that the legal-marijuana industry is naturally more female-based. They believe it’s because of its birth in the ‘90s as compassionate AIDS medicine. Another theory is how it’s a struggle to keep all marijuana plants female, which are more productive.
Most of these women disagree.
One in particular is Kimberly Simms, a San Diego Cannabis Attorney. “I don’t think it’s a question of whether the industry is more receptive or not.” She stated. In fact, that very question seemed to strike her as being sexist. She believes it puts women in a position of being judged and not one of judging.
Wide Open Spaces
Women have been able to rise in these ranks so quickly simply because the industry is so brand new. It also provides women to create their own new career path.
“We’re in such a unique time in the history of cannabis, that there’s so much more opportunity for women to become their own bosses, to become entrepreneurs,” she said.
Simms spoke to CANNA Business Now at the downtown event space 57 Degrees, just before moderating the weekly meeting of the San Diego Chapter of Women Grow. The non-profit organization, founded in 2014, aims to educate women about the medical benefits of cannabis use and the financial benefits of working in the industry. Simms started its San Diego chapter in 2015 with marketing executive, Erin McDonald, who now serves on the advisory board.
“I just find it’s more collaborative. At other networking events, cannabis or otherwise, it’s more just a lot of puffery and ‘this is why I’m so great’ instead of ‘this is why I think we can help each other.’”
“The way women network with each other is different than the way men network with other men and with women.” Simms said. “I just find it’s more collaborative. At other networking events, cannabis or otherwise, it’s more just a lot of puffery and ‘this is why I’m so great’ instead of ‘this is why I think we can help each other.’”
Cannabis as a Craft
Tonight, 60 women and a dozen men will gather to learn about this weeks’ topic, Craft Cannabis, and network. They are entrepreneurs, accountants and horticulturists like Allison Justice, one of three expert panelists.
“Traditional agriculture has been run by men,” said Justice, the Vice President of Cultivation for Outco, an El Cajon-based medical-marijuana dispensary. Before that, she worked many years in ornamental horticulture.
“But now that it is a new industry, women are just as educated as men and have just as much experience.” she said. “Both sexes can flood to these opportunities.”
Vanessa Corrales is a prime example. She founded B Edibles, which is a San Diego manufacturer of medical-marijuana cotton candy. Her previous experience is managing two local coffeehouses.
“The cannabis industry is way more friendly to females.” Corrales said. “Absolutely, 100 percent.”
Corrales believes institutional sexism has not been able to stick in the cannabis industry as it has in established industries.
“It took 10 years of me working crazy amounts of hours, with a degree, for me to become a supervisor, then a manager before even be considered for a GM position. I was hitting all my numbers and quotas.” Corrales stated.
“In cannabis, no one’s going to stop me. I don’t have to compete with all these people who have been doing it for 20 years and make up all these rules and hierarchies,” she concluded.
Originally posted 2017-05-19 17:13:50.