SAN ANTONIO – The legal marijuana industry could potentially be the first billion-dollar industry run by women.
The national average for women in executive roles is 22 percent, according to Pew Research Center. However, Marijuana Business Daily reports that women occupy 36 percent of executive roles in the cannabis market.
Appropriately, only female marijuana plants produce cannabinoids like THC, the element that gets users high.
Though still illegal at the federal level, more states are continuing to pass laws that allow marijuana use.
In 2013, the revenue generated from the regulation of medical and recreational marijuana made $1.5 billion nationwide.
That number grew to $2.7 billion in 2014 and $5.4 billion in 2015, according to the cannabis-focused research firm ArcView Group. The same research company estimates the industry will reach $11 billion by 2019.
“This is a compassionate industry, for the most part, especially if you're dealing with the medical side. The medical patients need time and consideration, and women are usually the better gender for that. The industry is flat-out geared for women,” cannabis scientist Genifer Murray said.
Murray runs CannLabs, a cannabis testing facility that mostly employs women with advanced degrees in science.
A 2009 article from Marie Claire coined the term “stiletto stoners” for successful women who have desirable careers and social lives but also like to get high.
Shaleen Title is a drug reform activist attorney who runs THC Staffing, an employment agency owned and run exclusively by women.
“I am especially seeing more women with corporate ‘mainstream’ experience looking to join the marijuana industry. The mom in her 40s is the one with the power to push marijuana into the mainstream once and for all,” Title said.
“Mary Janes: The Women of Weed” is a documentary directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Windy Borman. The feature-length film follows female ‘ganjapreneurs’ who are navigating the marijuana industry in the U.S.
In the cannabis industry, we have more female-owned businesses than any other sector of the American economy. – Jane West, founder of Women Grow