More Than 1/3 of Executive Positions at U.S. Cannabis Companies Are Held by Women, Report Finds

A new survey finds the number of women in senior-level positions at cannabis companies has risen by more than 15 percent.

A 2019 cannabis report shows that nearly 37% of executive positions at cannabis companies are now held by women. The Marijuana Business Daily survey found that the number of women executives in the cannabis industry is outpacing that of the national average, which is 21% for all other U.S. businesses.

The report’s author attributed the growth to a big shift in cannabis policy across the U.S. including the launch of recreational marijuana in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Other states, such as Maryland, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, implemented medical marijuana programs.

“Many young, quickly growing companies that initially filled key positions in sales, marketing or operations with whomever they could find – often friends and family members – are now looking to bring in people with more experience and expertise,” the study’s author wrote.

“That’s presented a tremendous opportunity for women outside cannabis looking to advance their careers, some of whom may be frustrated with a lack of upward mobility in their current professions.”

According to the MJBizDaily report, women-owned businesses account for 21% of all traditional businesses in the U.S. Many political leaders are proposing initiatives that promote minority populations to join the cannabis industry, and more presidential candidates than ever before are in favor of some form of marijuana legalization.

The information gathered for the number of women in executive positions at cannabis companies came from, “an industry wide, anonymous online survey of cannabis business owners, founders and senior executives,” according to Marijuana Business Daily.

The data gathered from the survey helped develop the second edition of Marijuana Business Daily’s report titled, “Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry.” It can be found, here.

Women Consistent Leaders In Cannabis Industry

Data collected in the MJBizDaily report reveals a consistent trend of more women’s participation at executive levels in the cannabis industry. The Christian Science Monitor reported back in 2017 that women make up 36% of executives.

In that report, the gender ratio in certain sectors of the cannabis industry showed to be more consistent and in some even favorable for females. Those leadership positions were found in testing labs, marijuana processing and production companies, marketing agencies, law firms, and other companies that serve the cannabis companies.

However, women were still finding it challenging to find senior-level roles in other sectors of the cannabis industry. According to the Christian Science Monitor report, women held 33 percent of cultivation leadership roles and make up just 28 percent of executive positions at cannabis investment firms.

A 2017 report from Marijuana Business Daily showed that more than a quarter of all cannabis companies in the United States are owned or were founded by women. The data gathered from a survey found that 26% of firms in the cannabis industry were led by women.

According to the report, women owned or started more than 30% of cannabis testing labs, 26% percent of cannabis retailers, and 25% of infused product making companies. However, of cannabis investing companies, women made up only 11% of all owners or founders.

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