It’s been less than a decade since America’s experiment with adult-use cannabis legalization began. The growing legal weed industry has had an opportunity to start from scratch, without the entrenched biases that often come along with big business. And while different states have approached social and racial equity in the industry at varying paces, a new report details encouraging data, with nearly 37% of executive positions in cannabis companies held by women.
The new data, published this week by Marijuana Business Daily, details a 10% spike in women gaining leadership roles at legal weed companies since 2017. It also found that the cannabis industry on a whole has 15% more female executives than the 2018 national business average.
MJBizDaily has been tracking cannabis industry employment demographics since 2015, and the latest report, “Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry,” is the first such survey released since legal weed sales began in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada.
And while 37% is significantly higher than the 21% of executive roles held by women in other American business sectors, that figure is not a plateau by any means. In the newly published report, MJBizDaily authors note that as companies throughout the industry continue to expand, they are beginning to reach out of the initial hiring pool, and are now looking towards executives from other industries. And with an industry-wide focus on diversity that has so far outpaced the traditional corporate structure, those hiring increases could bring more women leaders into the fold.
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“Your teams are stronger if you have diverse backgrounds,” Leah Heise, former CEO of Women Grow, the cannabis industry’s largest professional networking association, told MERRY JANE in 2017. “You’re going to build a stronger company by including people who are diverse than you are if you just have everybody with exactly the same mindset.”
You can download the entire MJBizDaily report for free here, and for more information on how to get your foot in the door and become the legal weed industry’s next CEO, check out resources from networking groups like Women Grow and Ellementa.
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