Wellness

Running The Joint: Meet The Women Cashing In On Cannabis

From Harvard to hemp and corporate law to criminal justice reform, women in the cannabis space are blitzing the stereotypes that have plagued the cannabis industry and becoming the change-makers they want to see.

By Angela Ledgerwood

Wellness

From Harvard to hemp and corporate law to criminal justice reform, women in the cannabis space are blitzing the stereotypes that have plagued the cannabis industry and becoming the change-makers they want to see.

By Angela Ledgerwood

Cannabis is controversial. Depending on your perspective and experience the words “cannabis”, “pot”, “marijuana” or “weed” likely conjure clichéd images of spaced-out dudes and homemade bongs. Not necessarily a cohort of women creating cannabis-centric businesses that focus on the healing, and often non-psychoactive properties of the plant. The science is unclear: while cannabis has shown promising medical benefits in the treatment of epilepsy in children, for example, a recent study published in The Lancet showed no benefits in the treatment of chronic non-cancer related pain. Yet as women’s participation in the industry soars – from lawyers working for social justice reform to scientists researching the effects of cannabis on the adult human brain and body – its image is slowly being reshaped.  

What is undeniable is the rate at which the industry is booming. Whether medical and recreational use of cannabis is legal where you live – that’s in Uruguay, Canada and in some parts of the United States – or partially legal, such as Australia, where cannabis was legalised for strict medicinal purposes in 2017 – cannabis means big business. According to Forbes, the international legal market for cannabis is projected to hit USD$31.4 billion by 2021, up from a current USD$7.7 billion. As legislators increasingly allow medical cannabis programs (such as Australia), women have an opportunity to help grow – and lead – this nascent industry which may no longer have a glass ceiling. And as a recent NewsWeek article claimed, it could be the first billion dollar industry not dominated by men. Here, four women share (in their own words) why they’ve pivoted their careers into this contentious space.

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You’ve hit the glass ceiling. And our paywall.

Help us smash it by becoming a Future Woman for as little as $7 a month.

Join the club

Already a member? Sign in