When Mary-Louise Parker played beloved suburban mom-turned-pot-dealer/empress Nancy Botwin, there was a novelty to her, simply because Botwin was a her. Over the years, we’ve watched wacky dudes deal weed in a score of wild wait-what’s-happenings (Dave Chapelle in Half Baked, James Franco in Pineapple Express, Faizon Love in Friday, etc). But in reality, women actually kick a whole lot of ass in the weed game—as long as it’s legal.
As the (wonderful) cover story of Newsweek’s latest issue hypes it, “Legal marijuana could be the first billion-dollar industry not dominated by men.”
It’s quite a headline. But it’s also an inevitable one, according to Genifer Murray, who heads Colorado’s cannabis-testing facility CannLabs.
“This is a compassionate industry, for the most part, especially if you’re dealing with the medical side,“ explains Murray. "The medical patients need time and consideration, and women are usually the better gender for that. The industry is flat-out geared for women.”
And it’s an industry that is only getting bigger and stronger.
By now, it should be no secret to anyone that there’s a lot of money to be made in the weed business (this infographic breaks it down). In 2014, legalized marijuana in the U.S., medical and recreational, brought in $2.7 billion. That’s a jump from 2013, when it was only medical (as shops didn’t crack open their doors until the following year), which saw licit dope roping in $1.5 billion. The prediction now is, according to ArcView Market Research, that pot sold in the already legal states and districts will bring in $11 billion by 2019.
Furthermore, there’s likely to be a great deal more legalization prior, given that more than half of U.S. citizens say the drug should be legal anyway, and that percentage is only increasing. We’re getting waaaaay cooler, you guys.
So where do the women come in? Everywhere.
Women are finding the niches and gaps in the blossoming lawful pot industry and filling in its many, many I-never-ever-thought-I’d-see-the-day opportunities for entrepreneurs. Here’s only a sampling of women who are going for the gold when it comes to the green, by either founding or co-founding greenery-focused companies and organizations:
• The American Cannabis Nurses Association, organization to support endo-cannabinoid therapeutics - Eloise Theisen
• Poseidon Asset Management, marijuana investment firm - Emily Paxhia
• Adistry, digital advertising for pot - Meghan Larson
• Cannabrand, cannabis marketing agency - Olivia Mannix and Jennifer DeFalco
• The National Cannabis Bar Association, group dedicated to cannabis-focused legal assistance and education - Shabnam Malek, Amanda Conley, and Lara Leslie DeCaro
• Synchronicity Sisters, cannabis sampling party hosting - Shabnam Malek and Amanda Conley (yes, the same as above)
As the U.S. shifts its weight against the prohibitionist attitude of pot, be on the lookout for women in high places.
Read Newsweek’s full story here.
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