Why Are Women Disappearing From the Cannabis Industry?

As traditional VC funding and corporate infrastructure take hold of the fledgling industry, familiar patterns begin to emerge.

In 2015, Marijuana Business Daily reported that the percentage of female executives in the marijuana industry sat at a healthy 36%. Women who were making an impact in the caregiving space pivoted to incorporate cannabis into their businesses, new dispensaries and innovative product lines were started, and people like Tahira Rehmatullah (director of Hypur Ventures) and Amy Margolis (Portland-based criminal defense attorney and Founder of the women-­focused accelerator The Initiative) felt the scales tipping toward a new paradigm. Just two years later, however, that number has dropped to 27%. Why?

Some theorize that as big investment funding begins to creep into the industry, those at the top are adopting the “go with what you know” approach, which means male executives placed at the top of the heap. “Cannabis companies also are increasingly plucking executives from corporate America as they mature and the industry becomes more attractive,” reports Eli McVey of Marijuana Business Daily. “Consequently, the executive structure of businesses in the traditional economy—where males occupy more than 75 percent of senior roles—has begun to seep into the marijuana industry.”

Read more on the trend here.