As one of the founders and operators of a Tier 2 recreational grow, I have seen an emergence of women in leadership roles in this “budding” industry. Every day I get to interact with women from an array of backgrounds that are bringing their skills to the cannabis industry. At Heavenly Buds, two thirds of our management team are women. I have experience mostly in Business Management and Human Resources. Our CEO, Michelle Martinez owned and operated a successful catering business in Maui.
Another woman I have the pleasure of knowing is Morgan Hutchinson one of the owner/operators of High End Market Place. “H.E.M.P.” is an adorable vintage house in downtown Vancouver in the up and coming art district. Before legal cannabis, Morgan worked in communications, specifically digital marketing and promotions. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Digital Technology and Culture at Washington State University Vancouver, and from there went on to manage communications for 80+ Jackson-Hewitt locations, as well as worked as Digital Marketing & Communications specialist for the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. I had the pleasure of asking her a few questions about her role and women’s role overall in the cannabis industry.
Q: What skills or experience have crossed over from your experience in digital marketing into the cannabis industry?
A: Everything from my past experiences in the digital marketing realm have crossed over into the cannabis industry. There are so many obstacles we’re faced with regarding marketing and advertising, so it takes a creative and collaborative approach to get our name out there and remain consistent in our brand and offerings. “
Q: What sort of roles do women play in your store?
A: Women play so many key roles at HEMP. Several of our female team members take on leadership roles at the shop, and have contributed greatly to how the shop operates throughout. The females on our team bring incredible organization and communication skills, as well as offer such positive and compassionate energy to the rest of the team, our customers, and our patients.
When I am visiting stores, I see more and more women employees. This is very exciting to me because the black market was a boys club of lazy stoners in my opinion. No more waiting 4 hours for your guy to show up. The Marijuana Business Daily conducted a poll in late 2017 and concluded that women hold 42% of the leadership jobs in the industry and 27% of the executive roles which is impressive if you compare that to the national average where women hold 52% of leadership positions and 26.9% of executive roles. I believe that in 2018 these numbers will continue to rise in the cannabis industry. You will see the business savvy stay at home moms, bakers, bankers, teachers, and women from all walks of life contributing their talents to the workforce. I am humbled by my own experience and grateful everyday that cannabis is legal, and I have the opportunity to work with some of the best in the industry.