The women of weed

Nicole Sara Sivens
November 27, 2018
8 min read
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Calling it Mary Jane was just the beginning. Cannabis farmers need a female flower to produce the sought-after effects of THC in their buds, and to do so they clone their strongest, called the Mother. Women even smoke more than men on average, with the number of women getting high growing larger each year.

So it only makes sense that women are taking the lead in the booming cannabis industry and maybe making it the first ever billion-dollar industry not dominated by men.

Many female entrepreneurs are striking Acapulco Gold

Though the industry is still mostly male and employment stats are slightly hazy, the authority and sway of women is, by all indications, blowing up. Women Grow—a professional marijuana women’s networking group—launched in 2014 with just 70 people; today, the monthly chapter meetings in 30 cities draw more than 1,000 women nationwide. The Marijuana Business Association, a Seattle-based B2B trade group, started a Women’s Alliance the same year that now claims 500 members. In just two years, Women of Weed, a private social club in Washington, has seen its membership swell from eight to 300.

Despite its still-illegal federal status, the cannabis industry is one of the nation’s newest and fastest-growing. Medical and recreational use marijuana is projected to reach nearly $11 billion in revenue by the end of 2018.

As legalization spreads nationwide, women are taking over more functions in the industry. There are female cannabis doctors, nurses, security guards, chefs, marketers, investors, accountants, and professors.

And where they can’t get in through existing doors, women are breaking down the walls. The reality is, until totally and nationally legal, cannabis is still very much a minefield. Anyone who gets into the trade is a criminal in the eyes of the feds. Enter: Amanda Connor, a Nevada lawyer specializing in marijuana laws and regulations. “On account of its federal status, most big law firms don’t want to touch weed,” Connor explains. “Ethically, lawyers aren’t supposed to give advice about illegal activities. Major firms are afraid to lose clients.” Her boutique firm may be the only one in the country that takes marijuana providers through the entire draconian process, from licensing to opening a shop.

This is an important consideration for future cannabis entrepreneurs and the people who invest in their companies. The industry is getting big, fast, and investors are wise to keep an eye on things. From a Forbes piece this year: over the next 10 years, the legal cannabis industry will see much progress around the globe. Spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to hit $57 billion by 2027. The adult-use (recreational) market will cover 67% of the spending; medical marijuana will take up the remaining 33%.

The largest group of cannabis buyers will be in North America, going from $9.2 billion in 2017 to $47.3 billion a decade later. The largest growth spread, however, is predicted within the rest-of-world markets, from $52 million spent in 2017 to a projected $2.5 billion in 2027.

As for Swell Investing, we’re always on the hunt for companies that will add value to the world and our investors’ futures, and we are uncompromisingly selective. Our team aims to have at least 40 different holdings in any given portfolio, and the unfortunate fact is that there are not 40 high quality, Swell-caliber cannabis firms from which to create an entire ‘potfolio’.

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