Despite the cannabis industry becoming more accepted in the US, financially, it’s still following the traditional path of gender imbalance, stats show.
According to the MJBiz report, one of the main challenges women face when starting a cannabis business is the lack of access to capital. More precisely, the price of starting such a business has increased, and today, it can reach $100,000.
Unfortunately, venture capital firms and high-net-worth individuals that can provide that kind of funding are more accessible to men than women. Even if women do find an investor, they often receive less mentorship, money, and strategic guidance than men would.
According to Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, female-led cannabis companies receive 30–40% less capital than their male-led counterparts. This is in line with earlier research showing that female-owned companies earned less in 2021 than those led by men.
Additionally, only 19.9% of cannabis companies are owned by women, and just 8% of CEOs of such companies are female.
More importantly, less than 5% of executive positions in cannabis-related investment companies are held by women, which is another reason they are less likely to get the needed funding.
A report by the Arcview Group has come up with three possible solutions:
- non-accredited equity ownership
- sponsored equity ownership
- employee equity ownership
Only time will tell whether the industry will move away from the traditional model and apply any of the above-listed suggestions.