For those not indoctrinated, the cannabis industry is not filled with stoners. In fact, that image is largely being left behind, helped no doubt, by the National Cannabis Industry Association’s decision a few years ago to drop Tommy Chong as its ambassador in front of Congress, in order to present a more conservative appearance.

Today, the marijuana industry is filled with entrepreneurs, bankers, investors, and Wall Street types. And more and more, with women in leadership roles.

While the industry is still not on parody with the population (meaning that 50% of the companies are run by men, 50% by women), it is doing a much better job in terms of gender equality than most other U.S. sectors.

Marijuana Business Daily published a report in October 2015 that showed 36 percent of executives in the cannabis industry are women, compared to a 22 percent average for all U.S. industries. Then, in August to September 2017, they published four installments of a series of charts regarding women and minorities in the cannabis industry; the updated statistics show 27 percent of executives in the cannabis industry are women, compared to a 23 percent average for all U.S. industries. However, women comprise 42 percent of the executive positions at ancillary services companies and 35 percent of medical dispensaries/recreational stores.

How does that compare with the gender ratio in other industries? Among venture capital-financed, high-growth technology startups, just 9 percent are led by women, according to a July 2016 Harvard Business Review article.

Long before states began permitting the use of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes, smoking pot was traditionally portrayed in pop culture as a male pastime.  Studies suggest men are still more likely than women to consume cannabis. In popular culture, such as The Big Lebowskiand Seth Rogen movies, the common weed smoker has been portrayed as a lazy dude. While all pot smokers have been caricatured, the female smoker has been particularly marginalized and infantilized—when she shows up in movies and TV at all. And, overwhelmingly, the marijuana industry has taken a similarly sexist approach to try to appeal to men: trade shows abound with so-called “booth babes” hocking wares, and trade magazines like High Times feature women in bikinis with strategically placed marijuana leaves smoking large, phallic bongs.

Kary Radestock

The co-recipient of the “Cannabis Woman of the Year Award,” Kary turned her corporate expertise and knowledge about packaging and printing to good use in the cannabis industry. She co-founded Hippo Premium Packaging, a unique company that combines the talents and services of a full-service advertising agency, with the resources of a packaging company.

Kary works to help her clients succeed by providing them with an array of services, including: marketing strategy, brand development, social media, public relations, graphic and website design, printing and packaging.

She believes that there will come a day in the not-too-distant-future when cannabis businesses will have to compete with Big Pharma and Big Tobacco, so she helps her clients build strong brands today, so that they will not only survive, but that they will thrive.

Via Insight News