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Why I Love Being a Woman In Cannabis

Emma Collard discusses her experiences and the sisterhood within the cannabis community.

By Emma Collard

The cannabis industry is relatively new in the United States. Many women, like myself, have turned to a career path in the space and finally have the opportunity to lead and create a culture-friendly industry that supports them and other minority groups.

With that being said, the percentage of executive positions held by women in the industry fell between 2019 and 2021, according to a report from MJBizDaily. The cannabis community has always been a bit of a “man’s world,” but there is a need for a feminine touch. The plant itself used to produce those medicinal flowers is a female. It is strong, beautiful, and full of potential. Without it, companies would not be able to successfully operate.

A feminine touch is essential in this industry, and the longer I have been a part of it, the more I want to continue to help it grow. It brings about a certain sisterhood you don’t see in other realms, and since it is relatively new, it gives the opportunity to set the standards for the future women coming on board.

The Sisterhood

In my family, I am the youngest of three girls. Growing up, my sisters and I were always taught to be strong, independent, self-sufficient, and supportive of other women. I have been lucky enough to be raised in an environment that encouraged us never to allow anything to get in our way just because we were girls.

When I joined the Army at the age of 18, I was introduced to a much more masculine environment than I had ever experienced. To see females in leadership roles was rare, and our skills and abilities were constantly underestimated. For the first time in my life, I felt lesser of a person because of my gender.

My cannabis career journey began in early 2017 – shortly after medical marijuana was passed in Florida. The moment I walked into my first interview, I was greeted by two young women, and it was at that moment, I knew my life was going to change forever. I was finally entering into a new and exciting industry that is guided by strong and business-minded women. Truthfully, I couldn’t have asked for a better beginning to my career.

Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity to meet so many incredible women throughout the cannabis space who continue to inspire me and help motivate and lift me. In addition, there have been plenty of instances where I have been taken under the wings of professionals in this industry, some of whom I had just met and offered mentorship and guidance.

There seems to be an unspoken sisterhood within the cannabis community. No matter where I travel for an event, I am always greeted by other women with such kindness and sincerity. It doesn’t matter which part of the industry they’re in either. Everyone is here to support each other. This is something that I appreciate since I grew up with sisters, and it is one of the things that truly makes this industry unique.

Setting the Example

In addition to the sisterhood I have found within this space, I have also had the opportunity to help set an example for the young girls looking to get into the industry. So many young women are eager to find a job in cannabis because they genuinely value the potential of this plant. By helping pave the way for this industry to flourish, I have been able to set specific standards for how women should be treated and what they should be looking out for.

Throughout history, women have been taken advantage of and mistreated solely because of their gender. Many already established industries have certain expectations, or a lack thereof, that put countless barriers around a woman’s ability to perform to her best ability. While cannabis isn’t perfect because it is so new and full of empowered women, many things are being done differently to ensure we aren’t taken advantage of.

This industry has given me a platform to raise my voice over concerns I have as a female and the ability to come up with solutions that provide changes for the better.  It might not be perfect, but I love being a woman in this industry. It is a new space being molded into something we can all be proud to be a part of.

Cannabis is the future – and many women want, and deserve, to be a part of that.