by Hunter Dublin | September 27, 2022
According to a report from Yahoo Finance, female-led cannabis companies struggle more to raise funding than their male counterparts.
Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, "what has ended up happening is that as states have embraced more limited license models, it's become much more expensive to get in the game." These benefits men, specifically white men, who have historically had access to capital.
Women own only 19.9% of cannabis companies, 8% of cannabis CEOs are women, and 5% of executives at cannabis-focused investment firms are women, according to a 2021 MJBizDaily study headlined Current State of Diversity in the Cannabis Industry.
Additionally, according to Yahoo Finance, the proportion of female corporate executives in the cannabis sector decreased from 36.8% in 2019 to 21.1% in 2021, which is lower than the 29.8% figure for all other businesses.
Starting a plant-touching cannabis business can cost upwards of six figures, according to the diversity report, and "the investors that can produce that amount of cash — such as high-profile individuals and venture capital firms — can be difficult for women to tap into." Even when women secure significant funding, the report found that "women-owned businesses often receive fewer funds and resources — such as mentorship and strategic guidance — than their male counterparts."