Female-led cannabis companies have a harder time raising capital compared to their male counterparts, Yahoo Finance reports.
“What has ended up happening is that as states have adopted more limited license models, it’s become much more expensive to get in the game,” Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, recently told Yahoo Finance. “And so, it favors the people who’ve traditionally had access to capital, which are men — white men.”
According to a 2021 MJBizDaily report titled Current State of Diversity in the Cannabis Industry, only 19.9% of cannabis businesses are owned by women, only 8% of cannabis CEOs are women, and only 5% of executives at cannabis-focused investment firms are women. Additionally, female cannabis business executive representation in the industry dropped from 36.8% in 2019 to 21.1% in 2021, which is below the 29.8% women executive count found in 2020 across all other industries, Yahoo Finance notes.
“It’s a little disheartening. You have this brand new industry. You’d think that it really has the opportunity to set a new path but unfortunately at this point, it looks very much like a traditional industry.” — Whiteman, via Yahoo Finance
The diversity report said that starting a plant-touching cannabis business can run into the six figures and “the networks of investors that can provide that amount of money — such as high-net-worth individuals and venture capital firms — can be hard for women to tap into.” The report found even if women do secure major funding, “women-owned businesses often receive less funding and fewer resources — such as mentorship and strategic guidance — than their male counterparts.”
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