While we keep hearing about trouble in the cannabis industry, there are positives. Legal U.S. cannabis sales reached $26 billion in 2021, up from $20 billion in 2020. With this growth, the industry continues to be a source of opportunity for women.
According to a 2022 report by MJBizDaily, “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the Cannabis Industry,” women holding executive positions in the cannabis industry grew to 23.1%. But this falls short of the greater US business world where women hold 35% of leadership.
Also, the number of cannabis consumers in the U.S. who identify as women is also growing, A recent report from Headset determined that the rate of growth for female consumers in the U.S. is outpacing that of males — 55% vs. 49%, respectively.
To help woman have a bigger impact, Green Market Report has chosen Women’s History Month as the perfect time to host its second annual Women’s Summit. It will be held on March 23 in New York City. Last year’s sold-out event was noted for its diversity among established CEOs and up-and-coming entrepreneurs. In a survey by Peterson Institute for International Economics of 21,980 publicly traded companies in 91 countries demonstrated that the presence of more female leaders in top positions of corporate management correlates with increased profitability of these companies.
Debra Borchardt, founder of Green Market Report, states, “There’s no doubt the industry has faced some tough headwinds, but this current disruption will lead to a stronger industry overall. The get-rich-quick folks will get pushed aside and those that truly perform well will remain. The upheaval creates a buyer’s market in the industry and could create opportunities for new entrants into the market.
“There are numerous cannabis properties for sale at bargain prices. New owners will be able to snap up these businesses with right-sized pricing. If women can get the financing, there could be some seriously good deals for them. Samantha Gleit of Feuerstein Kulick will be speaking at the Summit about the decision on raising capital and debt decisions that come with growing your brand.”
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Curt Dalton, the founder of Cannabis.net, one of the leading voices for the stoner consumer, noted that “Debra and GMR has helped give creditability to the industry, lifted up women and called BS on players who have played fast and lose”.
“Leave it to Debra Borchardt and Green Market Report to be the champion of female cannabis entrepreneurs!,” shared Kim Ring, President of Ring Relations. “With the industry starting to catch fire again, it’s great to see that Debra is ensuring women have a seat at the table. By sharing the facts as a journalist, reporting on the good, bad, and ugly, she has helped provide the industry with creditability. Over the course of my cannabis career, not only has GMR has become my go-to woman-run cannabis publication, but I have powerhouse women in media (including Debra) to thank for educating me and helping me grow as a respected publicist in this industry.”
Anne Donohoe, Managing Director at KCSA Strategic Communications, echoed those sentiments. “Deb is a true pioneer in this industry. She was among the first financial journalists to see that this was a serious market with incredible potential. There were one off articles, full of puns and innuendo, but no one else was really covering it from a business perspective as a dedicated beat. She took the time to research, talk to everyone she could, and really got to know this industry inside and out — and has provided fair and honest reporting through the highs and the lows. No one knows this industry better than she does.”
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Shawna Seldon McGregor, founder of Maverick PR had this to say about the value of the Summit. “This will be the second year in a row that I have attended the Green Market Report Women’s Summit. Last year, the room was packed with women and our male allies. It was one of the most energetic and informative summits of the year. Now I’m coming back and can’t wait to hear the unique perspective of the moment from the female cannabis industry leaders curated by Debra & GMR, while providing outstanding coverage of the expansion of the cannabis industry and ensuring diverse voices from female leaders are heard.”
In the fall of 2021, Green Market Report was acquired by Crains in a deal negotiated by David Feldman of Skip Intro Advisors.