Women pushed to start working in medical pot industry

Posted at 8:33 AM, Dec 02, 2016

 Companies, MBA programs, and now the cannabis industry - what do they all have in common?

They want more women in leadership.

"Women hold a very powerful influence in our movement," Jamie Goswick, chairwoman for Women Grow, a networking group for women in the cannabis industry, said. "A lot of women make the medical and financial decisions within the household."

Women have a unique position as medical marijuana consumers. Women tend to suffer from chronic illnesses starting at a younger age than men, and they tend to live longer, according to the World Health Organization. In Illinois, the largest demographic of medical marijuana uses are older women.

"Women in this industry can absolutely lead the charge, the plant is healing, I think there's a lot of interest in it when we talk about these children or seizures or these diseases that women are very interested in," Stormy Simon said. She left her job as the President of Overstock to become a consultant to a dispensary in Colorado.

She likes that the drug is changing its market, like online shopping changed retail. "This industry will do the same to medicine, it's going to turn it upside down, and the industry's going to have to respond to that," Simon said.

For people to make money in this industry, Simon says, public opinion about marijuana will have to continue to change. "It is just a phenomenal place to be when you really understand getting past the plant just providing a high, and getting into what this plant can really be leveraged for and used for," Simon said. "Women have led that charge."

There's help for women interested in getting into the business. Women Grow is a group that meets once a month to network and share information. They meet in Lansing on the first Thursday of every month.