According to MJBizDaily’s most recent Women & Minorities Industry report, female executive representation in the cannabis industry is 22 percent, down from 36.8 percent in 2019. This places female representation in our industry lower than the national average of roughly 30 percent. The decrease in representation from 2019 to today isn’t limited to the c-suite, we see lower percentages of women across our sector. From budtenders to community outreach to medical markets, women’s representation appears to be declining while the industry itself is ascending. Cannabis keeps acquiring more money, more relationships, and more power. My concern is that what has happened in other once-niche industries will happen to us; women create space and innovate within it and then are pushed to the fringes when traditional well established (read mostly male) funding sources arrive. So what are we doing about it?

In my role, I meet female leaders every day. In that sense, I occupy a very privileged position because I’m surrounded by the best and brightest women working in the cannabis industry. Many have worked in cannabis for decades, navigating landscapes far more complicated than today’s. Others have joined more recently, often compelled by a desire to do good and right old wrongs while still making a healthy profit. The Women’s Cannabis Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) appeals to legacy and new leaders. As its Executive Director, my responsibility is to help ensure our industry is one where women thrive. As a woman and a person of color, it’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly. The WCCC is determined to create an ecosystem that equips women to become self-sufficient contributors. That sometimes means if there isn’t a seat at the table we make our own table.

The WCCC is a national organization founded in Denver, CO with a mission to move women beyond empowerment and propel them into powerful result-driven career strategies, executive positions, and business ownership. Chapters across the nation are committed to providing members with resources, education, and support for financial success and expansion. We go far beyond your typical networking group. Members receive free and discounted courses, inclusion in coveted industry events or discussions, and free publicity through individual chamber participants or sponsors. All while having the ability to cultivate authentic and reliable relationships.

Dorri C. McWhorter, a board member of Green Thumb Industries recently said, “Women have been experiencing the cumulative effect of being denied economic opportunity and that has put [them] at a significant disadvantage throughout years in being able to influence and advance [their] interests.” What gives me hope is that she made this comment at the Illinois Women in Cannabis Annual Conference, a critical type of forum that I’m seeing more and more of across the U.S. And this makes sense given Gen Z women are now the fastest-growing consumers of legal cannabis, increasing year-over-year sales by 151%, according to a report by Headset. We need more women leaders, particularly diverse women leaders, to navigate the development of goods and services that better attract this demographic. Most people won’t need to explore further than their nearest head shop to confirm that cannabis is still predominantly presented through the male gaze.

The WCCC fights for real representation, not the check-the-box variety. Jessica Passman writes in How to Actually Empower Women in Cannabis, “Having more women in leadership roles is essential, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of women.” I believe the best way to effect change is through the support and education of our current and future leaders. This is part of the reason The WCCC puts heavy emphasis on the continued education of its members through partnerships with nationally recognized Cannabis Course providers. That and the other services mentioned above are our way of creating the change we want to see. The cannabis industry has seen a dramatic transition as our economy and culture has found new homes, products, and a renewed sense of purpose. With user and CPG diversification, aided by a steady chipping away of stigma, The WCCC is committed to ensuring that the future of Cannabis is not just inclusive and equitable, but female.

For more information on The WCCC, please contact Brianna Bowes at or find the next event at or