Ladies, Want To Be A CEO? Join The Weed Industry

From cannabis flower crowns to female-focused pipes, the marijuana industry is welcoming women with open arms on 4/20 and beyond

The nail polish looks normal enough: clear, shiny, and sticky as a girl delicately coats the tip of each of my fingers. Then I notice the little green flecks of OG Kush—one of the most popular strains of cannabis—that dot my nails like confetti. The girl looks at me with a delightfully dazed expression as she tells me the sour blue ribbon candy I’m heartily enjoying is actually medicated.

I’m sitting in a palatial outdoor lawn with plush Moroccan pillows and flickering lanterns inside one of Coachella’s most coveted parties hosted by the Weedmaps, a website that helps cannabis consumers find dispensaries near them. Judging by the chill crowd lovingly fondling bright green marijuana plants, I’m in the right place. The yard is taken over by large dome structures, each lit up with neon lights and outfitted by a different vendor showing off their wares. But it was the dome sitting smack in the middle of the yard that was by far the most popular and enchanting.

Inside the structure are four floor tables, each surrounded by women sharing their cannabis-infused talents, including marijuana manicures, Lowell Farms cannabis flower crowns, and custom-blended teas. The femininity was palpable, and the popularity of the tables was overwhelming, leading me to one conclusion: Women are totally going to own the cannabis industry.

“It’s an industry in it’s infancy, so there is no glass ceiling, there’s no ceiling at all,” Kate Miller, CEO and president of the soon-to-launch content and commerce platform, Miss Grass, says a few days later after the smoke had cleared from the Coachella bash.

Miller, the host of the highly popular attraction at the Weedmaps party, came to the industry after working in the traditional entertainment industry where she worked for the likes of television producers Ben Silverman and Lorne Michaels.

The cannabis industry, Miller says, lends itself really well to having female entrepreneurs come in and create an inspiring community in a way that more established businesses can’t.

“Cannabis culture in general, I’d say, has traits that are aligned more with feminine traits. Cannabis culture is centered around compassion and consciousness and community,” Miller said, adding coyly, “Not to mention, the plant itself is a female plant.”

Miller is correct that the plant used for consumption is a female plant, and about the cannabis community being a welcoming place for women. As the Center for American Progress reported in 2014, women make up 47 percent of the American workforce, but they only account for 14.6 percent of executive officers and 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

But in the Wild West of cannabis, women are significantly better represented in the boardroom.

“We are already running 36 percent of the C-suite or officer positions,” Alexis d'Angelo the Los Angeles chairwoman for Women Grow, said citing a 2015 Marijuana Business Daily survey.

It’s d’Angelo’s job to help cultivate and recruit more women for leadership positions in the cannabis industry. Through Women Grow, d’Angelo and other leaders host regular events for women to network, get valuable legal advice, and even discuss the power of branding.

“To be an entrepreneur is great,” d’ Angelo says, “you get to make your own rules and live by your own code of conduct, but unless you’re really a jill-of-all-trades and have experience in bookkeeping and human resources and policies and procedures when it comes to labor laws and all these other facets, it’s really difficult.”

One woman who knows more than a thing or two about the industry is Jane West, founder of Women Grow, Edible Events, and her eponymously named product line.

West’s entry into the cannabis space wasn’t as smooth as Miller’s. “I got fired,” West said with a hearty laugh. West explained that when she saw the marijuana industry starting to blossom, she wanted to leverage her event management background into creating something unique for the consumer.

She started Edible Events as a once a month party for those living in and around Denver to come and consume in a premium environment, complete with live music, food, and more. On February 26, 2014, CNBC aired a segment on her parties and it was the best and worst moment for West’s career.

“Brian Williams talked about it on the 5 o'clock evening news,” she explained, “and I’m in the image, and the title of the video is, ‘Pot-Smoking Moms Unapologetic About Getting High.’” When her colleagues back in Washington, D.C., saw the piece, they quickly let West go with little explanation.

She has since risen to the forefront as a leader in the cannabis movement—female or otherwise—but explained that while the cannabis industry is performing better than others when it comes to gender parity, there is still a long way to go. “Relative to other sectors of the economy there is more opportunity here for women because there isn’t a structure necessarily preventing us from success, but it’s still not domination.”

West and the other women may also be blessed with the ability to see into the future of cannabis sales. In February, Eaze, a California-based marijuana delivery service and technology platform, released data from its 250,000-person user base to show that by late 2016, 33 percent of its users were women, up from 25 percent at the start of the year. One could easily draw the conclusion that the demand for sites catering to women like Miller’s, events focused on females like d’Angelo’s, and highly curated, sleek and fashionable smoking accessories like West's will only exponentially increase as cannabis goes more mainstream.

But West, Miller, and d’Angelo all agree that the opportunity found in the cannabis space is a rare one for women. “Every single day that goes by we are creating a corporate culture here,” West said of the collective cannabis community. “Everyone here is responsible, whether it’s calling out someone’s bad behavior, or someone’s interrupting of another coworker, or whether it’s just addressing, ‘Hey there’s no black people that work here, we should have black people that work here.’ Just the fact that we are trying to have this be part of the conversation from the very beginning and hold people accountable to creating diverse, supportive work environments, that’s the most important thing.”

via The Howard Stern Show / YouTube

Former Secretary of State, first lady, and winner of the popular vote in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, sat own for an epic, two-and-a--half hour interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM show Wednesday.

She was there to promote "The Book of Gutsy Women," a book about heroic women co-written with her daughter, Chelsea Clinton.

In the far-reaching conversation, Clinton and the self-proclaimed "King of All Media" and, without a doubt, the best interviewer in America discussed everything from Donald Trump's inauguration to her sexuality.

Keep Reading Show less

Offering parental leave for new fathers could help close the gender gap, removing the unfair "motherhood penalty" women receive for taking time off after giving birth. However, a new study finds that parental leave also has a pay gap. Men are less likely to take time off, however, when they do, they're more likely to get paid for it.

A survey of 2,966 men and women conducted by New America found that men are more likely to receive paid parental leave. Over half (52%) of fathers had fully paid parental leave, and 14% of fathers had partially paid parental leave. In comparison, 33% of mothers had fully paid parental leave and 19% had partially paid parental leave.

Keep Reading Show less

Bans on plastic bags and straws can only go so far. Using disposable products, like grabbing a plastic fork when you're on the go, can be incredibly convenient. But these items also contribute to our growing plastic problem.

Fortunately, you can cut down on the amount of waste you produce by cutting down on disposable products. And even more fortunately, there are sustainable (and cute) replacements that won't damage the environment.

Coconut bowls


Who says sustainable can't also be stylish? These cute coconut bowls were handmade using reclaimed coconuts, making each piece one of a kind. Not only are they organic and biodegradable, but they're also durable, in case your dinner parties tend to get out of hand. The matching ebony wood spoons were polished with the same coconut oil as the bowls.

Cocostation Set of 2 Vietnamese Coconut Bowls and Spoons, $14.99; at Amazon

Solar powered phone charger


Why spend time looking around for an outlet when you can just harness the power of the sun? This solar powered phone charger will make sure your phone never dies as long as you can bask in the sun's rays. As an added bonus, this charger was made using eco-friendly silicone rubber. It's win-win all around.

Dizaul Solar Charger, 5000mAh Portable Solar Power Bank, $19.95; at Amazon, $19.95; at Amazon

Herb garden kit

Planter Pro

Put some green in your life with this herb planter. The kit comes with everything you need to get a garden growing, including a moisture meter that helps you determine if your herbs are getting the right amount of food to flourish. All the seeds included are certified to be non-GMO and non-hybrids, meaning you can have fresh, organic herbs right at your fingertips.

Planter Pro's Herb Garden Cedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazonedar Planter, $39.00; at Amazon

Reusable Keurig cups

K & J

Keurig cups are convenient, but they also create a ton of plastic waste. These Keurig-compatible plastic cups are an easy way to cut down on the amount of trash you create without cutting down on your caffeine. Additionally, you won't have to keep on buying K Cups, which means you'll be saving money and the environment.

K&J Reusable Filter Cups, $8.95 for a set of 4,; at Amazon

Low-flow shower head


Low-flow water fixtures can cut down your water consumption, which saves you money while also saving one of the Earth's resources. This shower head was designed with a lighter flow in mind, which means you'll be able to cut down on water usage without feeling like you're cutting down on your shower.

Speakman Low Flow Shower Head, $14.58; at Amazon

Bamboo safety razor


Instead of throwing away a disposable razor every time you shave, invest in an eco-friendly, reusable one. This unisex shaver isn't just sustainable, it's also sharp-looking, which means it would make a great gift for the holidays.

Zomchi Safety Razor, $16.99; at Amazon

The Planet