How Women Can Continue Rising in the Cannabis Industry
When Windy Borman started making her documentary on women in the cannabis industry in 2015, women held 36 percent of its senior leadership roles, compared to 21 percent across all industries in the United States. But by the time her film, Mary Janes: The Women of Weed premiered at the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton March 3 to a sold-out crowd, the latest news showed that statistic had dipped nine points to 27 percent.
The new number “gives the film’s call to action a new meaning,” Borman said in a panel discussion after the viewing. “Gena Davis says ‘If you can see it, you can be it.’”
And that’s what the film does: Mary Janes showcases women who work in senior roles across all divisions of the cannabis industry and what they’re doing to impact factors beyond gender parity, such as social issues like racial equality, environmental sustainability and fair policies. It doesn’t focus on the hardships or the battles women face, instead showing how they’re taking control of the industry and making it their own.
When asked how women could help move that 27 percent statistic up again, one panelist and “puffragette” featured in the film said there’s at least one area where there’s room for improvement.
“You know what ladies? We need to invest. We need investment money that comes from women,” said Wanda James, a Denver cannabis entrepreneur and activist known for being the first black woman to own a dispensary in Colorado. “I think women look at business differently…I’m not saying men are bad, but women are different, and now is the time for different.”
The film itself was funded through a variety of avenues, including crowdfunding, donations, sponsorships and equity investing, according to Borman.
While the numbers of women executives in weed may have dipped, there was still