National Women’s History month is the entirety of March, and we want to highlight some of the amazing women in the cannabis industry. Whether it be starting national brands, aiding in research, or paving the way for the industry itself, the cannabis industry has made an effort to bring female cannabis enthusiasts to the front lines. Women in cannabis are doing everything they can to fight inequality, and one of the bigger issues women face today is the Gender Wage Gap.
When it comes to the wage gap, it is important to look at numbers and which industries and countries are doing their part. Though our overall gap in this country is not as high as countries such as South Korea, at 32.5% we are still in the top 10 at an overall 18.5%. More importantly might be how this number is broken down. In the U.S. 94.6% of CEO’s for Fortune 500 are male. This is an astronomical number because it means women may be working but they are not in positions of power where most of the higher paid positions are. In these same Fortune 500 companies 62.8% of their minimum wage workers are women. These facts lead to the assumption that if you are a woman looking to be in management, Fortune 500 companies are not the place to look for it.
Cannabis experiences a much different but equally difficult battle. First, people must acknowledge that the cannabis industry worker makes less than the average worker in every other industry. Dispensary managers in the cannabis industry make on average about $40k in Oregon, which is half of what men make in company management in other industries. Though a new industry, cannabis is on the forefront of closing the gender wage gap. Unfortunately due to this newness there is not currently good data on where the wealth lies when it comes to men vs women in the cannabis industry.
What there is, is an array of amazing CEO’s, Founders, Managers, and Cultivators who are closing the gender wage gap among cannabis workers. Our own company is founded by Brie Malarkey who’s passion for herbalism and plant medicine led her to open Southern Oregon’s first licensed dispensary. She later expanded and created Sun God Medicinals and Sun God Herbals, both product manufacturing companies and with her roots still at the family farm, Sunna Ra Acres. Our business has been on the forefront of demystifying cannabis and medicinal herbs for years and will continue to be a voice in cannabis for years to come.
Last year’s Cannabis Cup was to be full of a vast amount of highly educated women invested in the forward momentum of cannabis. For example, Marguerite Bolt is the hemp Extension specialist in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. She received her M.S. in Entomology from Purdue University, and her B.S in Entomology from Michigan State University. Bolt’s research has focused on hemp-insect interactions and plant chemistry. Her position is new to the university but allows her to serve as a catalyst to link growers to production facilities and the research community through online resources, field days, and workshops.
Another amazing woman who was to speak at the Cannabis Cup 2020, is Debby Goldsberry. Goldsberry is the executive director at Magnolia Wellness, an award-winning dispensary in Oakland, California. She is also the managing director of the Berkeley Community Care Center dispensary at Amoeba Music. Goldsberry co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, facilitating its growth for more than 11 years. Goldsberry is also invested in educating people about the cannabis industry as she published her first book in 2017, “Idiot’s Guide: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business.”
Our company is proud to be among the many cannabis companies that are empowering women. There shouldn’t be a gender wage gap, and a lot of industries are looking for ways to change the current system. Cannabis is doing a great job working towards this change, as seen by the amazing women exceeding expectations that were outlined above. What would have been this year's Cannabis Cup, was geared towards empowering many female voices in the cannabis industry. They have been outlined on their website. When it comes to breaking the standard, our company is excited to see what the women and men of cannabis will do next to expand the industry and keep forward momentum in closing the wage gap for not only women, but all marginalized communities.
The Herbalist Team at Breeze Botanical's uses our collective educational experiences and on-going thirst for knowledge to normalize the conversation around herbs and to demystify the world of herbal medicine. Join us on this journey and embrace the plants around you.