An Introduction to the Intersection of Cannabis, Tech, & Women

The women of Smoke Cartel

The women of Smoke Cartel

By Samantha Kramer

In 1991, women held 36% of computing roles. Today, women hold 25% though 74% of young girls express interest in a tech career. (Observer)

In 2015, women held 36% of the executive positions in cannabis companies. Today, they hold 26.9% as senior-level male executives begin to move into the cannabis space. (Marijuana Business Daily Women & Minorities in Marijuana Report)

If the trend in cannabis continues, women will soon find themselves back “in their place” on-par with traditional industries where men take up 75% of senior level roles.

But what if women were to harness the power of cannabis and technology? What if we combine the same compassionate concerns that drive so many women toward cannabis -- safe and affordable medicine, environmental health, fair opportunities for women in minorities -- with modern technology’s ability to spread information, build communities, connect a variety of skill sets, and amplify female voices?

Sound familiar? We witnessed these same compassionate motivators elevated through a variety of technological platforms from Facebook groups to crowdfunding portals with the result: a historic 116th Congress that elected more than 100 women for the first time in American history.

So we know the model will work. 

There’s simply no reason not to channel this same technologically-driven female force as we make ourselves space -- or is it reclaim our space? -- in the budding cannabis industry. The “grass ceiling” hasn’t been set just yet, and the higher we climb as individuals the more we empower other women to do the same.

Join Smoke Cartel’s Darby Cox and Samantha Kramer at the 4th Annual National Cannabis Festival to discover how they’ve used modern technology to snag valuable titles like “Founder,” “President,” and “Chief Executive Officer.”

In the meantime, here’s a list of the easiest steps -- like so easy you could do it from your smartphone in front of the TV -- a woman can take to take the first steps toward a successful cannabis career through common technology:

  • Use social media to connect with people involved in areas of cannabis that interest you. Observe what topics they like to talk about, what type of events the attend, and what experience they have on their LinkedIn resume. Now duplicate.

  • Start honing your own social media feed to show the areas of cannabis that interest you and the connections and experience you’re adding to your resume. A well-crafted Instagram can be more memorable than a boring ‘ol resume!

  • Congratulate women you see working hard and succeeding, let them know you appreciate the doors they open so one day you can follow suit. They might just think of you when that new position opens up next year.

  • Watch tutorials on the skills you need to build your dream career -- whether that’s how to code, how to photoshop, or how to start investing in pot stocks! 

MOST IMPORTANTLY: JUST GET STARTED! Start writing up code, drafting blog articles, photoshopping your dream product packaging, whatever you’ve been thinking about -- start doing.

Women are nothing if not resourceful, and there are a million and one ways to empower oneself to succeed using today’s everyday technology. 

Don’t expect a VP job offer the next day or instant VC funding. (In an interesting clash of logic, women-led companies garner more than three times the return of male-led companies yet received only $1.46 billion to males’ $58.2 billion in venture capital funding last year.) A seed you plant today may not sprout until next year, but if you stay on the grind long enough -- and put technology to work for you -- you’ll be an expert before you know it with other women reaching out to you

And don’t forget to reach out that helping hand once you’ve made it. That’s how we can shatter those disheartening national averages like 116th Congress: together. 

Caroline Phillips