Big Weed Has A Grass Ceiling
Bloomberg Businessweek|July 22, 2019

As VCs and corporate money move in, women say they’re being pushed aside

Ellen Milligan, Kristine Owram, and Jordyn Holman, with Sam Unsted 

When Nancy Whiteman, 61, founded her marijuana edibles company, Wana Brands, almost a decade ago in Boulder, Colo., the legal industry was rel­atively diverse and dominated by local startups. It helped that Wall Street banks and institutional investors took a hands­off approach to cannabis, leery of getting involved with a drug that’s still banned by the federal government. “It was a pretty even playing field for everybody—men, women, anybody who was interested,” Whiteman says.

These days, however, the industry is increas­ingly dominated by men. The influx of venture money and Wall Street dollars, in addition to the rise of larger companies operating in several states, has made things harder for startups and, by exten­sion, female­led businesses. In 2015, 36% of pot executives in Colorado were women, but two years later that had dropped to 27%, according to Marijuana Business Daily. Some in the industry fear the same lack of diversity that’s characterized such sectors as finance and technology will become the norm for the fast­growing pot world.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEKView All

When Covid's End Means A Return to Prison

Inmates sent home under the Cares Act find themselves in limbo

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Many Radical New Applications

For Moderna, going from startup to world-leading vaccine maker was challenging enough. Bringing messenger RNA to flu shots, cancer treatments, and more will be even harder

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

He's Making Apple the Bad Guy

Horacio Gutierrez has spent five years molding the narrative of the iPhone maker as an abusive monopolist

6 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Mixing Markets, Faith, and Instagram

A celebrity preacher in Indonesia shows that meme stocks are a global phenomenon

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

How to Forget a Pandemic

As Covid-19 devastated Mexico, the government obscured the facts about cases, deaths, and vaccinations

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Get 'Em While They're Hot

After their smokin’ pandemic-era growth, grill makers Weber and Traeger are going public

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

FOOD FOR PEOPLE WHO CAN'T EAT

A dentist with a culinary diploma has made crispy crackers that don’t need chewing. The next step is selling them

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Fear of a Digital Dollar

The idea of a government-backed virtual currency has support in policy circles, but banks see a threat to their dominion over consumer finance

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Can't Hide From Diaper Inflation

Lower-income households are struggling to absorb double-digit price increases

4 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021

Another Covid Crisis for Global Supply Chains

Hundreds of thousands of unvaccinated seafarers could snarl international trade

5 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
July 19, 2021
RELATED STORIES

The Beauty Benefits of Hemp & CBD

These trendy supplement ingredients are becoming more and more popular in personal care products

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
June 2020

Miracle Cure Or Wellness Fad?

The use of cannabis for its health benefits can be traced back to Ancient China, but it’s only in recent years that modern medicine has started looking at marijuana in a whole new light

5 mins read
YOU South Africa
12 March 2020

Can The Black Market Be Stopped?

The biggest threat to marijuana startups isn’t coming from the legal competition. It’s coming from the illegal market, which thrives even in states that have legalized weed. To extinguish the threat, licensed dealers might have to work together.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
March 2020

Recent Research Into Pain, Anxiety, Sleep, & Parkinson's

CBD is everywhere these days—in products from supplements to sparkling water to shampoo. What’s the best way to benefit? A doctor and a pharmacist explain

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
January 2020

Doping - With The Olympics Comes Temptation

With the Olympics comes increased scrutiny of the anti-doping policies of competition climbing

8 mins read
Gym Climber
Issue 4, Winter 2019-2020

Can You Hack Your Own Brain?

From brain-boosting supplements to “smart” drugs, nootropics may hold the secret to unlocking the hidden potential of our minds.

4 mins read
Marie Claire Australia
November 2019

Wacky Willie's Reefer Madness!

Fears marijuana mogul’s lungs are going up in smoke

1 min read
Globe
September 16, 2019

Weedmaps To Stop Advertising Unlicensed Pot Businesses

The major online pot shop directory and cannabis marketplace Weedmaps announced Wednesday that it will no longer allow blackmarket businesses to advertise on its site, a decision that could boost California’s efforts to rein in its vast illegal market. State regulators and licensed businesses had been pressuring the company to ban unlicensed businesses. Allowing untaxed, unregulated product on the site alongside the taxed marijuana of licensed and regulated stores undercut the legal market, they said.

2 mins read
Techlife News
August 24, 2019

Kevin Murphy - The $3.4 Billion Man

Kevin Murphy left Wall Street for cannabis in 2011, grew his company, Acreage Holdings, and sold it this spring for billions. And he says there’s plenty more room for growth.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
September 2019

Ease Your Aches With CBD

The popular hemp extract has delivered dramatic, life-changing pain relief for many people—without the issues associated with opioids.

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
August 2019