Being a woman in business comes with a profound number of systemic and societal challenges, but nowhere is it more apparent than in the cannabis industry. According to data released by the Women in Cannabis Study, the vast majority of women in the space deal with extreme barriers to success. This can include a lack of opportunities or funding, harassment in the workplace, lack of work-life balance, self-esteem issues, and more.
Women Employed in Cannabis (WEiC) is an organization working to combat these problems. The group brings women in the evolving marijuana space together in a variety of ways to help them advance their goals and achieve their dreams.
Learn more about WEiC, the important work the group is doing, and how you can get involved in this Cannabis Community College Q&A with founder and Global Cannabis Industry Networking Group diplomat Kyra Reed.
“I want to meet women in Oklahoma” or “I’m traveling to France next week and would love to connect with other women in the EU.” Our organization is acting as the overarching umbrella that helps to tie us together as women in the industry – regardless of location or occupation.Kyra Reed, Founder of Women Employed in Cannabis (WEiC)
How did you get into the cannabis space?
I had a branding and social media agency that was focused on helping women build their online businesses. I have been a consumer most of my life and was eager to participate in the emerging industry. I started by offering my services to cannabis brands right around the time of California adult-use legalization in 2016.
What is WEiC? How does the organization help women in the industry?
Women Employed in Cannabis is an international association for women working in cannabis.
Our goal is to provide women with the resources, connections, and community that will empower them to achieve success in their cannabis careers.
WEiC provides value to women working in cannabis through community by creating a safe place for all women working in cannabis to participate together in the mission of creating a fair, just, and equitable industry.
Membership provides women with the ability to build networks, share resources, provide support to one another as they navigate the ever-changing landscape of the cannabis industry. Our events create experiences, both on and offline, for women to connect, educate, and empower one another.
WEiC is the only place in the cannabis industry where women can connect with each other – state to state and country to country.
Local women’s groups are critical for that in-person community building but there is not a place where I can go to say “I want to meet women in Oklahoma” or “I’m traveling to France next week and would love to connect with other women in the EU.” Our organization is acting as the overarching umbrella that helps to tie us together as women in the industry – regardless of location or occupation.
The connections women have made range from finding a job, a business partner, or an employee. They get help with everything from how to raise money, get the right equipment, negotiate for a better contract, etc. Whatever you need, there is a place to ask for help and you’ll likely find the answers you seek.
What is the 4Ps pledge?
First off, the four Ps are Pay, Promote, Partner And Protect. The 4Ps are ways for those working in the cannabis industry to BE and DO better. By signing this pledge you acknowledge there are roadblocks and conditions women face working in cannabis that are driving them out of the industry.
How can industry professionals advocate for one another, and specifically create opportunities for women?
This is why I created the 4Ps. I get asked this a lot. The two things women need most are capital and promotions – so give women money and promote them in your company. Just those two things would change the trajectory for women. It’s really not that complicated. But it seems like the hardest thing in the world to do. If you can’t do that then see the 4Ps.
What advice do you have for newcomers to the industry?
Almost no one gets rich quick and many are still struggling to make ends meet. It’s the hardest industry I’ve ever worked in, but also the most rewarding. Be prepared for roller coasters, brick walls, and an endless fight for access to capital. It’s a tough path but if you stick with it will be the most rewarding work you have done.