Women may occupy a larger chunk of executive positions in the cannabis space than in other industries, but they’re still far from leading the majority of marijuana or auxiliary businesses. In an effort to solve the problem of gender equality in the cannabis space, Amy Margolis, a former criminal defense attorney and founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association, has embarked on a multipronged enterprise to support women in weed.
To provide tools, mentoring, training and access to funding that female entrepreneurs need to ensure success in the cannabis space, Margolis founded an accelerator program called the Initiative. And to offer a physical incubator for the cannabis community to convene, network, host events or co-work, she founded the Commune, a 4,000-square-foot event, office and boardroom space in Portland, Oregon, with plans to expand to Los Angeles.
With a handful of boot camps and retreats planned through the Initiative, Margolis hopes female entrepreneurs will get re-engaged in their work and feel inspired to keep up the hustle. “The accelerator itself is for existing businesses who are ready to grow,” she explains, while the boot camp programs can be for veteran cannabis folk or women who are just starting to explore the space.
“It’s how to build your businesses out, how you get it funded, how you do branding and marketing at a concept and seed stage,” Margolis details. Women new to entrepreneurship or new to cannabis need to learn everything from the business vocabulary to financial literacy when it comes to helping their businesses thrive.
“The stats around women and funding are totally egregious, so women need to completely arm themselves with as much information as possible,” Margolis says. In fact, as of 2017, only 2 percent of female founders received venture capital dollars — the rest went mainly to men, and to some companies founded jointly by men and women.
“Everyone needs to be capitalized,” Margolis adds. “So how do you put together things like pitch decks and financials and some other basics of corporate understanding, what does your accounting look like, how do you hire an executive team?”
That said, while some of Margolis’ programming is geared only toward women, not all her programming is single gender. The idea is simply to give women the head start they’re not getting in the business world at large.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By Madison Margolin on LA Weekly
Published: August 28, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News