15 February 2022 |

Women in Cannabis in 2022

By Kaitlin Domangue

Female Cannabis Consumers

Breaking down the data on female cannabis consumers in 2022…

We were going to spotlight Valentine’s Day Cannabis data, but then we learned of a 3% year-over-year increase in female cannabis consumers during Valentine’s Day (12-14th) in 2021.

So instead, we’re going to look at women in cannabis — both from a consumer standpoint and professionally.

The total value of the cannabis products purchased by female consumers increased 55% from Q4 2020 to Q4 2021.

“Women continue to be the fastest-growing consumer segment in the cannabis industry and have traditionally driven most household purchases,” said James Ahrendt, BI Architect at Akerna, last year.

“This trend in consumer demographics is prompting the need for cannabis, CBD brands to gear their products and branding towards the female consumer.”

Consumer Preferences…

Per Headset, female consumers tend to look at cannabis from a wellness lens, as opposed to looking at cannabis recreationally.

29.6% of U.S dried flower sales in Q4 2021 were made by women, compared to 70.4% of men.

Topicals and sublinguals showed the closest distribution among the two genders, with 43.8% of sales made by women and 56.2% by men.

26.7% of concentrate sales were purchased by a woman in Q4 2021, with the remaining 73.3% by men.

The Opportunity

Brands have the opportunity to serve a huge market: female consumers.

Every year, more and more women become cannabis consumers. It’s pretty clear this demographic’s path of growth is going nowhere but up.

That being said, it’s also clear that women and men tend to prefer different form factors when it comes to their cannabis consumption.

In the coming years, we expect to see more female-focused brands taking the stage and introducing products that match what many women are looking for to capture that unique market.

Women Working in Cannabis

On a national level, 19.9% of cannabis businesses were owned by women (in select states) in the U.S in 2021 .

Just 5% of Massachusetts cannabis businesses owners are women, compared to 25% of female cannabis business owners in Nevada.

Currently, there’s a lack of data available to highlight this problem, however, a very in-depth report being put together over the last 2+ years is set to be released on March 3rd, focusing on women working in cannabis and their experiences in the male-dominated space.

Executive Positions

The percentage of women executives in cannabis has risen and fallen several times over the years. In 2015, 36% of executives in cannabis were women, however, by 2017, this figure had fallen to 26.9%.

In 2019, 36.8% of cannabis executives were women, and the pattern repeats itself by dropping to a new low of 22.1% in 2021.

According to MJBizDaily’s recent Women and Minorities in The Cannabis Industry report for 2021, which you can find linked a few paragraphs above, most female executives worked in testing labs.

48.1% of women in cannabis were executives for consumption/lounges and events, and 40.1% for wholesale cultivators.

One concerning stat is that just 4.6% of investors in cannabis were women in 2021, which makes little sense given that both men and women consume cannabis, and understand the cannabis industry.

Looking Forward

The percentage of female leadership in the cannabis industry is volatile, however, it remains unclear why this is the case.

The assumption that men are thought to have a better network of investors and partnerships in the cannabis industry, however, this still doesn’t explain why when times get tough in cannabis — female leadership declines.

Our Take

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, it’s important that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed in this industry such that the very best companies can be built and often this means breaking down old walls.

For many people who don’t have access to networks of high net worth individuals who allocate capital, this equality of opportunity does not yet exist, however, we are confident the cannabis industry will get there.