As Michigan’s dramatic struggle to end cannabis prohibition finally comes to a close, an interesting thing has happened to the state’s newest legal industry: It has a lot of women. Specifically: powerful, influential women.
By the numbers, women may not yet make up the majority of Michigan’s marijuana investors, ancillary service providers, and business owners, but there’s clearly a higher ratio of women in cannabis than there are in many of the state’s legacy industries like automotive and manufacturing.
And women in cannabis occupy positions of power. That means political power, lending power, and the subtle power contained in professional networks and investment portfolios.
Michigan women in cannabis tend to value collaboration, strategy, pragmatism, directness, and a mission-oriented drive. I’ve gathered together revealing insights from nine women who have made a considerable impact on the state’s industry.
I spent 30 years in the commercial lending departments of larger banks. I left the banking industry almost 2 years ago. I was tired of working for The Man—quite literally, since most of my managers were men. I spent some time finding an industry where I could put my financial skills, business development skills, and extensive network of business professionals to good use.
Fast forward to last November, when recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan. I started receiving questions from business contacts regarding financing early-stage marijuana companies. As you probably know, banks won’t lend to these companies. Through series of connections, I was able to identify a group of about 20 non-bank lenders who were interested in the Michigan market. And before I knew it, I had a pipeline!
Originally published on leafly