In March, The Green Fund estimated that the cannabis industry was worth $150 billion. Its rapid growth can likely be attributed to a large number of female trailblazers who are paving the way across multiple sectors, from entrepreneurship to politics. Unlike other more well-established industries that are historically male-dominated, cannabis offers the opportunity for women to pioneer a new industry.

The percentage of women who hold executive positions in cannabis holds strong at 27 percent, according to a survey conducted by Marijuana Business Daily. Compare that to 23 percent — the percentage of women in executive roles across all U.S. businesses — and it’s easy to see how cannabis is becoming a booming industry for women’s leadership opportunities.

Shining a light on some of these inspiring and innovative leaders, Civilized recently rounded up 24 of the most influential women in cannabis. Read on to explore some of the industry’s leading women.

Wanda James
The first African-American woman to own a dispensary, James is very outspoken about the need for diversity and accessibility within the industry. A devoted cannabis activist, James juggles running her Denver-based company Simply Pure with frequenting government hearings and demonstrations to advocate for social equity, consumers’ rights, social consumption, and sensible cannabis policy.

Amy Margolis
Margolis’ résumé boasts 20 years of experience as an attorney and the founder of the Oregon Cannabis Association. She’s dedicated her work to helping other women grow and thrive in the industry. She launched The Initiative, an accelerator program for women in cannabis.

Debra Borchardt
The CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Green Market Report, a financial news site that follows the cannabis industry, Borchardt is one of the leading financial experts in the cannabis industry. She’s appeared on Yahoo TV, Cheddar TV, and Bold TV as a leading thought expert.

April Pride
A pioneer in closing the gender gap within the cannabis industry, Pride is a self-described “serial creative entrepreneur.” She sold her company, Van Der Pop, in 2017, and has now turned her focus toward normalizing, sophisticating, and repositioning the plant as an upscale consumer product.

Constance Finley
Inspired by her own experience with chronic illness, Finley has become a pioneer within the medicinal marijuana sector. Her own cannabis line, Constance Therapeutics, uses science to help other women manage their chronic pain.

Read the full list from Civilized here.

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