Although the cannabis industry has become more widely accepted throughout the U.S., the number of companies led by women has not kept up.
According to the chief executive of Wana Brands, a female-led edibles company, a major part of this has to do with who gets the most funding: When women in the industry raise capital, their valuations can be 30% to 40% less than similar male-led companies, she said.
"They get a fraction of the capital in that case," Nancy Whiteman, CEO of Wana Brands, told Yahoo Finance at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference. "It's a little disheartening. You have this brand new industry. You'd think that it really has the opportunity to set a new path, but unfortunately, at this point, it looks very much like a traditional industry."
Lack of access to capital remains a key challenge for women looking to start a plant-touching business, regardless of the market," a report stated. "The amount of money needed to start a plant-touching cannabis business can easily surpass six figures, and the networks of investors that can provide that amount of money — such as high-net-worth individuals and venture capital firms — can be hard for women to tap into. If they do find an investor, the women-owned businesses often receive less funding and fewer resources — such as mentorship and strategic guidance — than their male counterparts."
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