San Diego Group Aims To Empower Women In Cannabis Industry

By Marissa CabreraMaureen Cavanaugh

Legal marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar business in the United States, and with the prospect of California legalizing recreational marijuana, the profits are expected to go through the roof.

Some are concerned that legal marijuana will become another giant corporation.

A new organization says the answer to that concern is to get more women in the cannabis business. The San Diego chapter of Women Grow will host a forum Saturday for women who want to build their own cannabis businesses.

Erin McDonald, co-chair of Women Grow San Diego, told KPBS Midday Edition that the industry is not dominated by men.

She said women are more collaborative, which fits well in the legal marijuana industry. McDonald said the industry is being led by mothers who fight for medical marijuana for their children, and that its criminal stigma is fading away.

"Education will really trump all, and when you look at the truth behind the medicinal value of it, it's really going to re-educate the society," she said.

Kimberly Simms, a San Diego-based cannabis attorney, agreed there is still a stigma, but "as more and more professional individuals come out of the cannabis closet, it's changing that perception. You have professional people consuming cannabis, but you also have professionals running the businesses."

Simms said Women Grow San Diego also includes men who support women in the marijuana industry, and said the local chapter is made up of about 10 percent men.

Photo by Katie Schoolov