by Eric Vengroff, Financial Analyst,

As I prepare to head into the Lift Expo Toronto ( I was impressed to note that 30 of the 73 names featured on the program are women. I was reflecting on this as I was reading through a survey by Marijuana Business Daily that the percentage had dropped from 36 percent in 2015 to 27 percent in 2017. Fortunately, that does not appear to be the case at this event, where the composition of the speaker list is 41% female.

Some are suggesting that as the cannabis industry’s business move up the food chain and become larger and larger businesses, the demand for investment and working capital will force many of them to hire male leadership. The conventional thinking indicates that maturing businesses need more executives with Y chromosomes to interact with other executives with Y chromosomes in banking, investment, engineering and operations; other male dominated fields. Recruitment also seems to be playing a factor as more and more businesses are hiring men from other mature industries looking to do some open field running in a new area of business.

Looking at the ‘Big Three’ in Canada, Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED), Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB), and Aphria Inc. (TSX:APH), the case appears to similar to the argument being made by Eli McVey through the interpretation of the survey results. There are no women senior executives at any of these companies, and only 2 on the board of directors between all three of these companies. One of these companies’ board and management are exclusively male.

I’m not making a financial case either for or against more women in the business, but as the father of two daughters who always encouraged them to be independent and live their dreams, I would advocate for more inclusivity for women at the highest ranks of the cannabis industry.

The information and opinions presented here are that of the analyst and do not represent the thoughts and opinions of this website.  The analyst does not own or represent any of the companies listed in this article and receives no compensation from any party mentioned in this article. Readers are urged to do their own research and due diligence and should seek advice from an independent financial advisor before making any financial investment.