• US stock market daily report (July 09, 2015, Thursday)

    Suburban moms and women selling marijuana is a growing reality as legal obstacles gradually clear and retail spaces grow in numbers.

    Women Grow, a Denver-based industry network for women in the cannabis market, estimates that nearly 20% of marijuana business owners in the United States are female.

    According to a 2014 report by the National Association of Women Business Owners, women-owned businesses comprise of nearly 30% of all U.S. businesses. As the majority of women-owned businesses are nonprofit, they account for just 4% of overall business revenue.

    Producers are experimenting with more sophisticated strains of pot as more states legalize the use of marijuana for both medical and recreational use.

    Medical marijuana is legal in 23 states plus the District of Columbia. Recreational marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington. The increasing variety of THC strength in cannabis as well as various ways to ingest pot are increasing its appeal to new customers.

    The proportion of women in the medical marijuana patient population has grown to 35% in 2015 from 28.5% in 2009, in Colorado. The growing trend is extending nationwide, per chief executive of Marijuana Business Media Cassandra Farrington. She was noted as saying that, as marijuana is becoming more accepted as a medical norm, women are entering the recreational market as well.

    Farrington said, “As women were seeing friends and kids they knew going through health battles, they became more open to marijuana not as a taboo, but truly as medicine.” She added, “If you walk into most retail shops today, you see a lot less counterculture. No more big prominent babes in bikinis holding bongs in strategic places.”

    She continued to say, “As knowledge about cannabis has changed, you can get incredibly strong products and incredibly sophisticated products that aren’t as strong. Much like a woman would walk into a liquor store and buy wine instead of Everclear, that’s what’s going on on the marijuana side.”

    “Women set up entertainment for families. It’s becoming more common to have - instead of a six pack of beer - a little bit of marijuana on the table,” Farrington said.

    Jazmin Hupp, co-founder and executive director, with co-founders Jane West and Julie Batkiewicz launched 'Women Grow' in August 2014 with 13 female-run businesses in Colorado. The network boasts more than 30 chapters with hundreds of members across the United States in just eleven months.

    With women controlling the majority of consumer demographic, it's only logical that women design and sell the goods as well, per Hupp.

    “We’re at a time when the U.S. needs diversity in business leadership. The financial crisis was the last straw in the business model that made a small amount of people a lot of money. We’re now marijuana more accountability from the businesses we support, and women are central to creating that business model,” Hupp said.

    Women have a chance to occupy a greater proportion of leadership, by entering the cannabis industry in the current early stages, Hupp said.

    New ways to enter the marijuana market are developing as research continues. Topical products and pet edibles are two major budding marijuana markets.

    Hupp identified topical marijuana products such as balms, creams and oils give customers health benefits without the high. Cannabis plants can also be used to treat arthritis in pets without fear of overdose.

    “We are still in the really early days,” Hupp said of the industry. “We have a long way to go on what this industry can deliver once it’s legalized nationwide. Now is the time if you want in…You’re invited to the party, you don’t need anyone’s permission, but now is the time.”

    Contributed by Millennium Traders
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