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Melissa Hutsell is an award-winning freelance journalist with a deep rooted passion for both community and international journalism. She was born and raised in Northern California, and has lived, studied, worked, and traveled in more 20 different countries. Melissa holds a Master's degree in Global Journalism from City University London, as well as degrees in Journalism and Globalization from Humboldt State University. Though she covers various topics as both a writer and editor, she specializes in business and cannabis journalism.
"Wine, Women and Weed" explores cannabis from all angles and features lighthearted and comprehensive discussions with entrepreneurs, doctors, marketing executives, and more experts in the industry.
In the episode “Why Should Women Lead the Cannabis Industry?”, host Jacquie Court speaks with senior PR consultant Melissa Vekil about what draws women to the plant — into the business of cannabis.
In other industries, we typically see the c-suite as male dominated. While that may currently still be true in the emerging cannabis industry, these women are betting females will quickly catch up.
"Everyone’s talking about cannabis, but one thing that we’re not talking about is the role women are playing [in it], and how they’re quickly becoming leaders in the industry,” said Vekil.
Women are at the helm of the industry, she added. But why are they so attracted to cannabis?
Women tend to focus more on self-care, Court explained; they are caregivers, nurturers, and tend to carry more emotional and mental loads. Cannabis companies are making products specifically geared toward women, and are recognizing women’s needs.
Females aren't just gravitating toward the industry for health reasons, but for business opportunities, too. Because cannabis products are marketed toward women, women are needed in key leadership positions.
Women have product knowledge (one reason mom bloggers are so popular); women want to hear from other women who've tried products — especially when it comes to cannabis. "When we’re talking about the benefits of cannabis, for say menopause — one-in-three men go through menopause, three-in-three women go through it — if a man is talking about it, I’m gonna tune it out,” they quipped.
The interview sheds lights on the culture of support within the industry. “[…] women aren’t fighting for the same seat, but bringing each other to the table so they can own [it].”
The episode also discusses the opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the cannabis space.