Calgary

Group wants to grow number of women in cannabis business

Entrepreneurs will be looking to cash in on the marijuana market should the federal government make the move to legalize it as promised, and Alison McMahon is hoping many of those will be women.

'It's been largely dominated by men but we're seeing a big shift'

Alison McMahon is hosting a mixer at the Rose and Crown pub that aims to bring together women looking to get into the medical marijuana growing industry. (Alison McMahon)

Entrepreneurs will be looking to cash in on the marijuana market should the federal government make the move to legalize it as promised, and Alison McMahon is hoping many of those will be women.

"Historically, the criminal roots that cannabis has has meant it's been largely dominated by men, but we're seeing a big shift in that," McMahon told the Calgary Eyeopener.

"And it's a timing thing. If you think back to prohibition ending with alcohol, when an industry emerged out of that, women were not actively involved in the workplace and businesses the way they are today.

Today with the cannabis prohibition ending and this industry really emerging before our eyes, women are positioned beautifully to work in organizations, start their own businesses and be strong participants in this new industry."

The Edmonton chapter chair of Women Grow and founder of the consultancy group Cannabis at Work, McMahon is hosting a mixer Friday for women considering getting into growing at the Rose and Crown from 6 to 9 p.m.

The event happens ahead of the Hempfest Cannabis Expo, going Saturday and Sunday at the Big Four Building.

McMahon got started in the medical marijuana industry just over a year ago when her consultancy work opened her eyes to possible problems around future legal use of the drug.

"Organizations have typically been zero tolerance when it comes to cannabis and now we see the courts have been clear, employers have a duty to accommodate cannabis patients," she said.

"I like to say cannabis is coming to workplaces like a wrecking ball so my focus is on educating employers."


With files from the Calgary Eyeopener

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