Fashion met cannabis this past weekend as Project Runway Allstar, Korto Momolu, partnered with Women Grow, the largest network of women in the cannabis and hemp industries for a runway show spectacular. The combination of high fashion and activewear emblazoned with the Women’s Grow logo was well-received by an enthusiastic audience.
Models sashayed down the runway with some proudly taking hits on vapes as they meshed glamorous high fashion and cannabis consumption. The show embraced the idea that women can be seen in flowing beautiful gowns and also consumer cannabis whether it be CBD or THC.
Momolu debuted a runway collection of women’s ready to wear that embodied the power, influence, and strength of female leadership. The fabrics chosen for the outfits were from many sustainable materials including hemp fabric, linen, jute, and cork. The activewear from the Women’s Grow line promoted the idea of a healthy lifestyle with the element of cannabis thrown in. The show was notable for its inclusivity with models of different sizes and ages. Yes, a model with grey hair came strutting down the catwalk. No ageism was allowed at this show.
“While the intersection of fashion and cannabis industries may not seem obvious at first, the collaboration was created to amplify the message of Women Grow – Empowerment, Inspiration, and Education,” states Chanda Macias, CEO of Women Grow. “Through Korto’s innovative and elegant collection, our goal is to break through the stigma of cannabis culture and bring to light the health benefits of the plant, and the value of women leaders in the industry.” Macias noted that Women Grow’s mission is not to cultivate cannabis but to intentionally cultivate female leadership within the cannabis industry as well.
As the beauty industry has embraced CBD with seemingly every product now claiming some sort of Cannabidiol inclusion, fashion has been slow to join in. Hemp was used for textiles for hundreds of years, but its characteristics of strength make it a difficult and expensive product to process for clothing. However, as more apparel manufacturers begin to work with hemp once again, the processing should begin to improve and become less costly.
“Women Grow has a great handle on an industry that is about to truly explode – and this offers a HUGE opportunity for women to make their mark. They’re all about empowering women, and that’s what resonated with me most,” commented designer, Korto Momolu. “We’re looking to normalize cannabis – we’re showing vapes on the runway and an assortment of hemp-based fabrics.”
Korto Momolu auditioned for, and earned a spot on the 5th season of Bravo TV’s hit show, Project Runway – earning her the prize of “fan favorite.” She was highlighted in the ‘Top 5 Designers to Watch’ at her debut season at New York fashion week SS09.
HollyWeed North Cannabis Inc. signed a letter of intent on September 10, 2018, to acquire Women Grow, LLC for an undisclosed amount. Women Grow was founded in 2014 in Denver, CO and provides connections, education, and empowerment for aspiring and current cannabis entrepreneurs and business executives.
Renee Gagnon, Founder, and CEO of HollyWeed North said, “For almost four years, it has been my pleasure to share in the phenomenon that is Women Grow. Women are the cornerstone of the cannabis industry and it is HollyWeed North’s goal to ensure that women succeed and thrive in this exciting emerging industry.”
Women Grow has had over 50,000 individuals across the U.S and Canada attend its monthly Signature Networking Events and annual Leadership Summit, with an overall reach of over a half of million followers. Currently, Women Grow operates in seventeen (17) markets and continues to expand.
HollyWeed North is a private Canadian company incorporated in British Columbia and it was established in 2016, with operating subsidiaries specializing in the growth, manufacturing, licensing and production of cannabis and other pharma grade products. HollyWeed North’s subsidiaries include HollyWeed Manufacturing and Extracts Inc., a federally dealers’ licensed company incorporated in British Columbia specializing in cannabis extraction and product manufacturing.
HollyWeed has several subsidiaries including HollyWeed Grow Inc., a late-stage federal ACMPR Applicant, also a private company incorporated in British Columbia specializing in the growth of medical cannabis and cannabis products, HollyWeed Retail Inc., a retail strategies provider and supply chain management company incorporated in British Columbia, Hollyweed Bakery Inc., a developer and manufacturer of unique cannabis baked goods and edibles incorporated in British Columbia, and Terracube International Inc., a manufacturer and developer of proprietary scalable, sanitary grow facilities incorporated in British Columbia.
“This is an amazing opportunity for Women Grow and its community. We are pleased to enter into this next phase with HollyWeed North and Renee Gagnon, a highly respected and notable business leader in the cannabis industry. We have enjoyed a long relationship with Renee and look forward to exploring potential expansion opportunities,” said Kristina Garcia, CEO of Women Grow.
Chairwoman of Women Grow’s Board of Managers, Dr. Chanda Macias, said, “This is a monumental and thrilling time for Women Grow. Renee Gagnon has been an integral part of Woman Grow from the beginning. She understands and supports our community.”
Part 1 of 8 2018 Cannabis Trends: Female leadership on the rise.
They say the future is female, and there are few places where that is more apparent than in the cannabis industry. Once thought of as a male-dominated industry, women have quickly claimed their place as leaders in this burgeoning industry.
According to Marijuana Business Daily, women make up approximately 27% of C-Suite level positions in the cannabis industry, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that the national average is only 23%. What is unsettling, is that in 2015 women held 36% of executive control. That is almost a 10% loss of leadership positioning in less than 3 years.
As the market matures, and continues to begin attracting more institutional capital, female entrepreneurs will have to work at keeping the industry a level playing field. And collectively, that is what the trends reveal that they are doing.
For women in cannabis, it has become a badge of honor to know that within their new burgeoning industry ready to take the globe by storm, they hold the largest percentage of ownership, management and control of any industry in the world for their gender. Therefore upon recognition of the possibility of losing that title, the women have begun to band together and work toward the goal of making cannabis the first industry in the world to achieve 50% female control.
When you drill down into specific segments of the cannabis industry, you start to see even more women in leadership positions.
For example, among cannabis dispensaries, women make up approximately 35% C-Suite level positions. That number rises even higher for ancillary cannabis brands, of which women comprise approximately 42% of executive level positions. Canadian medical cannabis company Tilray has the first female majority board of directors in the industry.
But the board room is not the only place in the cannabis industry where women are shining. Over the last few years, there has been a groundswell in the number of cannabis industry organizations made for and by women.
Perhaps the most well-known industry group for women in the cannabis industry is Women Grow. Founded in 2014 by cannabis personality Jane West, the group’s original goal was to help make the cannabis industry the first women-led billion dollar industry.
When initially launched,Women Grow was massively successful and soon dozens of chapters began sprouting up all across the country. But in recent years the organization has run into trouble; chapters have been closing and key leaders have left. Women Grow is currently in a transitional period. Hopes for a healthy, strong future have become possible for the organization with a new leadership team in place. However, the obstacles that Women Grow have faced has not stopped others from stepping in and helping to fill the void.
There are credible organizations that were created to help women in the cannabis industry in a general capacity, such asEllementa, andIndustry Power Women (IPW), that specifically bridge the gap between female entrepreneurs and the resources they require to succeed in business. Other organizations have been created to specifically help women of color, likeSupernova Women andWomen Abuv Ground.
In addition, women have come together and organized their efforts, creating groups that promote support, collaboration and solidarity. These networks are being forged through platforms like Facebook. The most popular one,Women Entrepreneurs in Cannabis, spearheaded byKadin Academy and the creator ofCannabiz Connection, provides an exclusive environment for industry-specific discussions. Members of the network are approved for inclusion based on a set of criteria intended to keep the group focused and beneficial to women in cannabis business.
Conferences and events geared specifically towards connecting and advancing a sense of camaraderie among women in the cannabis industry have increased significantly since the beginning of 2018. Workshops such as those conducted by theCannabis Women’s Empowerment Society are frequently conducted to help women navigate operation of all aspects in running a cannabis business.
On the consumer side of the cannabis industry, women are also starting to take center stage. One survey by theCannabis Consumers Coalition found that 53% of respondents were women, compared to 42% for men. Although the survey did not provide a complete snapshot of cannabis, it nonetheless underscores the growing importance of women as cannabis consumers.
Not only are there a growing number of women-oriented cannabis brands, there’s also a huge uptick in the number of investment opportunities for women. Since its founding in 2011,Pipeline Angels has helped more than 50 female-owned companies raise more than $5 million. Other services, likeEllevest, help provide the tools and assistance for women to become the investors themselves.
Recognizing the increased power of women investors, some sites have even taken to aggregating women-centered investing resources; such as37 Angels andCrunchbase.
According toForbes, fewer than 6% of decision-makers at venture capital firms in the United States are women. In 2016, while male entrepreneurs received more than $58 billion in funding, female entrepreneurs received 1.46 billion, approximately 2.5% of what men received.
In the short-term, expect to see women take charge and become drivers in the cannabis industry. This is a trend that you can see in almost every aspect of the economy, but its presence is felt most in the cannabis space where there are fewer entrenched interests than in other industries. The long-term projection for women in the cannabis industry is more or less the same as the short term. Women will continue to grow their power and influence in the cannabis industry and will most likely achieve greater equality than in other sectors of the economy.
The Green Market Report focuses on the financial news of the rapidly growing cannabis industry. Our target approach filters out the daily noise and does a deep dive into the financial, business and economic side of the cannabis industry. Our team is cultivating the industry’s critical news into one source and providing open source insights and data analysis