Women have managed to become a big presence in the cannabis industry: 38.5% of total surveyed cannabis employees identified as female, according to a report by cannabis employment firm Vangst. Still, women struggle to find themselves in decision-making levels at many cannabis companies.
One way to support women in the industry is to buy stock in companies that are either led by a female executive or have shown a commitment to women in the C-suite. Sadly, there aren't a lot of companies out of the over 400 publicly traded cannabis firms that fit this description. But here are four stocks to consider, if you want to support women in cannabis.
This cannabis software company broke the seal at Nasdaq for U.S. cannabis companies to get listed at the exchange. CEO Jessica Billingsley was told it wouldn't happen. It seemed everyone just expected the firm to get rejected. It took grit, hustle and moxie, but she made it. That's a CEO that anyone can get behind. This is the same CEO who weathered hack attacks in the early days of her company when it was known as MJ Freeway, but survived and soldiered on. Akerna (KERN) recently reported total revenue of approximately $11 million for the year ending June 30, 2019, which was a 4.2% increase over last year's $10.5 million. The company said that monthly billings on MJ Platform increased in the month ending June 30, 2018, to the month ending June 30, 2019, by 55%. Maybe it's because Billingsley is a mom? Moms don't give up, they just get it done. Maybe we need more Mom CEOs.
Lori Glauser is president, chief operating officer and a director of Nevada-based Evio Labs (EVIO) . Glauser co-founded the company with Will Waldrop and it grew from a startup advisory firm in 2014 to five labs during the first two years of operation, and is up to eight locations. Lori is also the founding chair of Women Grow-Las Vegas, she served on FOCUS standards committee and co-authored the Medical Marijuana Desk Reference. Last week, the company provided an update on its health and within the statement noted that it had received many inquiries about the vaping crisis and testing, noting that the "company is actively evaluating the issue and expects to work with its regulatory agencies to help address testing needs. This is another new opportunity for expanding our capabilities within our existing labs to address a real market need."
The company had been in an aggressive expansion mode, but has decided to shift its focus to company profitability. The company has a new website www.hemptesting.com to automate orders for testing CBD products. Evio said that revenue from hemp and CBD products is anticipated to quickly overtake cannabis testing revenues.
Just a couple of weeks ago, Alison Gordon was named sole CEO of 48 North Holdings (NCNNF) . Gordon was the former co-founder and executive vice president of Rethink Breast Cancer, a chief medical officer at WeedMD and then an independent consultant to cannabis companies in Canada and the United States. 48North remains one of the few licensed producers with an outdoor cultivation facility. Since June, the company successfully planted over a quarter million cannabis plants at the Good Farm and is currently in the process of harvesting its first outdoor crop at what is expected to be the lowest cost per gram of any cannabis in the country. While 90% of what is harvested at Good Farm is earmarked for extraction, the rest will be sold as dry flower into the recreational Canadian cannabis market.
Earlier this year, Beth Stavola was named the chief strategy officer at iAnthus (ITHUF) and is a board member. Her CBD line, CBD For Life, which was her side hustle with her sister Julie Winter, was acquired by iAnthus for $13 million. She's the former COO, president of U.S. operations, and board member of MPX Bioceutical Corporation. Also, she was the founder of Health for Life, one of the most recognized cannabis brands in Arizona, which she took from inception to significant sales and cash flow in just five years. In addition, she is the founder of Melting Point Extracts (MPX) , an award-winning maker of high quality cannabis concentrates. Even though GMP Securities cut the company's price target to $5 from $9, the analyst maintained a Buy rating. The company just raised $20 million in a convertible deal with Gotham Green Partners that came at a high cost of 13%. CEO Hadley Ford believes the company is undervalued and is focused on cost controls these days. With Stavola, who is also the mother to six children, on the board, women investors can know that she will keep a close eye on its success.