There are already way, way too many cannabis industry conferences.
That was true as far back as 2016 and is dramatically more obvious today. And yet, when Katie Pringle created a new cannabis industry conference focused on “celebrating the feminine” experience in the space, she discovered pent up demand for something different.
“The people we have approached to support this event have been thrilled that we are producing something that speaks to women and women in the cannabis industry,” said Ms. Pringle, co-founder of Marigold PR and organizer of the Womxn, Wellness and Cannabis Conference.
“All the big cannabis conferences have female-centric programming into their messaging, but the issue goes so much deeper,” Ms. Pringle said. “There is so much more room for that kind of topic than what exists today. This conference
could be a five-day conference about issues that are specific to the feminine experience with cannabis.”
The ongoing underrepresentation of women inside the cannabis industry and among cannabis consumers is starting to be addressed, Ms. Pringle argues, and her May 27 free virtual conference has been designed to accelerate that trend.
“Coming out of this, our hope is that we see improvement, some positive changes in leadership with more responsible decision-making,” Ms. Pringle said. “Hopefully it leads to us seeing more women playing those leadership roles in
the cannabis space.”
Notable speakers include: former 48North CEO Alison Gordon, World-Class Extractions CEO Rosy Mondin and NOVA Cannabis president Marcie Kiziak. Leading cannabis lawyer Trina Fraser is even doing an AMA for participants with burning legal questions.
Social worker Ruby Ratnasingham, CannaKids CEO Tracy Ryan and Mothers Mary co-founder Annie-Claude Bertrand will also share the (virtual) stage for a rare discussion on cannabis from the perspective of family dynamics.
The persistent stigma surrounding parents who consume cannabis is arguably the single most substantial growth barrier for the sector at large; that conversation will not be one to miss.
Aside from the program, Ms. Pringle said WWCC is also looking at ways for participants to mingle, make connections and ask questions directly, despite the event itself being entirely online.
“We really weren’t sure what the reception was going to be like because that networking piece is so important to people,” she said. “Luckily it has been extremely well received and it has given us the capacity to have a
more global conversation and include some really interesting leaders from around the world.”
Philosophically, Ms. Pringle wants WWCC to serve as a “wake up call” for what has long been a male-dominated sector and encourage further growth of that “layer of professionalism that is starting to emerge.” That doesn’t
mean being adversarial, she stressed, noting her goal is to present issues in the context of opportunities, not barriers.
“It isn’t altruistic at the end of the day, we are happy to expand the profile of Marigold PR, but we are also happy to promote the 40-plus other women who are joining the panels and the hundreds of others who will be joining the chats.
We really want to give everyone the opportunity to have a voice,” Ms. Pringle said.
“I don’t know if that is specifically a female point of view, but I do know it is an important point of view.”
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