Illinois Women in Cannabis was founded by Dina Rollman and Wendy Berger-Shapiro. The group was founded just before medical marijuana license applications were being accepted. The group has about 200 members now, and some men are among the membership.
The nonprofit hosts educational and social events around Chicago for networking purposes, according to the Chicago Sun Times. They are hoping to break the industry’s “grass ceiling” when it comes to women and minorities in industry leadership roles. In regards to the national industry, more men are in ownership positions than women.
Rollman said, “I wanted women thinking, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here you have a brand new industry come to your state that’s never existed before, that’s not male-dominated because it’s too new to have a glass ceiling.”
Rollman also said, “Some of the barriers to entry have been really tough because you need to be really-well capitalized. There’s a lot of room for improvement, let’s put it that way, in terms of having women-owned businesses.”
Rollman became the chief compliance council for Green Thumb Industries (GTI). Berger-Shapiro is an independent director with the company. GTI has five women in leadership roles.
Berger Shapiro said, “The more this industry grows, the more opportunities there are for women.”
The pair plans to continue to empower women wishing to enter this ever-changing and evolving industry. So far, they have been successful in aiding multiple women gain prominent positions in powerful marijuana companies across the country.