As the cannabis space booms in the weeks leading up to legalization, a handful of female-led companies see promising opportunities in marketing the product specifically to women.
“We really wanted to bring a genuine perspective and women can do that for women,” said Eve & Co Incorporated CEO Melinda Rombouts in a recent CBC News report. “When legalization happens, [we want] a woman to feel comfortable walking into a cannabis store and feel comfortable with using cannabis as a natural product to address their needs.”
According to Rombouts, Canada’s cannabis space has limited female representation. While she said the US industry has almost 50% women leaders, the Canadian sector has just around five per cent. But the domination of the male demographic on the demand side may very well shift after October.
“I think post-legalization you will see more brands like Eve geared towards the women's market as well as some that may be more gender-neutral,” said Marigold Marketing and Public Relations co-founder Birdgett Hoffer, whose firm works with a number of cannabis companies that market to women.
“Now there's products emerging that women are saying 'this is more tailored to me,'” she added, drawing parallelisms with retailers creating wines and spirits that are geared specifically toward females.
Toronto-based Strainprint has already found some specific areas of concern among women. Using cannabis use data crowdsourced via a free app, the company aims to optimize people’s experience by finding strains that work for them.
“We are now the largest longitudinal cannabis study in all of North America with over 700,000 tracked medical sessions and seven million data points," said Strainprint Director of Marketing and Communications Jessica Moran.
Since launching their app two years ago, the company has amassed a user base with an even balance between male and female users. However, Moran said, female users take provide better notes on how they feel after each medication session. The app has also found a movement toward cannabis-based treatment of issues that “frankly don't impact men,“ including PMS and endometriosis
“What you'll actually see is that in addition to treating women's health issues, there will also be a women's wellness movement as well,” Moran added. “I think women are very into using it as a whole wellness routine.”
The top symptoms women treat with cannabis, based on Strainprint data, include muscle pain, joint pain, anxiety, insomnia, and general discomfort.
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