Want to Work in Cannabis Tech? Advice from 4 Women in the Industry
Ready for your next career move? Learn more about what it takes to work in cannabis from Team LeafLink.
Whether you’re already in the cannabis tech industry or considering a career change, our latest blog post takes a look at the intersection of cannabis and technology, through the eyes of four women who work at LeafLink.
The Women We Spoke With
- Sarah Spencer – Senior Product Manager, eCommerce
- Kelly Korshak – Senior Graphic Designer
- Emma Beckerle – Head of Account Management, LeafLink Financial
- Devon Richardson – Account Executive, US Expansion
Previous Cannabis Experience is Not a Requirement
The diversity and backgrounds of employees at LeafLink, and cannabis tech as a whole, is part of what makes the industry unique.
For example, before taking over as Head of Account Management for LeafLink Financial, Emma Beckerle started her career “in the travel industry, holding various positions in marketing and account management.”
Meanwhile, prior to becoming Senior Product Manager for eCommerce at LeafLink, Sarah Spencer worked in product management and development for a direct-to-consumer menswear company.
Get Ready to Define, Not Disrupt
Since the cannabis industry is still new and evolving, getting into cannabis tech is a great way to help shape the industry. While many startups focus on disrupting existing technologies and industries, LeafLink is focused on defining the supply chain and working with the growing cannabis community.
Kelly Korshak noticed that the industry was growing before applying to become a graphic designer at LeafLink. She knew it was important to “learn as much as you can about the cannabis industry on one side, but also be familiar with the technology space, how they relate, and how you fit into the two.”
Similarly, Sarah noted that researching “current rules and regulations around purchasing and financing cannabis” provides “the foundation for great conversations” with players in the industry.
Don’t Think You Can’t Make a Change
Let’s not beat around the bush: the legal cannabis industry is currently male-dominated. Out of 166 companies surveyed in a 2019 Vangst study, women make up only 38.5% of cannabis industry employees, with 74% of companies having 10 female employees or less.
While facing this imbalance as a woman entering the industry can be challenging, LeafLink’s Account Executive Devon Richardson, noted, “things are changing. Nothing’s been done before in the industry, so we have the opportunity to set the bar and make an impact for everyone: from patients, to those incarcerated, and communities in general.”
Emma emphasized that as a woman in cannabis, the way to make an impact is to be “confident in yourself and able to hold your own with big and extremely varying personalities,” and that ultimately the industry is filled with “amazing characters.”
Make Your Passion Your Profession
We asked each of these LeafLinkers to give one piece of advice to women looking for jobs in cannabis tech. Here’s what they said:
Sarah: “ Don’t hold back. Show everyone your passion, drive, and hunger for an opportunity to build an industry.“
Kelly: “Focus on your passion, be yourself, and consider what impact you want to make in the industry. That’s when you will stand out from the rest and find out where you belong.”
Emma: “Be patient, be adaptable. The industry itself is a start-up and that can be hectic at times, but endlessly exciting. It makes you work, but it’s worth it.”
Devon: “Know who you are, where you’re going, and what you want.”
Are you the missing link?
LeafLink is hiring! Check out our open roles here.