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  • Post Time Posted June 27, 2019
Cannabis conferences have been widely criticized for lacking diversity, failing to represent women, minorities, and industry veterans, on their panel discussions.

A panel at the recently concluded conference, Cannabis Europa in London, U.K, sparked the old ‘manel’ debate - a manel is an all-male panel.

The concerns raised from Cannabis Europa was that corporate cannabis reps were dominating the conversation, making it difficult for small growth operations and businesses to get a seat at the table.

“I fear we’re going to end up with a commercial cannabis market before people get the right to grow. They care about profit, not the people,” said Greg de Hoedt, chairman of the U.K. Cannabis Social Clubs and editor of The Quarter Leaf magazine.

The GrowthOp spoke with Rachel Colic, chief strategist at YCreative, about the ‘manel’ issue in the industry. Colic believes that there are a plethora of resources online, like the Boss Ladies of Cannabis list, in order to help event planners find a larger candidate pool, and that it is their responsibility to do the due diligence.

Diversity is also in the hands of the panelists themselves. Recently there has been an outcry on Twitter from cannabis leaders to ask the tough questions like, “Are there any women on the panel?” and “Are there people of colour included on the panel?”

Colic shares that industry leaders need to ensure they are only participating in panels that are reflective of their views of inclusion - aka. Not just adding a female panel as an extra ticketed event and claiming diversity.

“While an all white female panel may be gender inclusive, it is not diversity,” explains Colic. “The conversation needs to be intersectional.”

Source: https://www.thegrowthop.com/cannabis-culture/corporate-cannabis-conferences-have-a-serious-manel-problem  

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