Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press

Canadian cannabis companies face dearth of female directors

Since co-founding the Green Organic Dutchman, a medical cannabis producer based in Ancaster, Ont., Jeanette VanderMarel says she has often found herself the only woman in a room full of men.

“There seems to be, at times, a bit of condescension,” says VanderMarel, a former nurse who delved into the medical marijuana sector after losing her daughter in 2003 to Dravet syndrome, or uncontrollable seizure disorder.

Her experience as a woman in the young, fast-growing industry is not uncommon.

Women are under-represented in the boardrooms of corporate Canada, holding just 12 per cent of board seats at 677 TSX-listed companies analyzed by provincial regulators last year. But the disparity is larger in the medical marijuana business.

Only 5 per cent of the board seats at publicly traded marijuana producers are currently occupied by women, according to an analysis of data conducted by The Canadian Press.

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Published by the Canadian Press.