Illinois Women in Cannabis (IWC) is the leading cannabis industry networking organization in Illinois. IWC was created in 2014 to serve, support, and advance women connected to Illinois’ regulated cannabis industry. Organized as a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, the organization currently has a Board of six professionals working in or connected to the greater regulated cannabis and hemp industry. IWC hosts multiple networking and educational opportunities for women, men, and organizations annually, including large-scale networking events in Chicago with 400-650 attendees, as well as more intimate satellite events throughout the State.
IWC is broadly committed to supporting the regulated cannabis industry and community. More specifically, IWC seeks to ensure that as the industry continues to develop and mature, it does so with women at the forefront. The organization engages participants throughout the industry (including operators, employers and employees, ancillary product and service providers, job seekers, entrepreneurs, advocates, patients and regulators), and reaches varied members (both organizations and individuals), empowering them to maximize their opportunities in Illinois’ regulated cannabis industry. IWC is attracting individuals with skills in advertising, marketing, law, finance, accounting, patient care, agriculture, horticulture, retail and more. These stakeholders are fueling our organization’s activities and growth.
Illinois launched its medical cannabis program in 2015. On January 1, 2020, Illinois launched its adult use cannabis program. A new report estimates the number of people employed in Illinois’ regulated cannabis industry will grow from slightly fewer than 5,800 currently to more than 63,000 by 2025. At that time, the number of people employed in the industry will be about the same as the current number of Illinois elementary school teachers. IWC is excited to continue to support this growing industry and community, open up employment and career opportunities for more women, and help those engaged in the field to develop their networks and skills.