As the cannabis industry expands, so does the opportunity for those who identify as women. This industry is providing a unique way for women to utilize all aspects of their lives and create new experiences. Unlike other industries, women are dominating the field, with 36% of them being in leadership positions.
Because of this, there is a moment happening, one of support and growth. Instead of competing with male counterparts, women are building each other up and creating opportunities that didn’t exist before. Melanie Davis-Saba, founder of Tree Lotion, works with a team of strong women to create healing skin care products.
“The trend is women banning together. Encouraging each other and building each other up rather than breaking them down. Women are naturally nurturing, and that’s exactly what this industry needs. More women and their amazing abilities. I’m proud to be a part of all of this. I contribute to this by staying true to who I am and helping other women in the business. I am a sounding board for a lot of women and I’m happy to be that.”
Trends are different than in any other industry, as well, with women taking creativity to new heights. From cannabis-inspired jewelry to enhanced metaphysical healing, there is no end to the possibilities once women get involved. For example, a YouTube series about cannabis called Stoner Girl Diary, aims to educate novices in an accessible and fun way. From the founders and hosts, Biz and Mary:
“As we witness the cannabis industry continue to grow, we’ve noticed that many female cannabis entrepreneurs are becoming educated on all facets of cannabis— both recreational and, of course, medicinal. At Stoner Girl Diary, we’re trying to do just that! Our original YouTube series is all about breaking stoner stereotypes and with so many “weed-tubers” pushing out content with titles like “10 Gram Dab Hit” or “100 Hit Challenge,” we try to steer away from that and educate our audience rather than intimidate them. We want to make sure that the pot novice feels welcome into our community as well as the pot pro.”
The legal status has made it next to impossible for people to be public about their use in the past. Now, women everywhere are coming out about cannabis use and realizing that the plant works well with other elements in life. Even if someone is “new” to the industry, they can apply other areas of expertise to a cannabis venture. One example is Kushkards, a greeting card company with a special twist.
“Women entrepreneurs in the cannabis space use their previous knowledge and background to bring something new to the industry. When you’re skilled in specific areas, others recognize what you’re bringing to the table”, says Lauren Miele, CEO and founder of Kushkards. “For example, I’m contributing to this trend by using my product design, packaging, product development and merchandising background to help bring a new idea, product and brand to the cannabis industry. Some say I’m paving the way for creating a new category. I say, “Let’s push the limit!”
Another revolutionary aspect of this new industry is that women have more freedom to work in the manner that feels most comfortable. For instance, in other male-dominated industries, women don’t always get a chance to express their individuality. As Sabrena Peterson, REL Vape Director of Sales & Marketing, says:
“In my experience, women are generally feeling more empowered to embrace their value and individuality in the cannabis industry. We are more likely to dress, act, and create opportunities in ways more authentic to our true selves—much more than what would be considered acceptable in traditional male dominated work environments. Everything is evolving and growing so quickly. If you’re a woman who has advanced experience in trimming, growing, extraction, sales, education, public relations, social media, business management, accounting, packaging, logistics, or any number of useful and relevant skills, you can go far. Don’t be afraid to do what you love and put yourself out there to find ways to collaborate with other women. Now is the time to help each other grow and prosper!”
With all this supportive energy in the air, one can only hope that the trend continues. In a time filled with so much turmoil, an industry that offers acceptance and accessibility is desperately needed. While the media overwhelms every day with stories of sexual harassment and assault, a nontoxic space is being carved out of necessity.
“As a female owned and operated company in this industry, we are incredibly proud to see so many female entrepreneurs who are educating, employing and empowering other female entrepreneurs”, says Kenia Taylor, Marketing Director for CannaSmack, “One of CannaSmack’s core values revolves around acceptance. We assure that we do not ever wish to exclude based upon gender. We sincerely recognize the importance of successful females creating kindness and companionship, rather than competing with one another.”
For the trend to continue, women must actively support each other, and this becomes easier with continuous networking. More and more associations, online communities, groups, and other opportunities are appearing in the cannabis space. Unlike the earlier days of prohibition, there is no lack of choice when it comes to finding needed inspiration and encouragement. As Sarah Remesch, founder of 270M and Managing Editor of Viride says:
“Women in cannabis are working together to support one another unlike any other industry I’ve been a part of. To contribute to that trend, I hire women to work at my agency, 270M, and on our website, Viride. This is our opportunity to support each other and be the leaders we are all meant to be.”
By Diana Krach
Diana-Ashley Krach is a freelance writer, journalist, and content creator whose work can be found on EverydayFeminism, Ravishly, HelloGiggles, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, DAME, SheKnows and more. She is also the co-host of Your Highness Podcast and founder of Good Vibes Marketing Agency.