Organizations That Put Women in Weed
As much as you might gush about Mary Louise Parker while watching Weeds reruns, this isn’t only Our Patron Saint Nancy Botwin’s rodeo anymore (though #bless). Luckily for feminists and women at large, the demographic topography of the cannabis industry has changed drastically over the past decade. If you’re going to go to town on the patriarchy, why not do it with a hero named Mary Jane? Or better yet, why not do it with organizations founded by women, for women?
According to their website, Women Grow’s vision is a network of women-owned businesses in the cannabis industry numbering over 1000. Founded in 2014, the organization boasts membership in 45 chapters in over 35 cities across the U.S. and Canada. If you don’t happen to live in one of these major hubs, fear not! Women Grow hosts an entire educational video series on their blog.
As the organization notes, “supporting women goes beyond altruism”—instead, the reason for their services is absolutely stats. The site touts that women are the big buyers when it comes to cannabis and general consumer spending. So why not help them “rise to the top” in an industry that should cater to this majority?
“This cannabis industry is creating businesses that serve people of all genders, colors, and ages,” said WG co-founder Jazmin Hupp in a 2016 interview with Jezebel. “The best way to do that is to invite all those people into the industry.”
Can’t argue with that.
THC Staffing Group
Speaking of business, you can’t have one without the right people to make it tick. No one knows this better than THC Staffing Group, a firm that aims to streamline the staffing process for entrepreneurial enterprises within the weed workforce while offering equal employment opportunities for all.
Started by weed activists and entrepreneurs Shaleen Title and Danielle Schumacher, the group’s animus lies in the idea of diversity.
“Diversity is far more than just a moral issue,” says the self-described boutique firm on their website. “[It’s] a business necessity for any company in the 21st century, especially for marijuana businesses, which face opportunities and challenges, unlike any other industry.”
In a 2015 interview with Newsweek, Title noted a growing presence of women in a field she has spent years fighting to legitimize.
“I am especially seeing more women with corporate ‘mainstream’ experience looking to join the marijuana industry,” she said. “With time, there will be more women with cannabis experience.”
Sisters of the Valley
While a lot of the organizations on this list might be business oriented, they’re not necessarily oriented like traditional businesses usually are. Take Sisters of the Valley: a small cottage industry devoted to tinctures and other tools of the trade started by nuns.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Nuns.
A farm operation entrenched in “compassionate activism,” Sisters of the Valley is a California-based org that produces handmade sage sticks and salve along with more potent wares, i.e., medical marijuana. Although unaffiliated with the Catholic Church, the sisterhood of Sisters is a group of practicing nuns in their own right. (Did I mention that they’re self-professed feminists? That, too.)
Currently, two nuns named Sister Kate and Sister Darcey run the whole she-bang. Their goal? To “respect the breadth and depth of the gifts of Mother Earth” and “to bridge the gap between Her and her suffering people.”
According to the nuns, their products are all made in a “spiritual environment” in conjunction with the moon cycle. While their wares are meant to help reduce inflammation, quell seizures, and manage pain, they have barely traceable amounts of THC. Customers can use their products without getting high, allowing them to function in places they need to, like work settings.
If that’s not a calling, then I don’t know what is.
NORML Women’s Alliance
If it’s activism that you’re interested in, look no further than NORML Women’s Alliance.
Described as “a nonpartisan coalition of educated, successful, geographically diverse, professional women,” NORML’s mission is simple: to legalize cannabis. (Or in their words, to “end cannabis prohibition.”) The non-profit’s focus lies largely in policy reform. Specifically, NORML hones in on reform which supports the rights and perspectives of women in the U.S. Besides legalization, these prerogatives include “[protecting] our children, [keeping] our neighborhoods safe,” and job growth.
But what about cannabis-oriented organizations that look out for the needs of women who are also members of minority classes? Look no farther than Supernova Women.
Started in 2015, Supernova Women is a safe space for women of color “to foster community empowerment through holistic education, advocacy training, and skills acquisition,” as their blog states. The organization offers some programs and business workshops, allowing their members to form an IRL community as well as one online.
Supernova Women also hosts clinics for ex-offenders, providing attendees with resources for legal assistance under their respective state laws. Considering the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posits that Black Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession based on overwhelming racial bias alone, SW’s services are no small feat.
There you have it! Five fantastic weed organizations by women, for women. At least one organization, if not all of them, should be able to help you bust into either the industry or the activism scene. All in all, now you can do it with your feminist flag held high.