Canna Moms: Facing Stigmas & Stereotypes

Facing Stereotypes

Being a mother is hard work. From sun up to sun down you are juggling a hundred different responsibilities all while trying to mold the minds of these tiny human beings that you somehow found yourself raising. A mother’s only peace is often found in the quiet hours after the children have finally gone to bed. After a long day, some mothers reach for a bottle of wine, but a growing number of mothers are opting for a joint instead and some are making money while they are at it.

Jane West looks like your everyday all-American; she loves her two children, she owns her own catering business and she shops organic. What sets Jane apart from most moms is that she is not just buying organic produce, she is buying organic marijuana; and her catering business just happens to be a cannabis catering company.

Jane represents a convergence of two growing forces in the business world: working Mothers and the cannabis industry. Edible Events, West’s cannabis catering company, most recently catered a cannabis-friendly charity event for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, raising $100,000 for the orchestra. In an industry dominated by men 18-40 years old, West is working hard to dispel the preconceived notions about motherhood, cannabis use and the cannabis industry as a whole.

“We’re really breaking down the stereotype that the traditional stoner group is people who light a joint in a back alley,” West said in an interview with AdWeek. “We’re trying to make it socially acceptable to do that while having a glass of wine,” she added.

Although cannabis has gained support in recent years, many people around the country continue to attach a stigma to cannabis and would frown on its use by parents. In a world where so many expectations are already placed up women, mothers especially, many women are reluctant to enter the cannabis industry, either as consumers or entrepreneurs.

Speaking with ABC News, West expressed concern over how stereotypes inside and outside the industry may keep women out of the marijuana business. “There is so much potential for this industry and I am very concerned that outdated, uneducated, stereotypes about cannabis users are going to prevent women from entering this market at exactly the time they should.” Indeed, if there was ever an industry ripe for women to take foothold in, it is the cannabis industry.

There are millions of women in this country that used to or still do use cannabis, but they are largely an untapped market. VICE News did an excellent story on mothers and cannabis. In the documentary, they took a mother, and cannabis user, to a grow operation in Denver. While she was impressed with the cannabis, she raised a valid point about how strand names scare off potential customers.

What mother wants to smoke “Green Crack” or “Jedi Death Star”? On the other hand, strands like “Black Sugar Rose” have much more appealing names. When it comes to marijuana mothers, the cannabis industry may have a branding problem.

The cannabis industry will ultimately have to change its style, its tone and its message if they want to get a piece of a largely untapped market. Women like Jane West represent that shift from back alley bong rips to canna-catering events that look more like a wine tasting than anything else.  In the coming years, the cannabis industry will stop looking like a male stoner, and start looking a lot more Jane West.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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