Pot culture has been described as testosterone-fueled boys’ club in which women are objectified as “hot pot babes.” What happens on the stoner side of things seeps insidiously into the world of policy reform and legitimate business. Statistics are scarce, but the legal marijuana industry also seems to be heavily male dominated and more than a little alien for many businesswomen.
Every rule has exceptions, of course, as demonstrated by recent profiles of Genifer Murray, Founder and CEO of CANNLabs, Diane Fornbacher, Executive Editor of Ladybud Magazine, Sabrina Fendrick, founder of the NORML Women’s Alliance and many others.
Individual talent and drive are certainly part of every successful woman’s story, but a supportive culture and opportunities for networking and development have to be there, too. Weed women on the way up need to share what they know and where they have been. Forget the pot babe. The following three organizations may offer women the resources necessary to build social, economic and legal power.
Since its founding in 1970, NORML has focused on legalization, and one of the best things about it now is its enormous archive of historical information. The “grey lady” of marijuana news and information, it is a solid source of up-to-date business and legal data even for places in the country where legalization has already occurred. NORML is a great resource for data-driven startups.
The Women’s Alliance describes itself as a coalition of prominent, educated, and diverse women who believe that marijuana prohibition undermines the American family, sends false and confusing messages to young people and destroys the principles of personal liberty and local self-government. It specifically opposes the sexual exploitation and objectification of women in pot-culture and business marketing.
Moms for Marijuana, on the other hand,has a somewhat suburban feel. It focuses on combating the social stigma associated with mothers (and parents in general) who use marijuana, the real life inhabitants of Weeds.
Its goal is to spread awareness, increase and promote education, and create educated discussion within local communities based on scientific evidence, critical thinking, and logic. It is a global organization with considerable twitter and Facebook followings.
Founded in the spring of 2014, Women Grow has no history but a clear mission to connect, inspire, educate and empower the female marijuana entrepreneur. The underlying theme is classiness. The organization recently opened an online “canna-culture” store where women can buy stylish clutches and lovely stash boxes. This is a black dress and tapenades sisterhood.
Women Grow plans to stage educational symposiums and regular monthly events, and its inaugural event will take place on August 14, 2014 at Green Labs in Denver.
There are, of course, many other organizations where women play an important role in working for legalization, addressing the particular legal issues faced by women caught up in misguided drug enforcement efforts, and building businesses. The resources are not limited by gender or industry. However, women in the legal marijuana marijuana industry face challenges that may be best understood by other women in a similar situation. Look around for an opportunity to talk to a sister.