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Why We Need More Women in Weed

Photo of Jane West of Edible Event Co.
Photo of Jane West of Edible Event Co. by Cyrus McCrimmon/The Denver Post

Economics

Why We Need More Women in Weed

As women become more involved in the political and professional aspects of marijuana, more and more industry professionals are discovering the importance of creating an environment where women can feel comfortable while they reap the benefits of cannabis.

Women Grow, an organization devoted to educating and inspiring women in the marijuana industry, organizes social and professional events to promote healthy business relationships. Their mission is to help expand the female cannabis fan base through a series of women-friendly events like yoga retreats, culinary and art parties and cocktail and cannabis hours.

“We are encouraging women to come out of the woodwork, we need their voice in this industry,” Jane West, owner of Edible Events Co. and the founder of Women Grow, told the Denver Post.

Even though men have been the vast majority of the cannabis business and consumer image, that now appears to be changing. There more than two dozen influential women in Denver’s marijuana industry, with leadership positions ranging from grow house operators to CEOs of cannabis testing labs and software developers with a keen eye for the business.

Despite the rise of women in the industry, support isn’t coming from all sides.

Julie Dooley, a mom and part owner of Julie and Kate, makes gluten and sugar-free edibles. In an interview with CBS News, she shared that she has felt that she has been a target, at times, and has even been called an “abomination.”

“They’re definitely offended by the cannabis industry and that is me for a moment, they see me as the cannabis industry, but in reality, I’m one of many,” Dooley said.

Currently, men are much more open to revealing a penchant for marijuana than women. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that, even in 2012, men were nearly 50 percent more likely to smoke (or admit to smoking) pot than women.

Jennifer Delfaco, co-founder of Cannabrand, a marketing agency focusing on the booming industry, believes there is a need for professional marketing and design branding. Gone are the days of hygiene-neglected hippies rolling joints in the back of a store. The big players are using America’s love of consumer trends to create loyalty.

“The industry is just beginning. So part of the rebranding of cannabis is really just making the dispensaries more inviting and more welcoming,” Delfaco told NPR.

Marijuana is a big industry and with so many new stores, products are flooding the market and companies are looking to professional imaging and marketing campaigns like those presented by Delfaco to bring in regular consumers as well as customers who are on the fence about marijuana.

“Historically, as soon as women really start to create a [gender] gap, a marijuana measure gets killed,” says Allen St. Pierre, executive director of NORML, in an interview with The Atlantic. “If women get weak-kneed, the men will [also] start to drop.”

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Ann vannelli

    August 20, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    I’m waiting for it. I have ptsd and anxiety.

  2. Jean Ferguson

    August 13, 2014 at 1:41 am

    More women in weed? Or more slick female stereotyping marketing ads showing women in the kitchen whipping up cannabis recipes in order to ‘normalize’ the product? How about ‘Women…the New Oilmen’? There are plenty of women in weed; they are simply more cautious so they aren’t yanked from their children and families by the state. The ‘legalization’ of cannabis is a relatively new experience for folks who have been lied to for generations, by their government, about the ‘demon weed’. Of course many people are going to be intolerant of the new reality; they’ve been successfully brainwashed. Negative attitudes are to be expected. It is not a business for the thin-skinned. What business is? While new and exciting cannabis products are emerging to the delight of young entrepreneurs, a grounding in the history of cannabis is important to achieve perspective and not trivialize what is happening now. For generations, men and women have risked their homes, their livelihoods, their families, their standing in their communities and their freedom to maintain and improve the underground cannabis industry and to produce products for both recreational and medicinal use. Cannabis may be semi-legal in certain places, but that doesn’t mean it wears a cloak of acceptability all of a sudden. It’s only becoming semi-legal now because government found a way to obtain an illegal and immoral patent on cannabis and to control and tax it. As far as I’m concerned, that is not acceptable. The fight is not over by a long shot. The fight is not over until cannabis is freely grown in herb gardens everywhere. Why do governments have complete control over nature’s perfect gift to humanity and pick and chose who can use it and who gets jailed? It is an abomination.

    • Lea

      August 27, 2014 at 2:36 pm

      Love your perspective!

  3. Gina Epps

    August 10, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    One love.

  4. Faith Hopkins

    August 8, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Would like more info on how to start grow house

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