Most women are compelled to connect: any excuse to pour oneâs heart out over a low-fat latte or a Chardonnay. Downloading about money, men, diets and depression with friendly femmes is much less expensive than shrinks. But now, in whatâs being called The New Normal, ladies are more likely to puff on vapes than sip Vouvray. Theyâre bonding over cannabis: not just for mellowing out, but for getting down to business. The goal can be money or harmonic convergenceâbecause itâs now possible to achieve both simultaneously.
âItâs about living a high life, rather than getting high,â says Kate Miller, co-founder/CEO ofÂ Miss Grass,Â an online publication covering modern women in weed. âCannabis culture weaves into so many aspects of our lives, from health to work, beauty to food. Women are drawn to the emerging cannabis industry because it allows them to launch businesses that combine commerce with caring.â
The buzz words of the new cannabis culture are âwellness,â âhealing,â even âbeautyââwhich altogether spell âbig bucks.â CBD products, or cannabidiol, the non-psychotropic anti-inflammatory cannabis compound, is mostly what draws todayâs dames: itâs a balm for almost anything female: menstruation cramps, menopause moods and migrainesâeven sexual stimulus. One anonymous female cannabis business owner admits she was lured by the sexual side effect. âTo me, THC and CBD create the female Viagra, heightening the senses, helping you get into your body.â
And at its root, cannabis is literally female. Olivia Alexander, CEO of Kush Queenâwhich sells products like lubricant (very popular), bath bombs, topicals and tincturesâclarifies: âAll cannabis we consume is from the female plant; Â itâs a perfect storm for womenâa new industry where women see opportunity. It fits into the current womenâs wave: running for office, running companies. Cannabis is a part of that new liberation.â More than 60 percent of the U.S. population now lives in a state with some form of legalized marijuanaâand half of them are the formerly considered âweaker sex.â
The early female pioneers of the movement are the best knownâand the richest. Dr. Dina â a nickname bestowed by BFF Snoop Doggâentered the movement in 2003, creating L.A.âs first medical marijuana dispensary. Mary-Louise Parkerâs Nancy Botwin on Showtimes Weeds was based on her. The Cannabis Business Exchange considers the top women in the biz to be Patricia Rosi, CEO of Wellness Connection of Maine, a Portland company with four dispensaries, and Nancy Whiteman, whose Colorado based Wana Brands has made millions in edible gummies.
Kirsti Blustein, who founded wellness brand Khus & Khus, spells out the female obsession with CBD. Â âInflammation makes us age faster. CBD stabilizes the bodyâitâs an adaptogen (an herbal anti-stress substance,) a terpine (oil that contains hydrocarbons). It affects serotonin, which is why itâs the perfect sedative for menstruation and menopause.â
Now former beauty, fashion and entertainment media mavens are reinventing themselves as cannabis growers, editors, writers, publicistsâeven CEOâs. Womenâs magazines for cannabis that are spreading like leaves: they include Miss Grass, MJ Lifestyle, Broccoli and Gossamer.
L.A. fashion/entertainment marketing mavens Jenn Gross and Julia Axelrod formed HiFi Exchange a year ago: a showroom representing top shelf CBD hemp-derived, beauty and wellness brands. Theirs is one of the many PR companies heading in a âhigherâ direction. âWeed was always what boys did,â says Gross. âBoys had bongs in their bedrooms. The big plant and grower operations are still male. Where women come in: as herbalists, midwives, communicators.â
Rosie Mattio created New York based RMPR to work with fashion brandsâand now has 17 clients in her all-cannabis shop. âAn article in WWD about cannabis beauty made it a beauty trend. Then Elle, Allure and Vogue picked up on it. It all relates to the womenâsâ movement of the last year: the pink pussy hatted, #metoo anti-establishment movement.â
Paige Guzman is VP of marketing of PAX Labs, known as the Apple of vaporizer brands (i.e., vapes). âWhen medical and recreational legalization took shape, there was an influx of cultured women entrepreneurs,â she says. âNow weâre a real community.â
Missy Bradley launched Stillwater, which produces water soluble CBD products, because âtheyâre the quickest for period cramps and menopause. Women from 15 to 50 canât live without them. CBDâs all natural for body pain â better than Advil or IBProfen. It also helps muscles relax before and after workouts.â
And female Cannabis retreats are proliferating When Sailene Ossman, co-founder of Ganja Goddess Getaway womenâs retreat, was 19, she barely survived a near fatal car accident, which caused constant pain. âSomeone recommended cannabis, and I never used another pain killer. Ganja Goddess is a 3 day all-inclusive getaway: we like joints instead of wine. Itâs empowering to help us connect to better selves.â
Sara Rotman was considered a New York fashion guru. But when she experienced renal failure, she and her husband bought a farm in Santa Barbara. âI was never a cannabis user,â Rotman says. âBut CBD workedâso we said, âfuck it,â letâs grow our own medicine. Now have 6 licenses and create product for our brand Bluebird 805, with love.â
Jenae Alt, a producer actress, and self-described âbadass,â has recently created perhaps the most desirable of all female-directed cannabis products: a strain of flower that eschews compulsive junk food craving. âOne day I thought. âWhy do we have to have the munchies?âÂ Thatâs when Skinnyweed came to life.â Dieters, take heart: it launches at the Sundance Festival in mid January 2019.
âThis is the green rush for women,â proclaims Alt. âWomen are nurturers at heart. bringing love, peace and harmony to the cannabis world. This makes us as women feel proudâweâre taking care of ourselves.â In more ways than one.