It’s been nearly a decade since Beyonce released her 2011 hit, “Run the World”. Suffice it to say that today, in 2020, women and “girls” may be the closest-ever to running anything, let alone the world, in all of American history. You may be wondering what that has to do with cannabis women’s organizations?
To that we say, everything.
Helping Like-Minded Women Connect in the Days of Legalization
According to the Cannabis Consumers Coalition (CCC) a reported 53% of post-legalization cannabis consumers are women. Place that next to MJBizDaily’s 2019 “Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry” report doting an impressive 37% (compared to a 22% national average across other sectors) of senior-level cannabis jobs being held by women, and Beyonce’s lyrical premonition doesn’t seem too unimaginable.
Cannabis is the first industry in which women might have a chance at equitable representation, after all.
When positioned in these terms, we’re reminded of how important it is to curate spaces that foster, engage, and protect women working with or consuming cannabis. From consumers to manufacturers one thing is clear: there’s both a demand and a need for womxn-forward cannabis organizations.
Whether they’re promoting gender and racial diversity, or creating spaces for women healing trauma to gather and share their stories, these four cannabis organizations are giving womxn spaces to connect in the era of post-legalization cannabis.
Launching in January of 2017, just days before the US’s presidential inauguration, the original goal for the Lisa Snyder and Samantha Montanaro of Portland-based, Tokeativity, was to “explore creativity and connectivity in a legal market and to give women something positive to focus on during such tumultuous times”. Little did they know that their idea would blossom into a global community of women in just 3 years.
“Women are inherently caretakers who often prioritize other people’s needs and desires”, often at the sake of sacrificing their own. Noticing this unique issue, plus the need for women to be able to connect with one another, Tokeativity creates “space for women to explore and embrace themselves in a container away from the public’s demands on who and what you should be as a woman.
Tokeativity events are held across the globe with chapters in cities from Calgary to Seattle, Boston to South Africa, Denver to Philadelphia. Check out their events page for info on more chapters and ways to connect with like-minded women.
“Making space breeds internal empowerment, and that is very important to us.”
Tokeativity Founder and CEO, Lisa Snyder
This is Jane Project
Dedicated to destigmatizing conversations around trauma, healing, and medicating with cannabis, This is Jane Project does so through community gatherings, honest storytelling, and multi-medium activism and programming.
Founded by Bri Smith and Shannon DeGrooms, #thisisjaneproject launched a photo activism campaign to document 1 million womxn healing trauma through connection and cannabis in March 2019. Noticing that women stand at the unique intersection of trauma and cannabis, often standing silent and alone in their experiences, #tijp seeks to create safe spaces for any self-identified womxn to bravely speak truth to their experiences.
“Trauma happens, disproportionately to women, and cannabis is medicine.” – #thisisjaneproject Co-Founder and Executive Director, Shannon DeGrooms
Another unapologetic organization serving the marginalized is Supernova Woman. Founded by some of the most trailblazing women of color (WOC) in cannabis, back in 2015, Supernova’s goal is to “utilize our diverse talents to empower our people to become self-sufficient shareholders in the evolving cannabis economy”.
“It’s no secret that black and brown communities have been disproportionately affected by and disenfranchised by the war on drugs”, explained Whitney Beatty, Executive Board Member of Supernova Woman. It’s also no secret that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are underrepresented in an industry that’s been built created quite literally, on their backs. Seeing the unique and necessary need for social equity in Bay Area cannabis and further, Nina Parks, Tsion “Sunshine” Lencho, Amber Senter and Andrea Unsworth helped push Oakland, CA to be an example for municipalities everywhere.
In the era of big cannabis, organizations like this seem necessary to the ever-evolving conversation surrounding legalized cannabis, historical racism, and what it means to repair the harm created by the War on Drugs.
People can support Supernova women by attending their events, supporting their efforts and initiatives, and any other way to help them to amplify their message.
“Financing is one of the highest barriers to entry in the cannabis space today, especially on the plant-touching side. Only .006% of VC dollars are going to companies led by black women and many don’t have the high net worth network to access angel investors.” – Supernova Woman Executive Board Member, Whitney Beatty
Women Empowered in Cannabis
Another incredible community for women in cannabis is WEiC. Women Empowered in Cannabis was created by Kyra Reed as an online platform for women in the cannabis industry to gather, share resources, and provide support through the ever-changing landscape of the cannabis industry.
This online and moderated Facebook group is a place for any woman who works in cannabis to express their concerns, request help when needed, find their peers, and share their wins.
A network comprised of industry veterans and newbies, professionals and farmers, lawyers and product makers, WEiC groups are diverse in background, origin, and location. At their core, WEiC believes that we are always #bettertogether.
Check out their live streams Monday’s at noon.
“As a woman, I recognize that I’m stronger and more empowered when I’m surrounded by supportive women.” – WEiC Founder & CEO, Kyra Reed
From novice consumers to those braving the storm that is a burgeoning cannabis industry, these four organizations can be seen as calls to action, in both community and collective advocacy.
Today’s women, some maybe even listening to Beyonce’s hit as kids in their rooms, find themselves at the dawn of a new, greener day.
No longer such a taboo niche market, legalized cannabis is creating a lot more than euphoric humans walking around with a newfound smile across their face. It’s creating opportunities for more organizations of women and spaces where women can come together free from the male gaze or toxic masculinity to connect.
“We need to reshape our own perception of how we view ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.” – Beyonce Knowles via Goalcast
Cannabis Women’s Organizations at CannaCon
Connect with Other Cannabis Women’s Organizations at a CannaCon event near you! You’ll have the opportunity to discuss up and coming policy in the cannabis world and learn from those that have blazed the way for the industry. Get your tickets today!