These women of the weed industry are visionaries and leaders. They are creators who take action and blaze the trail. They are champions of diversity and inspirations of change. Divergent voices are responsible for the fresh ideas that leave an altered world in their wake. While so many industries silence these voices, the marijuana industry is still young and ready for the taking.
The future depends on us fighting for and hearing out the quieted voices that shatter the status quo. The future is female, and the world of weed relies on women. Is the cannabis industry ready for these change-makers and visionaries?
Mara Gordon — Zelda Therapeutics
Mara Gordon is an icon in the cannabis industry. She has reached hundreds of thousands of people through the documentary Weed the People on Netflix and her Ted Talk, Separating the Science from the Hype. Her advocacy and involvements have made lasting impacts in the cannabis community.
Gordon is also the co-founder of Australia-based company Zelda Therapeutics. Why Australia? Because clinical cannabis research is legally permitted. An extensive list of tests done in America still require human trial verification.
When it comes to treating the disease state, precise dosing of medical cannabis is key.”My reason for being in cannabis is to solve the dosing issue,” asserts Gordon.
Each person has a different endocannabinoid system and metabolizes cannabis differently, so doctors struggle to achieve dose precision. Zelda Therapeutics is leading work on a proprietary platform that would use artificial intelligence and machine learning to assist doctors in honing in on a patient’s ideal dosage. Such a platform might be the breakthrough the medical marijuana community needs. Hopefully in the future, Gordon’s work will help cannabis become a more well-understood medical treatment.
Joline Rivera — Kitchen Toke
Joline Rivera believes that if you teach the people how to cook with cannabis, the stigma will crumble away. Kitchen Toke is the original magazine all about cooking friendly and approachable cannabis-infused foods. Rivera’s magazine presents cannabis in a fashion that she hopes will encourage women, and mothers, to try a little THC.
Rivera speaks to overworked mothers when she urges, “A grapefruit mock-tail and infused almonds … You could wind your day down like that! It’ll be the best night of sleep you ever had before kids.”
Cannabis flower can be cooked down and infused into almost any food item. Terpenes and cannabinoids together can produce smells and tastes that can flip the food pyramid on its head. Joline Rivera envisions a future where cannabis can be purchased farm fresh and infused into food products at home. The recipes found in her magazine are sure to inspire home cooking and delicious dankness.
Kendra Freeman — Mendi
Kendra Freeman is the Chief Strategist at Mendi, a company that strives to empower athletes with cannabis-derived pain management. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, before being adopted by a family in Wyoming.
What has empowered Mendi’s early success is their unabashed, pro-woman advocacy. Working alongside female soccer champions, Rachael and Megan Rapinoe, they’ve attracted widespread media attention. Mendi is a company for women and by women.
In the end, Mendi aims to dominate the market for CBD-based pain management and athlete recovery. Their cannabinoid formulations can benefit athletes anywhere and of all levels.
Aliza Sherman — Ellementa
Aliza Sherman is the CEO of Ellementa, a global cannabis education network for women. Sherman confirms that over 10,000 women actively attend Ellementa’s online webinars and in-person events across the US. Ellementa helps women take their first major step into learning about the health and wellness benefits of cannabis.
“People … have had some kind of physical, mental or even spiritual awakening because they’ve accepted the fact that this plant can be helpful,” Sherman explains.
Ellementa is a women-only organization. Men are not present at Gatherings in order to promote a safe, welcoming dialogue for women’s issues. This unique format produces information that can benefit everybody.
Consider that an Ellementa Gathering draws 700 attendees to learn about cannabinoids. Women at this event will learn about the medical benefits of CBD, THC, or CBN. Then, they can spread this information. A single woman might share that information with her menstruating daughter, insomniac grandmother, an aching tennis partner, or her menopausal boss! Having knowledge about cannabis can empower women and benefit their entire community.
Amy Margolis — The Initiative
Amy Margolis is helping other women own and operate cannabis businesses. The Initiative is a program that arms women with skills, resources, and practices to survive in the marijuana market. There are “no kids gloves” and “educators are appropriately firm,” says Margolis. The Initiative takes women-led businesses through 12 weeks of boot camp. She describes her style of education as inherently “subversive.” Women leave with the tools they need to grow their businesses or secure investments in the cannabis industry.
According to the Vangst 2019 Women in Cannabis Report, Oregon’s percentage of cannabis businesses with women in executive positions is 48%. This number could plummet in the coming years, as male-run companies are typically favored by investors who are attempting to consolidate the industry into mega-brands.
On the contrary, Margolis sees an opportunity to ensure equity in the cannabis industry. If women-owned businesses have the greatest potential for profit, then Portland’s fight for equity and diversity won’t be for naught. “The big investment groups aren’t necessary brand creators. They are acquiring businesses. The stronger the female business foundation is now, the more representation there will be,” states Margolis.
Casey Georgeson — Saint Jane
Casey Georgeson’s company Saint Jane introduces cannabis wellness into the beauty industry. Their product offerings combine luxurious blends of natural ingredients with cannabinoids. Saint Jane’s glosses and serums utilize the anti-inflammatory and healing properties of cannabis to promote homeostasis. These marijuana-infused beauty products reinforce health, happiness, and longevity.
The actual Saint Jane was a devout healer of women lived in the 1500’s. She particularly took care of those considered unsavory by society. Gerogeson’s company is a direct representation of this life philosophy; she has created a brand for the woman in need of healing. “CBD is a beacon of hope … for creating a moment of calm in our world of chaos … and homeostasis in the body,” Georgeson explains.
The Power of Women in Weed
Visionary women and their innovative cannabis products are the way of the future. Their ambitions are inspiring, and their success is incredible. So many voices are quieted due to a status quo, but these leaders insist on being heard. Due to their work, women are joining the cannabis industry. According to online headshop DopeBoo, women buyers increased by 143% from 2017 to 2019. Cannabis has emerged from the dark-side of society like a flower up through concrete. The industry is controversial, with revolutionary power. Keep a close eye on these amazing women of weed to see more of their future success.