Though pro-weed activists like to pretend that legalizing cannabis will solve all the world’s ills, the truth is that the burgeoning cannabis industry is already showing the cracks of various social inequities. Despite softening marijuana laws enabling recreational users the world over to grow their own cannabis, regulations in the United States make it all but impossible for the economically disadvantaged to break into the business. Longstanding racial bias surrounding drug law enforcement has often kept BIPOC from thriving as cannabis entrepreneurs, as well.
Yet, one of the most glaring issues surrounding cannabis — legal or otherwise — is its problem with women. By and large, ladies are left out of cultural and commercial depictions of cannabis; rare is the stoner flick that includes a woman in the main cast, let alone in a leading role. Likewise, women are few and far between in the cannabis industry, with most movers and shakers in the space boasting a Y chromosome.
Fortunately, this isn’t to say that women are entirely absent. In fact, there are a few women in weed who are making major waves. Here are some amazing women to pay attention to as the cannabis industry grows:
Kayla Clements dreamed of her cannabis business while exploring some of the most stunning scenery in America. After delving deep into cannabis science, Clements applied her marketing and fashion backgrounds to Luna Volta, a plant-based wellness company that produces a wide array of internal and external cannabis-infused products.
The beauty of diversity within an industry is the introduction of new ideas and opportunities. Lolita Korneagay offers the perspective of a female medical cannabis user, and her company Cansoom has created a network of medical cannabis consultants to help medical cannabis users better understand the right cannabis products for them.
Jamie Evans is the founder of the Herb Somm, a company that strives to elevate the humble edible into haute cuisine. Tirelessly, Evans has produced all sorts of resources for those interested in learning how to make sophisticated cannabis choices, inside and outside the kitchen, and the Herb Somm’s endless list of canna-culinary events, books, guides and more have become indispensable in the cannabis community.
A dedicated entrepreneur with passion for her products, Mel Faxon founded her company b. products as one of precious few cannabis businesses operating in the U.K. Across the pond, the cannabis industry is much, much different — and Faxon is working to establish opportunities for those interested in using cannabis safely, effectively and intelligently.
Many who use cannabis feel they are forced to wear masks to hide their passion for a controversial drug. Thus was the inspiration behind Sarah Mirsini’s MASK, a skincare company that uses various cannabis compounds to give users more confidence and control over their appearance. Today, Mirsini is an outspoken advocate for those suffering from skin conditions who want to use cannabis treatments.
Reed’s Remedies is rising as one of the country’s most productive purveyors of CBD and hemp products, and that is all thanks to its founder, Melissa Parker, who is determined to build her business on values such as responsibility, transparency and innovation. In just a few short years, Reed’s Remedies has expanded to five states and is looking to enter Denver dispensaries, a cut-throat market, relatively soon.
Too many cannabis accessories are designed for the male aesthetic. Whitney Beatty’s Apothecarry Case is simple and stunning, appropriate for cannabis users of all genders. Beatty believes that women in the weed industry are forced into a sexualized stereotype, and that sophisticated, luxurious products should be available to them.
Leslie Apgar and Gina Dubbe
While plenty of attention is paid to businesses in states with recreational cannabis, the success of Greenhouse Wellness, a medical dispensary from Leslie Apgar and Gina Dubbe, cannot be understated. Despite initial pushback, Greenhouse Wellness has become a staple for medical cannabis users in Maryland thanks to the compassion and confidence of its female founders.
Liz Sprinkle is no stranger to impulsive decisions, but founding her CBD company Love Always, Liz was a calculated and intelligent decision. Sprinkle’s product line is influenced by her desire to see more feminine cannabis product offerings which are nonetheless potent and effective at providing the effects that female CBD users need.