March is National Women’s History Month, and March 8th is National Women’s Day. This is the perfect time to celebrate some of the incredible women and femmes in the cannabis industry. There are women who work to ensure cannabis workspaces are inclusive and supportive. Some are bringing cutting-edge ideas and engineering to the table, pushing the boundaries of the current cannabis technology. In addition, there are countless women scientists, talented cultivators and industry leaders across the country. This month—and year-round —we at High Mountain Health are giving them the recognition they deserve.
Women have been using cannabis for as long as it has been around, from ancient Mesopotamia to Victorian England. They have turned to cannabis for a variety of ailments, from menstrual pain to everyday aches and pains, to relaxation. Unfortunately, this community has historically been overlooked due to a pervasive societal impression that cannabis is for men—colloquially known as “weed bros.” This often stems from a stigma regarding femininity, motherhood and cannabis—according to some, these identities should not overlap. Today though, it’s impossible not to realize that women are an integral part of the modern cannabis industry. We’ve highlighted a few in particular:
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins
A trained naturopathic physician, a member of the American Herbalist Guild and a Founding Board member of the California Cannabis Industry Association are just a few notable accomplishments on Jenkins’ impressive resume. Dr. Jenkins is one of the leading figures in plant-based medicine. She works in honor of her daughter who tragically passed away from cancer, just days before her twelfth birthday. Furthermore, Jenkins works to elevate people of color in the cannabis industry as well; she has been a member of the Minority Business Council for three years.
Dr. Lakisha Jenkins is a leader in naturopathic medicine and the cannabis industry.
Entrepreneur Jane West founded the lifestyle and cannabis event-planning company Edible Events in 2014. She is also the founder of Women Grow, an organization connecting women in the industry across 45 cities. West’s work has allowed for more open discussion and normalization around cannabis. “We need to demand our seats at the table now to ensure we continue to lead this industry in the future,” West told Quartz in an interview.
You can find April Pride where good design and cannabis merge. The Pratt Institute graduate is the founder of the sophisticated lifestyle, culture, and cannabis website Van Der Pop and the Chief Creative Officer for Tokyo Smoke, a similar Canadian company. Pride strives to bring a level of sophistication to the cannabis industry, with a particular interest in what women are shopping for. Her work crushes stereotypes and creates a more approachable, feminine and sleek space for cannabis consumers.
Charlo Greene is an icon, to say the least. The former TV anchor received some attention when, while reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club, she revealed she was the owner of the business and walked off camera. From there, she decided to advocate for cannabis reform full-time. She now resides in Los Angeles where she runs The Weed Show, all about cannabis culture, medicine, and more.
Unfortunately, the Alaska Cannabis Club was raided by federal agents in 2016. Greene faces a 54-year sentence if indicted. This is a tragedy for the cannabis community and emphasizes an ever-increasing need for decriminalization.
The Women at High Mountain Health
Even though they may not be making headlines (yet), there are many powerful women working behind-the-scenes at HMH, often in leadership positions. This includes one of our company’s cofounders, our retail manager, our KAYA manager, and our marketing manager. In addition, our testing lab, Desert Valley Testing, is entirely run by women.
Beyond women in the industry, we would like to extend this recognition to women and femmes who have benefited from cannabis in general. We are here to support you and ensure your safe access to high-quality plant medicine!