Just like that klatch of stoners who always hung out under the oak tree during high-school lunch period, the burgeoning marijuana industry needs some women, pronto.
The National Journal reports that Edible Events Co. founder Jane West has launched Women Grow, a mentoring organization catering to ladies getting started in the pot biz. "I was observing that women weren't equally in positions of power in the industry," said West, adding that, "We want women to know that there's a big opportunity now."
Nor is she the proverbial lone voice in the wilderness. The National Cannabis Industry Association is stepping up as an initial sponsor; a spokesperson told the National Journal that, "It's definitely a priority as far as we're concerned, because it's an industry where both the customer base and the professional base are not as evenly divided across the genders as they could be." The key word is, of course, customer base. As sociologist Karen August has shown, it's more often than not dudes who're stepping into business roles as the industry goes above-board:
"Nearly all" of the business transactions in the year she spent observing were made by men, whereas women were much more likely to be involved in trimming plants and making edibles and selling knick-knacks. (Among her illustrative anecdotes was a Craigslist ad offering extra pay for women who'd trim topless.) August concluded: "Rarely are women encouraged to set up and maintain their own operations."
But ladies also like to light up! And there are real opportunities, beyond cannabis lube. West, for instance, wants to expand your notions about marijuana: "When you think of the word to describe a great wine or a luxury item you think of words like 'classic,' 'stylish' and 'cosmopolitan.'" That's going to be impossible if the nascent bud business just feels like a giant, sticky-floored frat house.
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