By Melanie Erbar.
Whoopi Goldberg has always been a fan of cannabis, since her youth, when she would use it to relieve her menstrual cramps.
Fast forward to 2020, and Goldberg’s interest in cannabis has translated to a female-run business. The medical cannabis company Whoopi and Maya launched four years ago.
While other Hollywood celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Seth Rogen or Mike Tyson have presented the public with medical cannabis products of their own, the award-winning actress’ take on the substance is inherently female-centric, making her stand out in an ever-expanding market.
The cannabis company — which she founded in April 2016 together with Maya Elisabeth, creator ofOM Edibles creator and winner of multiple Cannabis Cups, — offers a wide variety of carefully crafted products for relief of common women’s health issues like menstrual and muscle cramps, inflammation and stress.
Although many state legislatures still don’t consider dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, to be a real medical condition that warrants access to medical marijuana, the global female population likely disagrees. And with nobody else on the market targeting this issue, Whoopi and Maya made it their tagline. But make no mistakes: Goldberg and Elisabeth offer a lot more to the market, and it’s not just for women.
Men Are Part Of The Game Too
While creating a conversation around women’s health and thetaboo-for-some subject of menstruation may have been the initial impulse for founding their cannabis firm, Goldberg and Elisabethhave expanded far beyond that scope today. There’s no doubt that men suffer from pain, stress and anxiety too, so why should their products target one gender
Relax, for example, a cannabis-infused tincture with ingredients like elderberry and motherwort, acts as an anxiety and stress reliever regardless of gender.
TheCBD body balm Rub goes even further by providing strong relief for chronic ailments like arthritis, inflammation and headaches, in addition to helping treat bruises and muscle cramps.
The cannabis-infused raw cacao Savor is not only vegan, but makes for the perfect sugar-free edible to anyone looking to boost their antioxidants and “feel good vibes.”
Different State, Different Package
While the initial launch of Whoopi and Maya was successful in California, the brand has had to navigate the tricky state-by-state regulatory landscape just like all cannabis companies.
Their jump to the Colorado market was especially delicate, as Goldberg told Forbes: “after we launched, we started learning what worked and what didn’t and still have to continuously re-adjust course as regulations change, and we learn more.”
What she’s referring to is the difference in ingredient alignment, as well as packaging guidelines controlled by the state of Colorado. So if you’re a Cali native and searching for your favorite Whoopi and Maya product in Denver, some confusion might arise.
Products like the aforementioned Savor are usually sold in a small glass jar in California, but this is a no-go in Colorado, where the law requires products to be stamped with a diamond-shaped THC label.
Since this wasn’t possible, they brand redesigned their packaging, and you can now find the raw cacao in single-serving foil pouches with 10 mg of THC each.
These women know how to make it work, regardless of regulatory challenges, so be sure to expect further expansion from them in the years to come. Breaking through to the East Coast markets of New York and New Jersey seems to be high up on the priority list, as the validityof dysmenorrhea as an illness is still under discussion among legislators.
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Lead photo by Timothy White, courtesy of Whoopi Goldberg.
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