Goldleaf recently chatted with fourteen impactful women in the cannabis space. We asked each of them to elaborate on what exactly it means to be an influential woman in the world of cannabis and to share some of the ways they are inspiring other women.
The answers we received varied widely, although a number of common themes emerged. Below are their responses, broken down into nine ways these influential women are making a major difference in other’s lives.
Strengthening Women in the Cannabis Industry
Liv Vasquez, Livvie Smalls Events
“I love knowing that I can influence people to empower themselves with knowledge. Knowing more about your rights, your body, your options...that can open a lot of doors for anyone. I present that information in the most beautiful way possible to make it feel more attainable. My beautiful events, plates, and education have encouraged so many women to have their own relationship with plant medicine. I use my platform to showcase brands that are ethical in regards to product and how they treat the women who work for them.I have also had an opportunity to empower other women who work in cannabis by helping to lead the Time’s Up movement into the cannabis space. I get messages daily from womxn who have left the industry or who are facing challenges that might make them want to leave the industry, and I empower and encourage them, hoping to bring more womxn into or back into this space. Creating and encouraging safe spaces for women is how I hope to affect other women.”
Mia Jane, Creator / Educator / Advocate
“I have worked hard to be an influential woman in the cannabis space by educating consumers on products, connecting businesses with lasting customers, and creating successful professional relationships with quality brands. Through my years of experience, I have been able to build opportunities for other females to advance their careers and have spoken up on numerous occasions about the importance of women being treated equally in the workplace. When women work together, incredible things happen and I always want to support my fellow women of weed whenever I can.”
Cait Curley, Entrepreneur / Artist / Activist
"Being a woman of influence in the cannabis space comes with important responsibilities. It's imperative that I give accurate information and share crucial updates that can further the industry for the better. Aside from cannabis, I also try to incorporate meaningful and inspiring content. When women reach out to me and say, “Wow, I really needed to hear that today” or “I didn’t know that, I will try it to better my health,” it means the world to me. It gives me confidence that I am making a difference and affecting people positively. To me, being influential means showing leadership, positive intention, and integrity in how I represent myself and the industry both publicly and privately."
Leighana Lynn, High Vibe Curator
Photo credit: Harlee Case of Ladies of Paradise for Kandy Pens
“To me being an influential woman in the cannabis space is about uplifting and empowering other women. It's a small and sometimes competitive space, making it crucial for women to empower other women. When we rise up together, we rise up stronger. I have used my voice and social media platform to educate and inform women of political and social issues that affect us—not just in the cannabis space, but as human beings. I aim to keep an authentic and uplifting voice through my writing and on social media in order to connect with and empower other women in the cannabis space.”
DeJanae Evins, Green Goddess Glow
“It’s an honor to be an influential woman in the cannabis space. I set out to educate myself, learn more about the plant and how to reclaim it, as well as use it as a wellness tool. To be able to share what I’ve learned, to be in community and conversation around how others can also achieve this has as much of an impact on me as I hope it does on others. When I receive DMs from women in states where cannabis has not been legalized, women currently facing criminal charges involving cannabis, and they tell me how inspired they are to push through because they see the possibility of what a future looks like—a future where they aren’t being demonized because of their use of the plant—I’m humbled. And for those women I have coached for interviews who have gone on to become compassionate caregivers in dispensaries across the country, I’m very grateful. I intend to continue to be a resource as we grow in knowledge together, exploring new ways to use cannabis in our self-care practices.”
Jennifer Skog, MJ Lifestyle
“It’s humbling to think about because I’m inspired daily by the resilient women I connect with for the magazine, all women whom I admire. I received a handwritten letter from a woman who had recently attended one of our women’s day retreats. She said she was a long-time sufferer from chronic illness, and cannabis is the only thing that helped her feel better, but as a mother, she feared judgment by her peers. Her anxiety had become so damaging that she found herself in a suicide recovery program. After spending the day with inspiring women, expanding her cannabis knowledge, and diving deeper into self-acceptance and meditation, her heart was full. It was as if she had experienced a complete metamorphosis. She noted, "Marijuana has always helped my lupus, but for obvious although sad reasons, it's not something I share. That stops now, thanks to you. I have found my purpose in supporting moms, those who battle illness & mental demons, and those who just need to live their best authentic self.” This is the conversation I want to change everywhere around the world. We also received a beautiful blog post by cannabis equity applicant, Yogi Maharaj. She quoted “MJ Lifestyle truly hosted a space that allowed my mom and I to bond in a way we never imagined. As Fijian Indian women we are not taught to prioritize self-care, but this weekend my mom learned that healing the self allows us to heal our community.”
Jessica Gonzalez, The Mommy Jane
“I have always done my best to move through life with intention and purpose, so when I started @themommyjane I was extra conscientious with how I was going to represent CannaMoms and cannabis use in social media and in reality, the world. The main goal was to showcase the fact that CannaMoms can be good humans and raise good children and use the good herb, without shame. I wanted to find those moms who were canna-curious, and educate them on the magnitude of health benefits from one plant, and to show off products that could benefit CannaParents and their lifestyle. By doing all of this, I hoped to give CannaMamas a stronger voice, even if they couldn't speak their minds from their states. And those that could speak up? I wanted to encourage those moms to do so, without shame. Luckily everything worked out just like I had planned. To this day, one of my favorite things that happens regularly is seeing new CannaMom accounts pop up on Instagram and these women reaching out to me, explaining that @themommyjane was the reason they started their own CannaMom accounts, or came out of the closet to their families, or applied to work in the cannabis industry. I'm bringing people to the green side every day in my virtual "Neighborhood" in ways I never even imagined, and it feels so good to make such an important impact on the community and CannaParents everywhere.”
Shonitria, Blunt Blowin’ Mama
“Being an influential woman in the cannabis space means, to me, the ability to represent groups that aren’t often seen in the industry: black women and young moms. It’s imperative to me that both black women and moms are involved, spotlighted, and included in the growing mainstream cannabis movement of acceptance and destigmatization of the plant. I have received dozens upon dozens of emails from black women and moms who send me emails and direct messages on Instagram thanking me for doing the work I do on Blunt Blowin’ Mama. These women are happy to have found the Blunt Blowin’ Mama podcast, blog, and Instagram page because it makes them feel seen and not alone. I can’t even say how many times women have sent me messages thanking me for my podcast because where they live there aren’t many (or any at all) moms who smoke weed and they get judged from friends or family about their choice to medicate with cannabis. But when these moms find my podcast, they know they’re not alone. Through my podcast, a lot of women have found their tribe and that means so much to me—more than any influencer title. Ultimately, my impact is simple: Normalizing moms who medicate with cannabis by driving home the point that moms who smoke weed are not bad moms.”
Reducing Feelings of Alienation
Andrea Nancy, Spooky Girl Art
“I’m so proud to be an influential woman in the cannabis space, and be able to connect with so many other women in this community. My art celebrates women who use and enjoy cannabis and the many things that we can accomplish together and as individuals. An important aspect of my work is representation. Growing up, I felt so outside of any community—I felt different, strange, alien. When I first started drawing, I wanted to draw girls like me. When I started drawing the women I wanted to be and wanted to surround myself with, I was fortunate enough to connect with other women who felt the same way as I do. I’m fortunate to have women reach out to me all the time to tell me that they see themselves in my artwork and they never thought that would happen. I’m so happy to be building a community where women feel empowered, represented, and like that they can connect with other like-minded souls.”
Carly Fisher, The Weed Witch
“When I think of myself as a woman in the cannabis industry, I think of outliers—those who don't neatly fit into boxes. I have always struggled to fix a "tagline" defining my form of intersectional feminism within the cannabis space, primarily because I always considered myself a Riot Grrrl, journalist, poet, and artist at heart, and cannabis was something that just happened to be along with me during that creative developmental process. I was always inspired by radical, angsty, unapologetic women of all shapes, sizes, colors, and binaries, and when it came to the cannabis space, specifically, I was never quite seeing where I fit. I always struggled to find my "tribe." The thing really changed my life and really empowered me was DIY culture; feminist punk bands and cannabis. Feminism and cannabis cultures are not monolithic, so I started using the word "weed witch." I found that most of the women I loved self-identified with the term, engaged it on a multicultural level attached to ideas rooted in the earthly and spiritual world: ancestral ritualism, self-care, star gazing, plant-based medicine, etc. Also, I felt if you weren't weirded out or annoyed by the terms "weed" and "witch," it tended to indicate that someone was more open-minded about progressive ideas and in the industry for the right reasons. I feel like more than one thing can be true at once and cannabis is symbolic in that respect: it's a weed. It grows in many climates, in many forms, with so many hidden powers. I think women still struggle in that way to define themselves and find connectivity. As a result of my work as a writer and advocate, I found that men and women alike who are canna-curious routinely reach out to tell me that my visibility and information made them feel relief, like they weren't judged for the first time. I know that judgment because I hid it myself for many years. People just want information, access, and transparency, so that they know where they're buying from is safe, high quality, and goes back into repairing communities impacted by the War on Drugs. Ugh, you know us women—always trying to "have it all" amirite?!”
Lisa Snyder, Tokeativity
“I take being a community builder very seriously. I consider all relationships and how they affect one another. I've connected women from different cities, states, and countries through our global Tokeativity community. I believe that one of the keys to liberation of women stems from clear communication, information sharing, and creating containers for women who want to feel more free. We now have a network of over 35,000 and growing. I am proud to be a part of this global cannabis and feminist movement and to support other individuals and organizations who want to do the same.”
Jenny, Jenny Wake and Bake
Photo courtesy of Jenny Wake and Bake
“I think being an influential woman in the cannabis space is about being comfortable and confident in what you bring to the table—don’t shy away from what is important to you. For me, I strive everyday for a good mindset, a good meal, a good smoke, and some creativity thrown into the mix. My approach has never been “how high I can get.” It’s more about showing that I can use cannabis daily in different ways, hoping it can help normalize and give a holistic outlook to those seeking to try cannabis or questioning cannabis.”
Emily Eizen, Artist / Model / Photographer
“I want to use my influence in the cannabis space to keep the culture of freedom and creativity alive. By doing so in an artful way, we can create inspiration and representation for marginalized groups and show a diverse, beautiful wave of femme cannabis culture. Most of my followers are women and I'm grateful I have a platform that inspires them to be their most authentic selves and to use cannabis for their own creative expression.”
Improving Lives Through Cannabis
Whitney Adrian, sunnny.daze & OK OK Creative
“Being an influential woman in the cannabis space comes with a lot of responsibility. We are the driving force in showing the world what it means, and doesn't mean, to be a consumer and advocate; we are the driving force behind destigmatizing the plant and creating a different culture around cannabis that is more welcoming, holistic, and thoughtful. I've been inspired to share my life and learnings in the cannabis world by the countless notes from other women who've reached out to me on Instagram, telling me that my message as a creator and advocate has helped them overcome their fear of stigma and embrace the plant in ways that work for their lives. I was similarly inspired to really publically own my role as an advocate and to start creating content from a feminine perspective a few years ago, after coming across a handful of other female creators in the cannabis space who caught my eye in the way they shed light on a beautiful aesthetic induced by cannabis. I've found that the combination of beauty, art, and community can help to open up doors for newcomers to explore how cannabis could enhance their own lives.”
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