The Future is (a) Female (Plant)
From the plant we smoke to the women leading the industry, we celebrate a brighter, more feminine future in cannabis.
In the beautiful world of cannabis, one thing is certain: the female is everything. And as it should be. It is the female plant we’re enjoying after all! But more than just that, we want to celebrate the incredible women who are leading the charge in our industry, pushing it forward with strength, integrity, and razor-sharp business acumen. On top of that, women bring a level of compassion, inclusivity, and empathy, which our industry so desperately needs more of.
As a brand with many radical women in leadership positions, we feel like it’s extra important to take some time to recognize the positive effect women have had and continue to have on our industry, creating a more equitable space for women to grow and thrive - just like our favorite plant.
While some say the future is female, we like to think that future is here, and we’ll continue to do everything in our power to make sure it stays that way. From running brands, to trippy science in the testing labs, to simply providing safe spaces to expand the dialogue around cannabis, female visionaries are shaking up the industry to make cannabis more inclusive and more enjoyable for everyone. Cannabis is a female world, and we’re just smoking in it.
The Beauty of the Female Plant
Surprisingly, a lot of cannabis lovers have no idea their flower and buds come from a female plant. In fact, many don’t even know there’s both male and female plants! When it comes to the sweet Mary Jane that you love to roll in a joint, it all comes from the female cannabis plants because they’re the only ones that produce the cannabinoids and terpenes that get you high. But that’s not to say the male plants aren’t important, as they act as a pollinator and help to ensure the females grow a bounty of delicious buds. If you’re trying to identify male plants, they’re identifiable by the pollen sacs that develop near the nodes of the plant (where the stems meet the main plant), as well as the increased thickness of their stems. In short, females are the prizes of cannabis plants, since they are the ones that give us all the fun, so let’s show them some extra gratitude since they’re the reason we’re all here anyway.
The Importance of Women in Cannabis
Over the past two years, the US has pulled ahead as one of the most valuable cannabis markets in the world, with projections estimating the U.S. market to be worth over $90 billion by 2026. There’s never been a more exciting time for women to take the helm and lead our industry into a bold new era. Cannabis has the opportunity and potential to shift the fabric of our society in so many ways - and if you haven’t noticed, women have been helping to reimagine the fabric of our country since its origins. And in the current landscape, it seems extra important to welcome more women into the space and let them drive the grass wagon because Gen Z women are the fastest-growing consumers of legal weed.
Thankfully, there are plenty of women kicking ass and showing us all that this game isn’t just for the boys. Take Miss Grass for instance, a female-owned operation that sells premium THC and CBD products, many of which are specifically geared for women and how their bodies specifically react to cannabis. They also offer a vast array of resources to educate on the science, history, and culture around weed, as well as numerous programs to help empower BIPOC communities and fight back against the war on drugs (and we proudly stand with them on this mission).
For those who love magazines and stoner-riffic articles and imagery, there’s Broccoli Magazine, an independent publication created by and for women who use cannabis. From cover to cover, it’s a bounty of high-minded delights meant to inspire anyone who flips through the pages, whether you’re stoned or not. Not only is it a favorite here at Old Pal, but they’ve also partnered with us at events like In Bloom.
When it comes to increased representation for BIPOC women, Cannaclusive is changing the game by providing greater inclusivity in the cannabis space. Operated by a group of strong, creative, and inspiring women, Cannaclusive was started by Co-Founder Mary Pryor as a way to facilitate fair representation of minority cannabis consumers. On top of that, they celebrate the cultures of this thriving community through curated experiences, industry resources, and insightful content.
“Gender diversity and inclusivity is not about feeling good; it’s about being profitable and sustainable,” says Humble Bloom Co-Founder Solonje Burnett in an interview with Forbes. “Studies have shown that female leadership leads to higher employee satisfaction and retention. Teams feel valued, respected and heard.” Humble Bloom’s unique and powerful advocacy platform empowers individuals through inclusive experiences, along with consulting brands on how to grow their business consciously. They also sell a range of beautiful products, from edibles and smokeables to apparel and accessories - including these “Buy Weed From Women” totes that everyone should own. “Using a more feminine approach, leading with listening and connection, translates to more innovation, productivity, non-linear and non-hierarchical decision making, and better products.”
When it comes to cannabis equity, there’s also vocal and active leaders like Hilary Yu Co-Founder of Our Academy. Not only is she breaking boundaries and helping to open doors for cannabis entrepreneurs around the country, her mentorship program is an open education resource for equity applicants, operators, and others impacted by the war on drugs. We had the honor and privilege to work with them in 2021, helping a group of inspiring mentees grow their brands and learn the ins and outs of our often-complex industry. Best of all, one of the mentees through the program makes the best THC-infused bbq sauce we’ve ever tasted.
A Fresh Female Perspective
As more and more women make waves through the cannabis industry, we’ve seen a transformational shift in how everyone gets to enjoy weed. We’ve also seen a remarkable tidal wave of positivity, compassion, and empowerment from our own group of women, all doing the little things to help erase the industry's gender divide and help make Old Pal an industry leader that stands with and for women. We’ve got some incredible ladies in the Old Pal family, so we thought we’d let them share their perspectives on where we’re at, where we’re going, and how girl power is making cannabis a better place for us all.
“Women lead with empathy, compassion and passion, and frankly we need more of that in all industries, but even more so in the male dominated cannabis space. It’s high time more females are pushing the progress of an industry that relies on this beautiful female plant.”
Allison Pankow, Old Pal CMO
"Being a woman leader in cannabis is beautiful because it’s the first time in history that women are able to make decisions that are forming the foundation of a brand new industry. Women consumers are the fastest growing demographic and we need more women in leadership to address the specific needs of women users."
Kendra Stocking, Old Pal VP of Sales
We Ain’t Done Yet
In the past several years, women have been leading the charge for cannabis industry growth across the United States. Back in 2015, a Newsweek cover story proclaimed, “Legal marijuana could be the first billion-dollar industry not dominated by men.” Yet here we are in 2022, still swimming in what seems like a swirling current of gender bias, where it’s almost as if women take two steps forward and one step back. We here at Old Pal believe our industry needs more female leaders in the world of weed, and we’re on a mission to help lift up all the females doing the work, fighting the good fight, and making cannabis a welcome place for everyone. In closing, we’ll let our pal Amber Puckett from NV Cann share some sage advice for all the amazing women out there:
“You have to be cognizant of the fact that you’re a woman, and there will unfortunately be hurdles you have to overcome. But don’t focus on the hurdles, instead if you know what the hurdles are as a woman, use them to your advantage and just do it. Whether you’re a woman or minority, don’t hold back, because you know who’s not holding back - everyone else.”