The burgeoning legal cannabis industry, like so many others, can feel much like a man’s world. While most studies show consumption rates to be close to equal between the genders, “booth babe” stereotypes still persist when we think about women in cannabis. Additionally, in many cities, dispensaries are forced to locate themselves in less desirable, higher-crime neighborhoods that can be unfriendly or unsafe for female shoppers. But as medicinal marijuana proves itself to be effective in treating many ailments that only or primarily effect women (menstrual cramps, fibromyalgia, migraines, depression), it’s essential for female patients to find our positions in the cannabis marketplace.
The good news is that, as a new industry (mostly) yet to be penetrated by corporate dollars, there’s still room for small female-owned businesses to stake their claim. According to a recent CNN article, women comprise 36 percent of executives in the cannabis industry, while we trail the men at 22 percent across all other industries. While that’s great news, it still leaves a considerable gap. Here are five female-owned cannabis companies who have come up with creative products and deserve our support. Unfortunately, it’s still illegal to purchase across statelines, so these are currently available to California patients only.
1. TreatWell Cannabis: Owner Alison Ettel got into the cannabis industry when marijuana helped her recover from bacterial meningitis. She founded TreatWell in 2014 in San Francisco and produces tinctures and edibles for humans, though her most unusual products are her pet tinctures—non-psychoactive, high-CBD forumlas for dogs and cats suffering with pain and seizures.
2. Treat Yourself: A vegan, cannabis-infused cherry pop tart that magically soothes menstrual cramps is every bit as amazing as it sounds. This company was founded by two women, a health coach and a yoga instructor, who also happened to be childhood pals.
3. Sweet Releaf: Topical cannabis is surprisingly effective and quick at treating muscle pain, skin conditions, and inflammation. Sweet Releaf creams are made from organic ingredients by an all-female team and come in a few strengths and scents.
4. Moxie Meds: Jessica Peters is a cannabis clinician and badass who is unafraid to tackle some of the more controversial aspects of the plant’s medicinal potential (such as pediatrics and women’s reproduction concerns, according to her company website). Her interest in medicinal marijuana stems from a lifetime of severe, debilitating menstrual cramps, and she now makes high CBD tinctures specifically for women on their cycle.
5. Herbabuena: This husband and wife team sells all kinds of fun things that push the bounds of an enthusiastic stoner’s wildest daydreams. Cannabis lubricant! Aphrodisiac elixirs! Show your favorite pot-smoker you care with their signature “Rock and Roll Party Pack” or “Sexual Healing Pleasure Pack,” a curated collection of high-end cannabis products.
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Catherine Plato is a freelance writer and editor from Oakland, California. Follow her on Twitter @catherineplato.