JANE WEST, FOUNDER OF ‘WOMEN GROW,’ PLANS TO GIVE WOMEN SENIOR POSITIONS IN MARIJUANA INDUSTRY
As the cannabis industry blooms, we’ve witnessed the public explore every facet of the continuing debate: Marijuana's effect on the nation's health, mentality, economy, and morality have been deliberated to no end. Meanwhile, we have neglected to analyze the business from a crucial angle: gender equality. As the industry explodes, women are losing out.
The opportunities involved in the marijuana business are undeniable, as the National Journal reports. Nationally, the legal marijuana market was estimated to be worth $1.53 billion in 2013. And that figure is expected to multiply by six in the next five years. Meanwhile, thousands of job opportunities are being created.
Who are the people working behind these lucrative store counters? They are not women, says Karen August, whose year-long research project in Northern California showed that nearly all business transactions in the marijuana industry were made by men. Meanwhile, women tended to toil away in the gardens, grooming the plants and selling marijuana "knick-knacks."
Jane West, owner of Edible Events Co. recognizes this trend, and is eager to reverse it before it becomes the norm. She founded an organization called Women Grow, which seeks to empower women to maintain their own cannabis operations.
Not only does West organize seminars to educate women about seizing the opportunities available, she is also hoping to rebrand weed as a feminine product. She is thrilled by the emergence of "gourmet" pot shops, and continues to emphasize the potential for weed to be sophisticated and stylish.
Move over, frat boys. Saavy women everywhere are about to light up – and they're doing it in stilettos.
Image: Xeni Jardin/Flickr