Will 2016 be the year that we change the typical “stoner” image? Society has labeled cannabis users as tie-dye wearing hippies for some time now. That’s all about to change as female entrepreneurs begin to introduce fancy cannabis attire and accessories.
Sparkling pot-leaf necklaces, diamond-studded bongs, and lipstick lighters are only a few examples of upscale products that women are bringing to its more fashionable pot smokers. According to Jeanine Moss, co-founder of AnnaBís luxury purses for herb, lady entrepreneurs these days are a little more Prada and a little less tie-dye.
Year of the upscale cannabis consumer
Jeanine Moss is one of many women that are entering the fast-growing industry. This is an industry that is destined for success, especially in California if voters express their approval for its recreational use in November. Over 20 million American women who earn a minimum of $75,000 per year have consumed cannabis, according to a Pew Research Center report done in June of 2015.
Moss has labeled 2016 as “year of the upscale cannabis consumer”. Not at all surprising, considering the high number of products that women are bringing to the table. This industry is an opportunity for many entrepreneurs, especially new and flourishing businesses popping up in L.A.
For example, designer Jacquie Aiche, who is responsible for $400 diamond studded pot-leaf earrings called “Sweet Leaf”. These highly fashionable earrings have grown in popularity as more and more people turn green (pro-cannabis). They’ve even appeared on the lovely Rihanna’s Instagram feed. “It’s a statement and a strong movement”, says Aiche.
Women and the budding industry
According to a Marijuana Business Daily survey done in October, Women hold 36% of all executive-level positions in the cannabis industry (compared to the 22% among U.S. businesses). Numbers don’t lie, women are taking over this industry by storm. The survey also discovered that women account for 63% of the executives in marijuana testing labs and 48% of those involved in infused or processed product manufacturing.
“We set trends on a global scale, and that’s why L.A. has an opportunity here to set a standard,” says Lisa Sweeney, Los Angeles chapter chair of Women Grow. “The women I see here are coming in because they see [the cannabis industry] as a level playing field with equal opportunities.”
Women are taking on a big role in demolishing the typical pot-smoker stereotypes. Take Whoopi Goldberg for an example, who has created cannabis items designed to treat PMS. Of course, we can’t forget Bethenny Frankel’s “Skinnygirl”, a munchie-free marijuana strain. These products prove that there’s more to this business than lighting up, it’s about successful people producing products that reap benefits.
“In L.A., the women who are getting into the space are more mainstream,” Sweeney says. “As far as how that elevates the industry or changes the stereotype, those types of wellness products send out a positive message that cannabis has a medical purpose, a well-being purpose.”
It’s time to re-brand
Cheryl Shuman, director of the Beverly Hills Cannabis Club and Moms for Marijuana, is yet another inspired woman who wants the industry to be represented in a more positive fashion. “When people think of cannabis, they think of a bunch of weed in a Ziploc bag. Our packaging, with 14-karat gold leaves, porcelain and crystal, is very high-end, something you’d expect at Tiffany’s, [that] shows the high society, if you will, of cannabis”. Shuman’s Beverly Hills Cannabis Club does just that by providing cannabis yoga retreats, cannabis-infused cosmetic products, and more.
Shuman says that her normalizing abilities help to inspire people to come out with their love for cannabis, and even flaunt it! “When you have a vaporizer, it can either be a simple, black vape pen, or you can treat it as a fashion accessory. Decorate it with ruby or 14-karat gold, and people are like, ‘Oh my God, what is that?’ It gets the conversation started”. I think we can all admire her ways of empowering people to be more open about their cannabis use. If more and more entrepreneurs continue to enter the business with unique and beneficial products, we will be able to vanish the stigma once and for all.
Did you know that so many women are taking over the industry? Who do you think will enter the industry next? Let us know on social media or in the comments below.