Jane West is all about Mary Jane. The former corporate-event planner from the suburbs of Denver, Colorado founded an eponymous cannabis lifestyle brand and a pot-party planning company, Edible Events, in 2014. She believes women should be flooding the legal weed business. Now. Before men lock it down.
“First, I want every woman to know that there’s a place for you in this industry, and there will never be a better time to find it,” West says. “The legal cannabis industry doesn’t have the entrenched patriarchal power structures that dominate most of professional life, and the sector is growing fast, so jump in and find a way to apply your skill set.
Create your vision, and think big.”The advice isn’t entirely selfless. She seeks industry allies—sisters, if you will—to help her establish a corporate culture that aligns with women’s needs generally and, more specifically, with those of working moms like her. “We need to demand our seats at the table now to ensure we continue to lead this industry in the future,” West told Quartz.
She’s done some of the heavy lifting already. West is the founder of Women Grow, the first professional network for ladies working in legal weed. She started the organization in 2014 and it now connects women in 45 cities across many aspects of the industry, including agriculture, food, design, finance, law, medicine, marketing, and sales. “I had to create my tribe myself,” West explains. “When I was entering the cannabis industry women weren’t in the spotlight the way they are now. Women weren’t as accessible as colleagues and mentors.”
West is unabashed about connecting and sharing her enthusiasm for cannabis because she believes it’s a healthy alternative to alcohol and pharmaceuticals. She advocates for its daily use to treat anxiety, depression, and pain especially.
“We need to demand our seats at the table now” Increasingly, people agree with her, even conservative politicians—or, at least, they are becoming more willing to investigate the question in a meaningful way. On Sept. 13, US senator Orrin Hatch, an 83-year-old Republican from Utah, introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Study Act of 2017. It would allow American scientists to finally study marijuana extensively, and would force the federal government to grow more high-quality weed for research purposes (researchers currently complain that weed grown with federal approval for study is moldy and impotent). When introducing the bill, Hatch noted that many Americans are opioid addicts and medical marijuana could be a safe, non-narcotic pain treatment. He urged his colleagues to vote for the bill’s passage, despite the fact that marijuana legalization is “a difficult issue.”
READ THE REST OF THE STORY BELOW