In the last 11 months, the cannabis industry has started reaching out directly to a new segment of the population: mothers. Many mothers, plagued by the stress of parenting during a pandemic, working from home, and sharing a shared sense of upheaval in the community, turned to cannabis for the first time – so it goes in history.
While some mothers have seen significant increases in cannabis use (and disproportionately high attention paid to white, upper-middle-class, and previously banned mothers), many mothers use cannabis to deal with stress and have fun as long as cannabis was there been. Some, especially in legalized states, are executives in the industry or own their own brands.
Despite the relative success of women in the cannabis industry, legal weed is often a game for men. The investment-raising process not only favors young white men, but also depictions of stoner culture, which historically has pushed women into the background through sexist language and stereotypes. Still, women have been key to cannabis activism and legalization over the years, and a disproportionate number of women have started their own cannabis businesses when compared to other industries.
Mothers in the industry, exposed to the persistent risks of the drug war as well as sexism and other parenting judgment for their chosen career path, have become champions of the work themselves. Today we spoke to some of the leading moms in the cannabis industry about their most interesting stories and what they think needs to be changed to make this industry more inclusive.
Courtesy Whitney Beatty
Whitney Beatty, CEO at Apothecarry Brands
Although Whitney Beatty created one of the most stylish and truly useful cannabis cases, it was a late bloomer. She grew up at the height of anti-drug propaganda in the 1980s and said she could barely differentiate between hard drugs and herbal medicine. That changed when her doctor recommended it to help alleviate her anxiety disorder. It was only after she found medical relief from cannabis that she realized that her “negative feelings about it stemmed from Harry Anslinger’s design.”
Now she is devoting her time to a product that aims to normalize cannabis. While wine mothers may keep a bottle of rosé in the refrigerator, Beatty encourages cannabis users to keep their products in their humidor cases.
She says the line between normalizing and whitewashing cannabis is clear. For Beatty, normalization means “getting rid of the idea that cannabis use is somehow illegal or out of the norm” and adding that “you can’t use a photo of a black man consuming to cast a negative light on it while glorifying it for whites. ”
Courtesy Kristin Murr-Sloat
Kristin Murr-Sloat, co-owner at AlpinStash
Kristin Murr-Sloat is new to weeds and says the transition has been relatively smooth. She runs the craft cannabis grow-op AlpinStash with her husband and says she has developed a reputation with other parents. “Often times, other mothers who use will turn to me with questions or look for a Cannamom colleague to hang out with for what I love,” she says. “However, this conversation usually starts with a nondisclosure statement that makes them uncomfortable getting out of the ‘cannabis closet’.”
Although her son is only now a toddler, she says she often talks to her husband about how to explain cannabis to her child as they get older. She says he has already helped them a bit with their home growing and taking care of other plants in the garden, and “looks like any other plant”.
When it comes to violating the recreational use issue, Murr-Sloat has no plans to think about it. “We don’t smoke in small, enclosed areas where he can be exposed to secondhand smoke,” she says. “We’re not going to glorify or demonize it. We will teach him to understand and respect it. ”
Courtesy Esther Song
Esther Song, CMO at Canndescent
Esther Song is the new Chief Marketing Officer at Canndescent, a company known for creating responsive packaging that will appeal to both new consumers and enthusiasts. She says that working with the big, mission-driven brand fits perfectly with her new approach to life since the birth of a child. “As a new mom, I’ve got a better understanding of what’s important in this world, and I believe this industry is shaping the future of consumer and retail experiences and having a significant social impact,” she says.
Song is lucky enough to say she faces relatively little cannabis stigma from other parents. In fact, she says she has “noticed a growing trend among young mothers reaching for cannabis to relieve pandemic stressors”. In the past few months she has enjoyed using the extra time to familiarize herself with Canndescent products with her husband “as soon as the baby is asleep”.
Courtesy Chrissy Stone
Chrissy Stone, Sunderstorm sales representative
Chrissy Stone started early in the cannabis industry, joining her first pharmacy in San Diego when she was just 17. “My parents hated it and said to me, ‘This is not a job for my daughter! Where will it take you in life? “She’s joking. She says that stigma paid off at a young age. Now, at 29, she works for what she calls” one of the BEST companies in the cannabis business. ”
However, that does not mean that she completely escaped judgment. Rather, she says she has learned better to deal with perceptions and to be proud of her role in a controversial industry. For example, when her five-year-old son was asked to explain what his mother did for work, he blew up her cover from all other parents. “My son looked in class and then back at me and said in his loudest voice, ‘My mom sells your mums and dads candy that they make fun of,” she says.
None of the other parents had any questions and avoided going back on the subject. But instead of complaining, Stone just shrugged. “I wiped it off with a smile and finished with, ‘If parents like candy, please let me know. ‘My son laughed and so did I, and that was all that was important to me. ”
Courtesy Amy Cirincione O’Connor
Amy Cirincione O’Connor, Co-Founder and Head of People Officer at the Humboldt Bay Social Club
Amy O’Connor’s uses have changed a lot over time. An avid recreational user in her late teens and twenties, she says that the key to her identity was being “stoned”. Now she mostly has microdoses. “I use 5 mg of gums, 1 hit on a steam or joint, or .25 tinctures to relax at the end of the day,” she says. Their cannabis-friendly boutique hotel allows people to visit the cannabis heartland in style and without judgment.
Living in a region home to some of the most famous cannabis growers in the world makes it a lot easier for O’Connor to talk about cannabis than it is for mothers in other parts of the country. She says she loves “working with women farmers, many of whom are also mothers.” When other mothers judge her, she says they don’t mind. “I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who could judge me for my uses,” she says. “But I didn’t really ask her for her opinion, and I don’t mean to.”
For them, the conversation about normalizing cannabis as a mother needs to focus on the politics of cannabis activism. “To really deal with the cannabis stigma, we need to have a national reckoning of the trauma criminalization inflicted on our communities, especially the black and brown and indigenous communities,” she argues.
Cannabis mothers are driving the industry forward
Cannabis mothers are much more than wine mothers who go for highs over headaches. Rather, many are using their talents and expertise to steer the industry in a more inclusive and welcoming direction. For the years to come, one can only hope that they are not an anomaly but the norm.