Today is March 8th and around the world "celebrates" International Women's Day.
This is a date that goes far beyond a simple “congratulations, women, on your day”... it is a historic milestone of the female struggle for gender equality within a patriarchal society.
We know that little is said about the origin of this date in our calendar. Far beyond the celebration of the feminine, this day symbolizes the struggle that women have been waging for their rights within society since 1910 in Europe. And only in 1975, after several tragedies occurred, the UN officialized March 8 as International Women's Day.
Years passed, and we found ourselves here. Many things have improved, that's a fact, but nothing compared to the place we could have already reached if all the technological power of communication that we have today were not used to repress even the discussion about the most basic subjects, mainly when the topic addressed involves the cannabis universe.
This is an example of a new industry that is emerging and yet women find it difficult to occupy spaces and have an active voice to build their careers, share their knowledge about the plant and even consume their ganjah without taking risks.
According to MJBizDaily reports, in 2017 women held 37% of executive positions in the cannabis industry and by 2022 that percentage has dropped to 8%. And while this unfortunately happens a lot in all industries, cannabis was expected to provide a different scenario.
Now, get this, according to a recent report by The Arcview Group and the National Cannabis Industry Association, companies that have women in leadership positions have greater return on investment, lower employee turnover rates, and higher profit margins. This makes it clear that, even if women rule very well, it is still difficult to conquer spaces dominated by men.
When it comes to cannabis consumption, women also have a larger and growing share as new users, both recreationally and medicinally. According to Brightfield Group data, 59% of cannabis consumers in the US are women.
Here in Brazil it is still difficult to obtain specific numbers in relation to the cannabis industry, not least because it is not a country where the plant is decriminalized or legalized. But one thing is for sure, if in general they are not in high executive positions, in the cannabis area - unfortunately - it would not be different.
And what can we do about women's struggle? We believe that the exchange of information is the basis for achieving any goal and this case would be no different. There are many women with incredible projects that deserve all the recognition for the work they do, so promote their work, read the book that the mines give their blood to write, empower women, partner with women and above all, protect and encourage women female powers!
With that in mind, here is a list of some women who have impacted the cannabis industry and revolutionized business models around the world. Get inspired by them!
Founder and director of APEPI (Association for the Support of Medical Cannabis Research and Patients), whose mission today is to promote access to the medical use of cannabis through research, information and educational channels in order to raise awareness in society and demystify issues related to plant.
Brazilian Margarete Brito graduated in Law from Universidade Bandeirantes in São Paulo and started her cannabis activism as a mother of a patient in search of a really effective treatment. Over the years at the forefront of the cannabis struggle, she felt the sexist repression imposed in a subjugated way on her skin. In 2022 APEPI became the first legalized farm for the cultivation of cannabis in Rio de Janeiro, a historic milestone for Margarete and for all families embraced by the association.
Aiming to promote the inclusion of diversity in the cannabis industry, Americans Amber Senter and Tsion Sunshine founded Supernova Women, a non-profit organization that fights for cannabis tax amnesty for small cannabis businesses in Oakland, California.
The project aims to include black and brown people, mainly women, in the cannabis market. After Senter used cannabis in her lupus treatment, she found the plant a passion to explore. Through the creation of Supernova they seek to educate through events, panel discussions, webinars, blogs and other means of communication, to reach an ever-increasing audience.
Maria Eugênia is a Brazilian with a degree in international relations from FAAP. She got into cannabis entrepreneurship when she moved to Spain and gained access to plant-based cosmetics.
When exploring the cannabis market, she missed mapping the cannabis consumer in Brazil and so she started her business specializing in data and market intelligence in the marijuana segment, Kaya Mind. Since its founding, more than 15 players in the market have already been assisted. Among the services available are: reports, consultations on the subject and verification and data collection.
Studying for a doctorate in Social History at the Federal University of Bahia, Luíza devoted herself to research on the process of criminalization and prohibition of drugs in republican Brazil, including marijuana.
In his book Fumo de Negro: The Criminalization of Marijuana in Post-Abolition is the result of a complex study on the scientific, political and social mechanisms that contributed to the prohibition of Cannabis in the 20th century.
Harm reduction, psychologist and photographer, Alice Reais founded Girls In Green in order to unite her love of cannabis and harm reduction education and extractions. She has lived in California since 2017 where she has been able to perfect her knowledge of the cannabis world.
Currently Alice has been dedicated to the work of sharing, transforming and empowering people of all ages about cultivation through Instagram and blog Girls In Green, where she works with more mines that make it happen in the scene.
• Mila Jansen (The Hash Queen)
If you know what Ice-O-Lator or Bubble Hash is and love extractions, you owe all your thanks to the great Mila Jansen.
Mila was born in Liverpool, England, but raised in the Netherlands. At the age of 20 she met a doctor who she dated, he was doing studies on the effects of Cannabis on the human body and that was her first contact with the plant.
At the age of 24, Mila left for India, where she lived for many years and learned several ancient extraction techniques. After 20 years travelling, she returned to Holland and modernized all the techniques she learned creating our beloved dab .
Marina da Silva Rodrigues