In her new article ‘The unlikely new frontier of feminism – marijuana,’ writer Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett points out legal marijuana is the fastest growing industry in the US – it can bring joy and relieve chronic pain. And female entrepreneurs are at its forefront. Perhaps the Showtime original series Weeds was onto something?
If you enjoy weed, but live in a country or state where cannabis remains illegal, then observing the firing up of a lucrative legal marijuana market – the fastest growing industry in the US – may have left you a tad bemused, if not green with envy. The transformation of cannabis culture from being an illicit, counter-cultural, and frowned-upon activity into a multibillion dollar capitalist behemoth surely represents one of the largest western social changes of this century.
Weed is now big business, but it being America, it is also naturally riddled with celebrity endorsements. The launch of a Bob Marley weed brand, Marley Natural, last month was controversial, while “ganjapreneur” celebrities still living include Snoop Dogg, Melissa Etheridge, Wiz Khalifa and Willie Nelson. This week, Whoopi Goldberg, who has long been in favour of legalisation, added her name to the list with the launch of a marijuana company aimed specifically at women. The products – which include cannabis-infused bath salts, chocolate and cream, are intended to help alleviate menstrual pain. “This was all inspired by my own experience from a lifetime of difficult periods and the fact that cannabis was literally the only thing that gave me relief,” said Goldberg in a statement.
As a girl who gets high, I say all power to her. I never thought I’d be declaring anything relating to the (ostensibly) male-dominated world of weed a feminist victory, but endeavours such as Goldberg’s are good for feminism and good for women. Because, perhaps surprisingly given weed’s “stoner bro” image, women are at the forefront of this new industry.
Newsweek claimed last August that legal marijuana could be the first billion-dollar industry not dominated by men. Female entrepreneurs such as Giadha DeCarcer argue that there are fewer barriers to women because the business is so new, and the industry networking group Women Grow already has thousands of subscribers. No grass ceiling here.
There’s no doubt that the “lady stoner” is having a cultural moment. Rihanna’s stoner selfies are proud and unashamed. The female stoner’s public image may be only in its infancy, but away from the media, legal marijuana is changing the lives of women in chronic pain.