Women in Cannabis
National Women’s History month is the entirety of March, and we want to highlight some of the amazing women in the cannabis industry. Whether it be starting national brands, aiding in research, or paving the way for the industry itself, the cannabis industry has made an effort to bring female cannabis enthusiasts to the front lines. Women in cannabis are doing everything they can to fight inequality, and one of the bigger issues women face today is the Gender Wage Gap.
When it comes to the wage gap, it is important to look at numbers and which industries and countries are doing their part. Though our overall gap in this country is not as high as countries such as South Korea, at 32.5% we are still in the top 10 at an overall 18.5%. More importantly might be how this number is broken down. In the U.S. 94.6% of CEO’s for Fortune 500 are male. This is an astronomical number because it means women may be working but they are not in positions of power where most of the higher paid positions are. In these same Fortune 500 companies 62.8% of their minimum wage workers are women. These facts lead to the assumption that if you are a woman looking to be in management, Fortune 500 companies are not the place to look for it.
Cannabis experiences a much different but equally difficult battle. First, people must acknowledge that the cannabis industry worker makes less than the average worker in every other industry. Dispensary managers in the cannabis industry make on average about $40k in Oregon, which is half of what men make in company management in other industries. Though a new industry, cannabis is on the forefront of closing the gender wage gap. Unfortunately due to this newness there is not currently good data on where the wealth lies when it comes to men vs women in the cannabis industry.
What there is, is an array of amazing CEO’s, Founders, Managers, and Cultivators who are closing the gender wage gap among cannabis workers. Our own company is founded by Brie Malarkey who’s passion for herbalism and plant medicine led her to open Southern Oregon’s first licensed dispensary. She later expanded and created Sun God Medicinals and Sun God Herbals, both product manufacturing companies and with her roots still at the family farm, Sunna Ra Acres. Our business has been on the forefront of demystifying cannabis and medicinal herbs for years and will continue to be a voice in cannabis for years to come.
Last year’s Cannabis Cup was to be full of a vast amount of highly educated women invested in the forward momentum of cannabis. For example, Marguerite Bolt is the hemp Extension specialist in the Department of Agronomy at Purdue University. She received her M.S. in Entomology from Purdue University, and her B.S in Entomology from Michigan State University. Bolt’s research has focused on hemp-insect interactions and plant chemistry. Her position is new to the university but allows her to serve as a catalyst to link growers to production facilities and the research community through online resources, field days, and workshops.
Another amazing woman who was to speak at the Cannabis Cup 2020, is Debby Goldsberry. Goldsberry is the executive director at Magnolia Wellness, an award-winning dispensary in Oakland, California. She is also the managing director of the Berkeley Community Care Center dispensary at Amoeba Music. Goldsberry co-founded the Berkeley Patients Group (BPG) medical cannabis collective in 1999, facilitating its growth for more than 11 years. Goldsberry is also invested in educating people about the cannabis industry as she published her first book in 2017, “Idiot’s Guide: Starting and Running a Marijuana Business.”
Our company is proud to be among the many cannabis companies that are empowering women. There shouldn’t be a gender wage gap, and a lot of industries are looking for ways to change the current system. Cannabis is doing a great job working towards this change, as seen by the amazing women exceeding expectations that were outlined above. What would have been this year's Cannabis Cup, was geared towards empowering many female voices in the cannabis industry. They have been outlined on their website. When it comes to breaking the standard, our company is excited to see what the women and men of cannabis will do next to expand the industry and keep forward momentum in closing the wage gap for not only women, but all marginalized communities.
Valentine's Day is a special time for most couples. It has always been a reason to celebrate love and togetherness. Typically couples enjoy a fancy dinner, a fun night out on the town, or a getaway to their favorite city or rural area. Unfortunately for many, this year's plans are somewhat hindered thanks to COVID-19. Couples will have to change their Valentine's day routine. Despite this restriction, Valentine’s day will still be a time for celebrating intimacy with your partner. How will you adjust?
Here at Breeze Botanicals, we want you to have the best “at home” Valentine’s Day possible. We have some suggestions on how changing your way of thinking can provide new opportunities for a memorable day. Consider this: What if you look at the positives of changing the usual routine, instead of just the negatives?
Part of what makes this day special, is the extra thought that goes into how we celebrate our partners. We can still show how much we care in new ways that may be more memorable than a standard yearly date night.
Consider that you aren’t missing out on that fancy dinner. Perhaps you are missing out on paying for that expensive dinner! Cook an affordable meal from scratch and spend the extra money on a beautiful gift.
Maybe instead of going out, you break out some old nostalgic photos to look at from your life together. What a great way to rekindle the feelings from a time when your relationship was young. Sometimes what we immediately see as loss, is simply an opportunity provided for something new.
Instead of seeing a movie in theatres, rent a movie that means something to you both and re-watch it. Pick a campy not so serious movie from your favorite streaming service to laugh at. Or choose a movie you both loved as kids and watch it again - but together. Creating new memories is easier when you try something outside of the box.
Just because there is a pandemic, it doesn’t mean that Valentine’s day is a lost cause. Make the most out of the 14th, and use it as a chance to relax and spend time with loved ones. Life is too short not to enjoy the little moments!
Speaking of little moments, how about a not-so-serious couple’s photo shoot that you make together. Recreate historical photos in a funny way, make cheesy over-posed couples photos that can be used for fun on social media, or simply dress each other as awkwardly as you can, by using clothes that you each select from the other’s closet. Think of it as a fun reverse makeover, where the goal is only to make each other laugh.
As for our last tip, may we suggest Sun God Medicinals hemp massage oils? These luxurious massage oils create an at home spa experience and are formulated with certified organic hemp and aromatic oils. With four scented selections our hemp massage oils each have their own purpose, ranging from mood and relaxation to muscle or body relief. Even if you have never tried exchanging massages, and feel like a beginner; your partner will always appreciate the intimate touch and the thought behind the gift.
If you still want something familiar, that feels a little more traditional to give - check out our infused candies and treats! We wish you a very memorable Valentine’s day, and we hope you truly celebrate the one you love!
The word marijuana has a unique history here in the cannabis world and many of us choose not to use it for the racial implications it holds in the United States but let us take a look at the whole history. Give it a read and then you tell us, does this history give you pause to use the word marijuana?
Throughout world history cannabis has been used for a variety of different things from the beginning of canvas to the current studies that are being done for cannabis use as an alternative medicine. In the 16th century during the Italian Renaissance. Venetian painters utilized canvas because it was easier for them to use in a humid environment than frescos or wood panels. Many also used cannabis to make sails as it is a more sturdy material when wet then the previously used cotton.
During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s we begin to see cannabis become accepted within medicinal practices and treatments in the US and Europe, as pharmaceutical companies started capitalizing on cannabis extracts within medications. Multiple medications were produced that explicitly claimed cannabis aided in things like “restlessness,” pain, and nausea.
As far as the origin of the word Marijuana is concerned we know that the Spanish brought cannabis to Mexico to cultivate it for hemp. One theory is that Chinese immigrants to western Mexico lent the plant its name as a combination of syllables that could have referred to the plant in Chinese (ma ren hua) later to become Spanishized into "marijuana." Another theory is that it came from a colloquial Spanish way of saying "Chinese oregano", mejorana (chino). Then there is even the history of the word that comes from Angolan slaves and African slaves brought to Brazil by the Portuguese who carried with them the Bantu word for cannabis: ma-kaña, who were allowed to grow crops cannabis to smoke. Or maybe the term simply originated in South America itself, as a portmanteau of the Spanish girl's names Maria and Juana.
So how did all of this lead to the world we know today?
Simply put before the 1900s, the term “marijuana” simply did not exist in the English language. Prior to this time, the cannabis plant was primarily referred to as cannabis or hemp, with hash also being extremely popular for the upper-class in the late 1800s. Prior to this, as we established, cannabis was primarily utilized within medicinal practices and alternative medicines. The plant’s psychoactive properties were known; however, the idea of enjoying just for fun wasn’t seen frequently in the US just yet. In order to understand why we must first understand the climate of the United States at the time.
Between the 1910s and the 1930s immense change came to the US. During this time there were 4 key things affecting the climate in the US. The Mexican Revolution, the Birth of the Jazz Age, Prohibition, and the beginning of the Great Depression. For starters between 1910 and 1920 almost 600,00 Mexican immigrants traveled from Mexico to the United States, fleeing from the horrors of the Mexican Revolution. Jazz music began to take hold in 1918 as World War I ended and Jazz musicians such as Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, and Chick Webb began to travel from from New Orleans to major northern cities such as Chicago and New York, leading to a wider dispersal of jazz as different styles developed in different cities. This intern led to the increase in popularity of nightclubs. Women and Churches largely stood on the forefront of Prohibition in 1919 as the rise in evangelical Protestantism brought the idea that along with urban growth, saloon culture is corrupt and ungodly.
It was during this time that cannabis, and the term marijuana, began to catch on. Some say its emergence was brought about by Prohibition and Jazz while others believed with the arrival of immigrants came an increased idea of enjoying cannabis recreationally. Its recreational use was largely restricted to jazz musicians and people in show business. “Reefer songs” became the rage of the jazz world. There were even some cannabis clubs called tea pads that sprang up in cities like Chicago. These establishments were tolerated by the authorities because marijuana was not illegal and patrons showed no evidence of making a nuisance of themselves or disturbing the community. Marijuana was not, yet, considered a social threat.
This is when we began to see reports that this drug, “marijuana,” caused superhuman strength, violent actions, and even a “lust for blood” incited panic, effectively blaming Mexican immigrants for the introduction of such substance and all brown people for it’s recreational use. Thus, the term “marihuana,” or “marijuana” was born out of hate. A campaign conducted in the 1930s by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Narcotics, now the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, sought to portray marijuana as a powerful addictive substance that would cause some users to become violent. This was largely fueled by a man named Harry Anslinger.
It would not be an overstatement to say that Harry Anslinger was one of the primary individuals responsible for creating the stigma surrounding cannabis as he was the first director of the newly created Federal Bureau of Narcotics in 1930. Anslinger launched a campaign against cannabis that would hold steady for the three decades he remained in office. He was known for testifying in front of Congress saying things like “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind… Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage.” In another statement, Anslinger stated, “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”
The term marijuana became a word known by Americans all over the country. Anslinger made a point to use the word specifically when making public appearances and crafting propaganda films such as Reefer Madness. He did this intentionally adding to the development of the herb’s new “foreign” identity. Cannabis was no longer the plant substance found in medicines and consumed unanimously by American’s all over the country. Cannabis was outlawed because various powerful interests (some of which have economic motives to suppress hemp production) were able to craft it into a bogeyman in the popular imagination, by spreading tales of homicidal mania touched off by consumption of the dreaded Mexican "locoweed." Fear of brown people combined with fear of nightmare drugs used by brown people to produce a wave of public action against the "marijuana menace." That combo led to restrictions in state after state, ultimately resulting in federal prohibition.
Today we have the clarity of truth, and also enough time has passed since legalization to statistically prove that this plant simply doesn't deserve the stigma, nor do the very people once demonized for using it. In fact, we should truly be thanking the cultures who first championed and helped more people to discover this amazing botanical. As a dispensary with the future in mind we want to make sure that all history is brought to light and that the root for words actions are brought to light. But what do you think about the word marijuana and will you use it now having read why it became popular in the United States.
The Herbalist Team at Breeze Botanical's uses our collective educational experiences and on-going thirst for knowledge to normalize the conversation around herbs and to demystify the world of herbal medicine. Join us on this journey and embrace the plants around you.