POST CATEGORY: Access, Northwest, Profiles

Women of Weed

December 03, 2013 | Alison-Draisin

Women are powerful consumers and business owners. In this burgeoning new business, we are a reckoning force.


  • The Women of Weed has become something I look forward to each month. It is a safe place where I feel a sense of love and compassion for the women who are quickly becoming my comrades in the blossoming Cannabis industry. WoW gatherings are a place for companionship and camaraderie in the male-dominated Cannabis world. WoW members often joke about how the Cannabis plant is a female, but most of the people who grow, extract, write about, or donate and sell the plant are men. However, that is changing.

The Women of Weed was formed by Aimee (Ah) Warner and Shawn DeNae when they noted a dearth of women in the business. At a time where female Cannabis business owners were still hiding in the closet, it was wonderful to finally meet other amazing women who shared the same passion for providing quality Cannabis products in a professional manner. It definitely takes a certain kind of woman, one who is willing to risk everything to be a business owner in the Cannabis industry. Women are powerful consumers and business owners and in this burgeoning new business, we are a reckoning force. 

I sat down with Ah and Shawn to discuss their vision of WoW. Ah shared the mission statement of WoW: “Building a safe community of like-minded women to support and nurture our individual goals.” She notes that we are like-minded to a point. Weed and sisterhood are the common thread that binds WoW members. Based on her education in women’s studies, Ah’s motivation is that we support each other’s goals.

When conceptualizing WoW, Ah had felt solitary in her first 10 years in the industry, and again, when she re-emerged in the male-dominated Cannabis industry a couple of years ago. Ah met Shawn at a Cannabis Coalition for Standards and Ethics meeting and immediately bonded with her. Shawn, having been a part of women’s groups in the square world, acknowledged how powerful the potential is for such groups. They discussed building a community in the industry for women who have been cloistered for so many years.

They had no idea just how much of a need existed for such a group. At a time when people seemed unwilling to make the bold step of inviting relative strangers into their homes, Ah took that step and opened her home to the first group of women. We rolled our own spring rolls, smoked some of the finest female plants and hashish while we talked about what it felt like being a woman in the Cannabis industry. 

womenofweedquote-copy.jpgWe began to open up and talk about our hopes and dreams as Cannabis business owners. The group, which started as nine women, has grown the point where our most recent gathering had more than 75 women. 

As a part of WoW, I find camaraderie with women who have similar experiences of living a closeted Cannabis-loving life. Sharing such experiences with other risk-taking women is such an amazing feeling that it’s hard to find words to describe the overwhelming sense of universality. It’s not as though you can go to your children’s PTA and talk about how you work in your marijuana garden or that you made pans of medicated edibles that day. After decades of being quiet about what we do in the weed industry, we have found a safe place to share our experiences with others who have been on a parallel path. The best way I have found to describe Women of Weed is as a social networking group where we gather to enjoy good food, friends and the Cannabis plant in all its forms.

If that is what WoW is, then the following is what WoW is not: a union, an association, a meeting, an endorser of causes, a 501(c)(3), a political action committee/group or a mentorship program. If there is a need for such groups, Ah encourages the WoW women to build those types of groups or consider joining the NORML Women’s Alliance, if they’re looking to engage in a political organization. WoW does not endorse any perspective. WoW can be a group of people that people draw support from, but do not expect the group to make endorsements.

At a recent gathering, the ladies were asked to write what Women of Weed means to them. They shared the following: role models, confidence, empowerment, friendship, mutual support, understanding women helping women, beautiful sweet women, brave, risk-takers, love, community, momentum, sharing new information, ideas, inspiration, together we can achieve the extraordinary, the amplified talents of brilliant women, joy, a haven in a competitive industry, networking, competence, friends, family, supporting the best of everything, fun without stress, and just us girls and weed. 

I am often asked how to become a member of the Women of Weed. No committee decides who can join the group. When members bring guests into the WoW circle, it is up to the member to judge whether they have the stakeholder qualities to add to the group. Ah and Shawn agree that those who put in a substantial number of hours per week into the Cannabis industry either through business or activism are welcome to join.

They are insistent that only women who have a vested interest in or are taking some sort of risk in the Cannabis industry can become part of WoW. It is not just for women who like to smoke weed. Ah and Shawn want to be inclusive, but not so big that we can no longer support the current members. Both feel that if the group gets too large, it could defeat the point of WoW. 

To become part of WoW, seek out WoW members in the community, particularly with activist groups such as CCSE, NORML Women’s Alliance, the National Cannabis Industry Association or Americans for Safe Access.  Get involved in the community and you will meet us. WoW seeks women who are completely invested in the Cannabis plant, but we are not actively recruiting. 

If you get the opportunity to join us, think about what you can give, rather then what you can get. You will find an amazing group of females who love, nurture, and support each other and the Cannabis plant.
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