[Editors Note: To market as a women’s cannabis club is novel. The executive positions statistic mentioned in this article is from 2015. Currently, women in cannabis hold 27% of the exec positions, compared to 23% for all businesses. Neither of these numbers are acceptable.]
Although the holiday gift shopping salon hosted by the Women’s Cannabis Club didn’t come with a “No Boys Allowed” sign, the event strove to elevate women in cannabis in more ways than one.
At the Higher Standards storefront in New York City’s neo-mall Chelsea Market, cannabis enthusiasts of all genders congregated on Saturday afternoon to enjoy complimentary treats like a CBD-infused granola, a 20 percent discount storewide and some very good company, all facilitated by a group of women passionate about the emerging cannabis industry. “I find it extremely empowering to be a woman in cannabis,” Jen Bernstein, president of the Women’s Cannabis Club, told Cannabis Now. Bernstein, who sported a glittery cannabis leaf necklace to the event, is an industry veteran and a former managing editor for High Times, so it’s no surprise that she’s also an advocate for women in the cannabis sphere. “Knowing now with legalization, 37 percent of women are holding executive-level positions in cannabis — It feels like we’re creating a space for us. And in creating the Women’s Cannabis Club, we are exemplifying that idea that women enjoy and love cannabis just as much as our male counterparts.” Bernstein also shared the origin story of the Women’s Cannabis Club: the idea for the club itself was conceived in the spring, at a Cynthia Nixon rally on 420. The event spanned a little over two hours and included a demonstration of the LEVO II, an oil and butter infuser that can make a mean marinade, or some sweet canna-oil, with the touch of a button. LEVO’s head of brand Olivia Harris noted during the demonstration that the company is women-founded, which elicited whoops of approval from the assembled onlookers.
After the demo wrapped up, a smaller group of merrymakers ventured out of the crowded Chelsea Market, grabbed some hot chocolate and headed over to the High Line (get it?) to enjoy a free video exhibition and some fresh winter air. According to Lindsey Adler, another co-founder of the Women’s Cannabis Club who describes herself as a longtime cannabis enthusiast and a “cheerleader” for activists, the group structures its events with more than just their favorite plant in mind. “Each of us, the co-founders, we’re all creative people,” Adler said. “We’re writers, we’re photographers, we’re live music lovers. So [we try] to keep something creative, something inspirational behind it all.” Adler noted that the club’s kickoff event involved sipping some CBD and then taking a private tour of an art gallery in Manhattan’s Lower East Side neighborhood.
Despite the fact that cannabis is not yet legal in the state of New York, there’s still an undeniably thriving community based around the plant, particularly in the city that never sleeps. “To be in New York City, it’s totally interesting because we only have the Compassionate Care Act and it’s not legal here,” Bernstein said. “But that’s what makes it interesting for us: to dive deep into CBD and hemp-based CBD and [learn] about those benefits as well, so that way we’re prepared for the day legalization comes to New York.”
The Women’s Cannabis Club aims to capitalize on that momentum and create a space for women to learn more about cannabis and take part in experiential events — there’s a yoga-oriented experience to come in January, a sex and weed workshop slated for February, and even more events to come in the future. “We’re currently formalizing our membership model, and meanwhile we’re focusing on building our community at our events and through social media and our newsletter,” Adler told us via text message.
For now, the women of the Women’s Cannabis Club will have to continue to enjoy their buzz with a wink and a nod — and a gaggle of like-minded individuals. “The events aren’t about cannabis necessarily,” Adler said. “It’s about the common interest. We all like cannabis, and we also love to do cultural things together.”
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