California-women-in-cannabis-national-womens-history-month
California-women-in-cannabis-national-womens-history-month

Women in Cannabis:

Plant ladies we Love

True. Women are currently massively underrepresented in the cannabis industry. But we didn’t have to think long when it came to picking a handful of inspiring ladies to spotlight. The five women featured below are single-handedly pushing the culture in a positive direction, normalizing the experience, showcasing the creative potential of cannabis in not only California but nationwide, and so much more. Read on for serious inspiration in celebration of women’s history month.

The one who’s helping women reinvent their relationship with cannabis

Christina Cassidy

Cannabis Educator, Marketer, & Mother // @thecanncierge
Favorite strains: Hawgsbreath or Papaya

To understand a bit about Christina Cassidy, a cannabis consultant and educator, let’s start with a story. 

“I have a nine-year-old daughter, and when she was about four I would still kind of hide my joint or whatever when she would come near me,” Christina says. “One day it dawned on me that it looks like I’m doing something wrong, when I wasn’t. Always keeping it developmentally appropriate for her age, I’ve normalized cannabis in every iteration and I explain growing it, using it topically, and why we ingest it. She understands that THC isn’t for her but that CBD is and uses it for her eczema and loves hemp tea. Simply put: I wasn’t going to let anybody else educate her about this plant.”

Christina acknowledges even she’s struggled to break out of that prohibitionist mindset. So her mission is to de-stigmatize cannabis and to empower women with personalized, practical education that allows them to make informed, effective and enjoyable choices. “After 20 years of stonerdom and two successful traditional careers, I professionalized my passion for de-stigmatizing and normalizing this plant and started my own company five years ago,” she says.

 

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Women in Cannabis Christina Cassidy the canncierge Urbn Leaf California

Today, Christina works with women who want to better understand cannabis as a tool to improve their wellness—to sleep better, or stress and drink less. 

“I’m extremely committed to working with and supporting other women to elevate their work,” she says. “Women have been working with this plant for thousands of years, we benefit from it in more ways than male counterparts because the plants compounds are estrogenic making them work even more effectively when estrogen is present, and as we hold the traditional space of healer in our community and family units it makes sense that we would be the experts sought. Women and weed were literally made for each other.”

Find out more about her individual and corporate consults here: https://www.thecanncierge.com/

Women in Cannabis Imelda Walavalker Pure Beauty Urbn Leaf California

The one who’s walking the walk in the workplace & beyond

Imelda Walavalke

Founder & CEO of Pure Beauty // @purebeautypurebeauty
Favorite Pure Beauty product: The extra minty bite of menthols

If you haven’t been to Pure Beauty’s site, stop everything and check it out: About Pure Beauty

We’ll wait. Ok, you back? 

Now you’ll understand what we mean when we say there’s something really special about this brand, and the way its messages seem to strip down to the essence of who and what we are and invite us to a more primal, visceral experience of every day. 

So it’s not surprising at all, when we asked founder and CEO Imelda Walavalker, how women-owned companies stand out from the rest. Her answer: empathy. 

“This higher emotional IQ in leadership, I believe, equates to higher overall morale and happiness in a team,” she says. “Understanding people on your team and their individual needs is crucial for everyone to thrive.”

Imelda’s team is more than 70% POC and non-male identifying. “There is great and meaningful work being done to make this a more equitable industry by people in the space that really care like Wendy Berger, Mary Pryor and Kika Keith.”

Pure Beauty is also fueled by purpose. One part of this is to contribute joy to the world. “Any incremental happiness we can incur in any person’s life we are so proud of and charged by,” Imedla says. “We hope to make people think about life in new and interesting ways or at least make them laugh. We aspire for people to be able to connect to us regardless of if they even consume cannabis, because in many ways the feeling of being high is universal.”

But there’s more. Imelda’s  first career was in social justice, where she worked with populations considered “at risk,” like the post-incarcerated. Her passion for this drives Pure Beauty’s social commitments, which include monthly donations to Floret Coalition and Defy Ventures, as well as ongoing events and collaborations for other causes. Pure Beauty also developed its own in-house apprenticeship program to help bring social equity applicants into its cultivation. 

Sold on Pure Beauty? Us too. A tip and an invite from Imelda: try the menthols (they’re transcendent) and while you’re at it, why not come to her rave in Detroit this April? www.purebeautypurebeauty.co

The one who’s shaking up the fashion scene with punky grunge & some Sour Diesel

Claudia Rodríguez-Biezunski

Fashion Designer & Creator of Sew Loka // @sewloka
Favorite strains: anything classic sativa

Ever suffer from imposter syndrome at work or in your creative outlet? It’s the worst. And it’s why we love Claudia, the designer behind Sew Loka, even more. Her story and success is a great reminder to women to stop doubting—and keep doing—what you feel called to. 

“My proudest Sew Loka moment happened a few months ago during San Diego Design Week,” she tells us. “I was recognized by my peers as a sustainable fashion designer and I was even asked to present in front of the World Design Council. This was a huge moment for me, because for so long I was afraid to call myself a designer. I thought that because I didn’t go to fashion school or because I didn’t have some type of formal degree, I couldn’t ever achieve my dream of becoming a fashion designer; but this moment proved all of those feelings wrong.” 

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- Urbn Leaf Dispensary

Imposter syndrome is one challenge on top of others that entrepreneurs face when they’re 1) female and 2) Chicana. Claudia says those two things make her feel like people are constantly trying to undervalue her work. “I choose to respond with love and compassion,” she explains. “I educate my customers instead of arguing with them and I always, always hold firm to my pricing. My advice to other entrepreneurs, facing similar circumstances, would be to work on yourself first. Learn to truly love and value yourself and then you will see a lot of these obstacles vanish from your path.”

But let’s talk about the clothes and the creative process for a sec. Claudia defines her personal style as punk x grunge, and you’ll see this aesthetic splashed all over her designs.

Her goals: Be edgy AF. And be cozy AF. She loves to gear up for a brainstorming sesh with a classic sativa strain. You might find a Sour Diesel or Trainwreck in her Sew Loka stash pouch. 

“I use cannabis to organize my mind and to hyper focus on specific tasks that need to be completed throughout the day,” she says.”My mind is always racing with ideas, but cannabis helps me to slow down these ideas and organizes them into crystal-clear mental checklists for me.”

Check out & shop all of Claudia’s amazing work at: Sew Loka

Women in Cannabis Patty Roe The Pink Sesh Society Pink Haze Urbn Leaf California

The one who’s planting the seeds of a cannabis-infused sisterhood

Patty Roe

President of The Pink Sesh Society & Pink Haze // @thepinksesh @thepinkhaze
Favorite strains: Jack Herer or Durban Poison

Does this sound familiar? You’ve been using cannabis since forever, and even though it actually helps you stay productive and come up with great ideas at work… you’re hesitant to share the fact that you use it with your coworkers. 

This was the exact predicament Patty Roe, the creator of cannabis lifestyle brand Pink Haze, found herself in. For the better part of 35 years of using cannabis, she kept it closeted because of career concerns. Then she started thinking: Don’t we all deserve to know and grow personally and professionally with like-minded ladies? 

Also, while enjoying a good smoke sesh?

The answer was yes—and the Pink Sesh Society was born. It’s still an organic work in progress, Patty says, but after the first gathering, she knew she had to run with the idea.


“The moment I realized women were supporting each other and creating lifelong besties from meeting at our events was the moment I knew this community deserved respect and time to cultivate a place for women to give and receive from one another,” she says. 

Right now meetings happen both in-person and virtually. “I’m looking forward to our first Los Angeles event which will be an infused brunch with some great partners and influencers and I’ve been drooling over the menu for a month now.”

Down for some cannabis, sisterhood, empowerment, and super fun events? Find out more: The Pink Haze

The one who’s helping women and couples cultivate intimacy

Ashley Manta

Author, Sex & Relationship Coach at CannaSexual // @cannasexual

Yup, there’s definitely a connection between cannabis and enhanced intimacy. Just ask Ashley Manta, an author and renowned sex and relationship coach who’s built a career helping people discover it.

“I define physical intimacy as any consensual activity for the purpose of pleasure. Emotional intimacy is allowing yourself to be fully seen and honored, while fully seeing and honoring someone else,” she says. “Cannabis enhances intimacy by helping us slow down—get out of our heads and into our bodies. This is useful for both types of intimacy I mentioned. It’s also great for helping to shed some of the inhibitions (societal constructs that distance us from our most authentic desires) and creating space for being curious and playful (with consent!)”

But the plant’s potential doesn’t start and stop at the bedroom. It can also help partnered people defuse fights and see eye to eye.

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Women in Cannabis Ashley Manta The Canna Sexual Urbn Leaf California

“I think couples benefit from balance, and cannabis helps create that, whether used daily or at some other regular interval,” she says. “I know a couple who used to use cannabis as a conflict resolution tool. When things got too heated, they would ‘smoke about it’ and once they were feeling more calm and present, would resume their conversations. Usually by that point, egos had calmed down enough to find productivity in the dialogue.” 

Interested in what Ashley has to say, or how she could help with your intimate issues? Find more here: Cannasexual.com

Please enjoy responsibly. For use only by adults 21 years of age and older.