Cannabis in the U.S. has been controlled by white men. From strict cannabis legislation to industry takeovers, Black women have often been snubbed from enjoying their piece of the pie. A month ago at Alpha Woman, we looked at the racist history of anti-cannabis laws and unearthed just how far back this problem goes. Our research made it clear that the cannabis industry still has a long way to go before it’s as equitable as it should be. So today, we’re taking a look at the amazing Black Alpha Women who are doing what they can to make that happen. From advocates to entrepreneurs, we’ve rounded up some notable leaders making the cannabis industry better for Black women. Check them out!
Jasmine Mans is a poet and cannabis advocate who started Buy Weed From Women. Noticing the lack of representation in the cannabis industry, Mans started the apparel brand to promote women in the world of cannabis and encourage people to buy from women entrepreneurs. Her apparel brand is based in New Jersey, New York and supports the legalization of cannabis and offers a stylish way to promote equity in the cannabis industry. On top of the brand’s message, Buy Weed From Women also donates a portion of its proceeds to the New York City Food Bank. Click here to shop for more!
Wanda James is a pioneer in Colorado’s legal market. James has an extensive background in politics and served on Obama’s finance committee in 2008. As an Air Force vet, she is a staunch advocate for cannabis as a treatment for PTSD. In 2009, Wanda made history by being the first Black woman to have a legal license in Colorado. Today, Wanda and her husband Scott Durrah own Simply Pure, a Denver-based dispensary. For a long time, James was the only Black woman entrepreneur in her local cannabis market, marking a huge milestone for herself and the cannabis industry as a whole.
Next up are three entrepreneurs, Sirita Wright, Kali Wilder and Safon Floyd. The three Black Alpha Women created the lifestyle blog EstroHaze, as a one-stop-shop for Women of Color (WOC) interested in the legal market. Through entertainment, education and community, the three have helped their readers embrace cannabis as a tool for healing and relaxation. EstroHaze aims to fight the stigma around cannabis use and shows the much-needed positive representation of Black women. Click here to take a peek at their website!
Next up is Cat Packer, a special addition to our list. Unlike the others on our list, Packer is not an entrepreneur, but instead, an advocate working from within the government. In 2017, she was appointed as LA’s first executive director of the Department of Cannabis Regulation. Through her role in the department, she worked to support cannabis reform and aimed to rebuild the city’s cannabis infrastructure. As a Black queer woman herself, she was especially passionate about repairing the racist history of cannabis legislation. Though Packer has since stepped down from her position, her legacy in cannabis legalization continues to benefit and influence other Black women leaders.
Next up, Blounts&Moore is a group of Black Women based in North and South Carolina. The group advocates for cannabis legalization and inclusion and aims to improve access to the plant for Black communities in the south. Blounts&Moore is made up of Southern-born women ranging from ages 57 to 72, all passionate about cannabis. In addition to their advocacy, the nine women invest in cannabis businesses across the country to improve representation in the industry. To learn more about the women of Blounts&Moore, check out their website here!
Mary Pryor is one of the co-founders of the cannabis collective and advocacy group Cannaclusive. Pryor suffered from Chron’s Disease and felt unsatisfied with the poor treatment options in the U.S. healthcare system. After 20 different failed medications that further damaged her health, Pryor took matters into her own hands with cannabis. Frustrated with a clear history of medical racism and anti-Black cannabis laws, Pryor got involved in the cannabis industry herself and co-founded Cannaclusive. At Cannaclusive, Pryor and her teammates aim to improve equity in the cannabis industry and increase representation by educating and supporting Black women.
Click here to learn more about how Cannaclusive is ending the stigma and changing the face of cannabis.
Next up is the cannabis chef, advocate and entrepreneur Megon Dee. She founded Oracle Wellness Co. in 2018 and combined her passion for cooking with her passion for cannabis. Dee took inspiration from her ancestor’s use of plant medicine and used cannabis to reclaim a sacred tradition. By tapping into her lineage, Dee has managed to create CBD products for healing and offers a refined and passion-fueled line of products. Click here to check out Oracle Wellness products!
“Working with plants has aligned me into my deeper purpose of being a conduit to healing.” -Megon Dee
And finally, we have Malaika Jones, CEO and founder of Brown Girl Jane. Jones discovered plant medicine after her own health issues led her to question the efficacy of pharmaceuticals. Since then she has become a passionate cannabis advocate and tapped into the industry herself. Through Brown Girl Jane, Jones exemplifies how Black Alpha Woman can use cannabis to reclaim their health and explore holistic wellness. Her CBD wellness brand offers a holistic approach to wellness, skincare, and fragrance for other Black women to enjoy.
Click here to look at her amazing product line!
The history of cannabis in the U.S. is a harsh one. From racist cannabis legislation to inequality in the cannabis industry, it’s clear that major changes are still necessary. But despite the negative history, these amazing Alpha Woman highlight the potential for Black women to reclaim the traditional use of cannabis and change the face of the industry. With Alpha Women like these, the future of cannabis looks much brighter.
To check out our interview with Toronto-based cannabis entrepreneur, Vivianne Wilson, click here!