Say goodbye to the stoner stereotype. As cannabis is getting legalized for both medical and recreational use across the country, women are coming out on top as the entrepreneurs claiming the industry and helping transform the plant’s narrative from an illicit substance that has unfairly incarcerated millions to a healthy, beneficial drug that can heal and bring together communities.
While the women of weed are doing lots of hard work to advocate for cannabis use and also develop their own brands, they also love to curate retreats for self-care in their own homes. One of their favorite ways to bring wellness to their spaces? With lots of plants, of course! After all, there’s nothing better to add positive, healthy vibes to a home than a collection of beautiful greens.
To cap off celebrating Plant Month at Lonny, we spoke with three Los Angeles-based women in cannabis to share their favorite houseplants in their spaces and to discuss the importance of turning cannabis into one of the first female-led major industries in the country. Whether you are a life-long advocate or have never taken a hit, the stories of these amazing ladies will help you look at the transformative, bonding, and empowering abilities of marijuana in a whole new light. Read ahead to see why we all can use a little green in our homes and bodies.
Jess Assaf, founder of Cannabis Feminist
Lonny: Why is it important for you to have plants in your home?
Jess Assaf: As an entrepreneur, I spend most days working from home in Venice, so it is really important for me to inhabit a beautiful, colorful space that inspires me. Plants help purify the air and add a lot of warmth to my working and living environment.
My plants are sacred because I share them with my fiancé, Alex, who I met eight months ago at Burning Man. When we came back home in September, we immediately started living together. I knew it was official when he moved in his plant, and we got another plant to celebrate our love. We treat our plants as living beings and we respect them.
Can you tell me about your favorite plant?
JA: My favorite plant in my home is my cannabis, which is a rotating assortment of organic flowers I sample from local farms. To me, cannabis is the most versatile, powerful, and misunderstood plant on the planet. Part of my mission with Cannabis Feminist is to return cannabis to its roots as a plant medicine here to help. Botanically speaking, the cannabis plant is female and economically, the industry has the highest percentage of female executives compared to all other industries. I believe cannabis will be the first billion-dollar industry run by women, so the plant means a lot to me. “She” represents the new feminism — the first opportunity women have to define, build and lead an entirely new industry.
Cannabis also has over 100 active compounds, called cannabinoids, that perfectly bind to receptors in our bodies to keep us balanced. We are inherently connected to cannabis and yet there is still so much we don’t know about it. In many ways, cannabis represents the relationship between human beings and nature.
What is your favorite spot in your home to use cannabis?
JA: My favorite spot to use cannabis is in my backyard that I share with my neighbors. There are about 20 of us. We all have dogs and love cannabis, so most days we have a ritual called “girl time” where all the dogs play and the humans use cannabis together. Then we usually stand in silence watching our dogs play like we are watching a movie.
I really appreciate the ritual of cannabis, the moments of the day dedicated to meaningful connection and conversation through sharing this plant. Cannabis brings people together and keeps them together. It is a tool to help us find meaning and power in our vulnerabilities.
What inspired you to start your company?
JA: After spending the past year building Cannabis Feminist into a community of over 50,000 and really focusing on the California market, I came back to my bigger vision of democratizing plant medicine. I decided to shift my focus to hemp, a cannabinoid-rich plant that is legal in all 50 states. Hemp has the medicinal and healing potential of cannabis without the psychoactivity, so it is a true plant medicine.
I recently partnered with fellow wellness warrior, Christopher Gavigan, co-founder of The Honest Company, to launch Hempia, an educational platform with the mission of making hemp self-care mainstream. We have both spent the past 10+ years educating the public about healthier personal care products to protect our health from dangerous chemicals, and now we are elevating a plant that can prevent disease and transform health. This work feels revolutionary.
Why do you believe women are leading the conversation and communities around cannabis today?
JA: Unlike all other industries, there is no glass ceiling in the cannabis industry. For the first time in history, we can build this our way, with our standards and values. And because many of us share a deep-rooted love for cannabis, we lead with authenticity and love, choosing collaboration over competition. We are using cannabis as a model for future female leadership in business and beyond. This is our time to show the world what we can do when we know how to use our voices. Cannabis is more than our plant — she’s our platform to shine.
Published: April 30, 2018
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News