For Brett Heyman, founder of the accessories and home-decor brand Edie Parker, smoking cannabis was something she used to do in high school, the same as most of her friends.
She never really thought about the lifestyle component of cannabis until meeting her husband, who had an ongoing relationship with weed, which made her more aware of how the plant factors into day-to-day life.
Inspired, Heyman started exploring the idea of making weed accessories as an extension of her home brand. She wanted to create a cannabis-forward line that would speak to her, as well as women like her. And thus, the cheeky and playful Weedie Parker was born.
Weedie Parker aims to fill the need for accessories that speak to women, and they aren’t the only ones. As legalization matures, female-identifying entrepreneurs are taking their place in the male-dominated cannabis industry; curating unique shopping experiences for a variety of consumers.
Women, weed, and accessories
According to Headset data, Gen Z women are the fastest growing market in cannabis, with a 151% increase in year-to-year sales growth. They are followed by Gen Z men (118%) and millennial women (51%).
Each year, women increase their market share and this hasn’t gone unnoticed. Eliza Torres, the founder of Lit & Luxury, a high-end online weed accessories shop, believes that things are changing.
“I think women have been ignored, but today is a new day. There are a lot of women-owned businesses within this industry, now more than ever. I think that will continue to grow,” shares Torres.
“I think it’s why there haven’t been many female-oriented weed products, before now. The men who have been running things obviously didn’t think there was a need. They didn’t really consider women at all.”
Women have been ignored for far too long, according to Paige Green, marketing director at Superette.
“Historically, women have been overlooked in the weed industry. In pop culture, we see stoners portrayed by men, like Cheech & Chong, or a slew of Seth Rogen movies.”
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“There’s a huge opportunity to connect to women who consume weed, and to challenge outdated stereotypes and assumptions about cannabis consumers in general,” she tells Leafly.
Retail designed for women, by women
That opportunity is being seized by female-led brands. In Canada, popular brands like Allume, VerdeVie, BlazeBox, Shop HerB Life are all offering cannabis accessories that cater to women.
A fan favourite of women in weed is Allume’s infamous Botanique Robe, a reversible satin robe that features an elegant weed pattern, miles away from the classic weed pyjama pants.
In the States, brands like Weedie Parker, Lit & Luxury, Broccoli Mag, Miss Grass and Shop Glassy are tailoring their offerings that elevate the consumer experience.
Glori Blatt, the co-founder of Glassy, says that each product featured on their website is one that she would personally buy. “Every aspect of Glassy is an organic reflection of our taste, style, and aesthetic,” says Blatt.
“We decided early on we wouldn’t sell anything that the two of us wouldn’t personally purchase. We knew if we loved something, there would be a lot of other women out there who loved it just as much as we do.”
Lauren Davies, VP at Superette, thinks women are more curious than their male counterparts, something they have noticed in-store.
“Often women spend more time exploring our shop and engaging with our budtenders, compared to men who come in with something very specific in mind. It enables them to connect with brands on a deeper level.”
This is why elevated in-store environments like Superette and Weedie Parker are so important. Heyman thinks women are knowledgeable consumers and just want to experience weed without judgement.
“Cannabis should not be intimidating. I don’t like that it can feel intimidating; this idea you need to know how to roll the perfect joint or like, know exactly how to clean a bong. It doesn’t matter. I feel like cannabis is more playful, there’s a sense of discovery!”
Cannabis consumption is still highly stigmatize among women
Unfortunately, cannabis, and the people who use it, are still highly stigmatized. This is especially true for women.
“Society expects women to behave a certain way, even still today. We shouldn’t have to explain that weed helps us relax, unwind and deal with daily stresses,” explains Torres.
This stigma is something Green can empathize with. She’s seen firsthand how women are judged more harshly for being cannabis consumers.
“I feel more stigmatized around my consumption habits than my husband ever would. Almost anywhere you live, mothers enjoying a glass of wine is more accepted than cannabis,” shares Green.
But this perception is shifting and the cannabis industry is evolving with it.
“There is a new persona to being a cannabis enthusiast. I think women especially can change that rhetoric of the “stoner” stigma that’s always been assumed,” says Torres.
Heyman believes that what is going on right now is the reflection of our society. “I think this elevation of female brands that’s happening, it’s just going to remove stigma left and right.”