“We want to build the first female-run cannabis empire,” Jessica Assaf told Jane Street on a busy weekday afternoon. She and her colleague Jackie Mostny had been running around from meeting to meeting, planning events, corralling clients, all while researching and sniffing out the best brands in the cannabis industry. With a couple minutes to spare, the two entrepreneurial empresses sat down to take a bird’s eye view of their efforts the past few months in building the hottest new ganja girl brand, Cannabis Feminist. Their motto? “The future of cannabis is female.”
Cannabis Feminist is an entity unto itself. The Los Angeles-based group conducts research on cannabis products, trends, uses, and indications; represents different cannabis brands and products; offers consultations for novice consumers; hosts events like women’s circles and high-end cannabis “bake sales” in scenics spots like Venice or the Hollywood Hills; and aims to empower women to take leadership roles in the cannabis industry.
“It’s time for women to reinvest in this space and create a new cannabis culture,” says Assaf, CEO and head of products. “This isn’t to say it’s just a women’s movement, it’s a movement for everyone. Women can make this industry and space open to anyone. If we each win, we can all win together.”
Having women as the first touchpoint to the plant can be very effective for marketing, Assaf explains. Patients, consumers, and the canna-curious are more likely to trust a mother — a nurturer — advocating for a cannabis-derived wellness product, than any other old salesman. Cannabis Feminist is a new platform to change how people are introduced to cannabis, Assaf says. Rather than go to a dispensary, where budtenders may or may not know that much about the products they’re selling, Cannabis Feminist representatives engage with consumers one-on-one in noncommercial settings to educate them about the plant and help them find which products are the best fit for their needs. Currently, Cannabis Feminist is working with brands like Hmbldt (vape pens), Apothecanna (topicals), Medicine Box (edibles and tinctures), MONDO (microdosing powder), and their own “House brand.”
Meanwhile, in serving consumers, Cannabis Feminist aggregates data to answer questions, such as “what’s the best product someone should try when they’re first exploring cannabis?” or “which products work best for which conditions?”
While the group aims to sell product, the idea is to empower a network of women to represent the cannabis plant and what’s created from it. “We are trying to make this bigger than ourselves,” says Mostny, head of partnerships. “We have a lot of women who want to be involved, sending testimonials to us, and asking permission to lead women’s circles. But what’s coming up next is how we have women take the reigns and represent the brands that we as Cannabis Feminist have aligned ourselves with, to grow in communities all over California.”
With Cannabis Feminist’s stamp of approval, consumers can be sure the products are organic, made safely, derived from quality sources, and can truly be regarded as wellness products.
“This is not just women sitting in a circle talking about how they feel, it’s a way for women to think about products they love in a new way and make a living off representing brands they believe in,” says Assaf. “We’re empowering consumers to be entrepreneurs.”