By Brian Henry
Kate Miller and Anna Duckworth want to help women come out of the cannabis closet. The pair co-founded Miss Grass, an online magazine and shop that curates products with female cannabis users in mind. Together, they're pushing back on the notion that only a certain kind of person smokes marijuana.
"Marketing, what has been out there historically, has really leaned into this stoner stigma and this male, lazy guy on the couch," Miller told Cheddar. "One of the reasons we really wanted to launch Miss Grass was to authentically represent that modern consumer and allow her to get out of the cannabis closet and own her cannabis consumption. Whether that is for using it as a wellness tool or using it to get high."
"We like to get high as well," she added with a laugh.
For one egregious example of male-centric advertising, the duo point to a controversial new campaign for Ignite, the cannabis company run by poker player and Instagram celebrity Dan Bilzerian. Billboards featuring images of scantily clad women with the tagline "got grass" have popped up in Los Angeles.
"I can only speak on behalf on myself, but I take great exception to Dan Bilzerian and everything he represents," Duckworth told Cheddar.
Bilzerian recently acknowledged the controversy caused by the sexist ads and issued an expletive-filled tweet in which he refused to apologize.
"It's really a huge disappointment to see him try to align with the cannabis industry, specifically where the cannabis industry is going," Duckworth said. "When we talk about inclusivity and diversity and representation we are not just talking about women. We're talking about the social equity piece, diversity as it relates to race, gender, identities. Dan Bilzerian, who is like the height of heteronormative white male, is an embarrassment frankly."
The duo stresses that the issue goes beyond marketing campaigns like Bilzerian's, and extend to a larger lack of representation.
"There's no women represented in the zeitgeist ー in pop culture, any sort of film, entertainment, television, we never see people like us smoking weed," Duckworth said. "We want to just make sure they feel represented."
As the cannabis industry broadens and attracts new types of consumers, the Miss Grass co-founders want their site to be a source of information and education for those new users.
"There just isn't a lot of information out there for people to access ーand because it's been a subculture for so long, it's even more sort of buried. For people who want to start exploring, it's helpful to have a holding hand, a trusted friend and that is what Miss Grass is."
For full interview click here.