Buy Cannabis From Women is a lifestyle brand with an unapologetic stance.
The founder of Buy Weed from Women is a poet. Since its launch, her cannabis brand has worked with a lot of people, including Carhartt and Cannaclusive. The New York City Food Bank received a portion of the proceeds from a previous collaboration between Etain Health and Good Weed Good Women.
There is an event at the Etain Health dispensary in Manhattan this week. Attendees will be able to personalize their own Buy Weed From Women piece with screen-printing on-site, along with treats from BRWNBOX.
I spoke with Mans about her cannabis spirit in the face of trollies, what it means to the women who consume cannabis to feel represented in the space, and where she thinks Buy Weed From Women will be in 5 years.
Buying Cannabis From Women is a refreshing drink of water.
I would like to thank you for speaking with me. Tell me about the purpose of the cannabis organization.
What was the location of it when?
North New Jersey has a company called Buy Weed From Women. I have been a short-form designer for many years. My background is in poetry so I use text in my designs. I wondered what words people could identify with. Is it possible to identify with swiftness? One day I was playing with the language and I thought, this will be important, this will stay.
The brand Buy Weed From Women came about in the year 2019. Would people like it if it was just to see? It was a project of passion. People would gravitate towards it. What do people think about it? It was an experiment that was passionate.
Many women took on the language of BWFW as if it were a movement when they responded to the cannabis brand. There isn't a flower product. They don't feel like they're competing with our brand. The people feel like they are part of a group. Women who are part of the industry represent many brands and stores.
We came into the industry as a unifier for brands that might otherwise be in competition.
Cannabis and Women taking a turn for the better, and better for business
As I put the language out into the world and watched people respond, I wondered what I could do to make sure people felt included. What can I do to get this brand to the people that need it? The cannabis company was built around what people thought was right. People made it their own.
What are your best-selling items?
The tote bag is the number two seller. The jacket is popular because it is a coach's jacket and works well for the spring. There is a huge Buy Weed From Women logo on the coach jacket that says 'female drug dealer'. There is a lot on the jacket that makes women feel powerful.
Everything from BWFW is hand-screen printed. When I first made the jacket, my screen printer told me it was impossible. This is going to be a lot of work. Everything was done by machines. It was very expensive to make and gave us many cannabis problems. We don't know how people will react to them. People liked them.
Our tote bag is the second thing. It is an everyday piece that people can use. It is easy to get around and it has a decent price point.
Over time, your offerings in the lifestyle brand merchandise sector have grown vastly. What items would you like to add to the Buy Weed
From Women merchandise?
What items would you like to add to the Buy Weed From Women cannabis merchandise?
We just finished Cannabis greeting cards. I was going to write greeting cards that were tailored to the cannabis industry and I was going to give them to drug dealers or partners who smoke. There are products that are tailored to the cannabis industry. I look at cards and think, "oh this is a bit trite." I was given the chance to write a funny and moving story. To get into a market that isn't in cannabis. A lot of people like cannabis. For the people who use it for relaxation and for the people who use it for pain. It is a move towards normalized.
Why does the brand appeal to women, people of all genders, races, and non-heteronormative people?
I'm thinking cannabis language. Language and the poetry of the message are very important to us. There is poetry in everything we consume.
It was a message that was delivered to us that made us believe Nikes can make you fly. I remember watching the Steve Jobs movie and seeing that all of the computers were named after objects. You said Apple when you entered the space. It was like what does Apple have to do with a computer.
What does Apple have to do with the average person?
People love the cannabis language. The simple message. The core audience is pulled in by it. It doesn't speak to the core audience. We are talking about weed and we are talking to women. The message is direct and concrete.
Buy Weed from Women was founded by Jasmine Mans.
Women are seen as the minority in different places. Women are often talked about as making less than men. We want women to be in the forefront of the cannabis brand when we see a brand that says we want women first. You get community when you have a mission.
What if all women stood up for what's right?
Men think that we are exclusionary, trying to cut them out, and that it is about who grows the best. I was not aware that women would be pushed to the back because of their gender. People think we can't do things because of gender. They have their own beliefs. It is the thing. How can you become the best cannabis grower if you can't sit at the table?
Does cannabis have a sexism and a racism problem from your point of view as a female founder and a business owner?
I can talk about it. There is a sexism problem in cannabis. It's absolutely true. Black men and women who held cannabis have been criminalized in North New Jersey because of the War on Drugs. Consider the hand. White hands show that cannabis is more than just a drug. There is something connected to yoga.
It is the same in black hands. Drugs, criminalization, and a gateway to crime are what it is.
My best friend's mother spent years in prison for having a dime bag of cannabis. A lot of black and brown families have been split up because people were sent to prison for drugs. Non-violent drug offenses are considered.
Today there is a completely different narrative. The language has changed completely. Let's create a multi-billion dollar industry that can be the gateway to the plant, not because they know what's best, but because they have the cannabis money.
There is a gap between the people who have the money to enter the industry and the people who just got out of prison. The curve of blacks and whites entering the cannabis industry is not what we are talking about. We are talking about people who returned to their hometowns. They can't enter the cannabis industry because they need to expunge their records. It is nearly impossible to grow in the industry if you are white. That is a story of law, of legislation, of racism.
The cannabis narrative in minority communities is different from the narrative in the suburbs and wealthy areas. Absolutely, the short answer.
Weed from Women HQ can be purchased with the help of poet Jasmine Mans.
The Redens Desrosiers are from France.
Is sexism pervasive in the cannabis industry? I shared what we saw on my platform. People think that weed is a boy's club. The first licenses were given to companies in the U.S. I am not a grower or cannabis dispensary owner. Women feel the need to stick together, work together, and live together in order to make a difference in the community.
It is about cannabis growing and sustaining wealth in other places. How can we co-op together so we all win? Outside of women-run spaces, I don't think that's possible.
There was a huge amount of support. I didn't think it would happen. The cannabis industry needs to expand its customer base in order to reach the mass market.
Is marketing to more than one type of person a way to expand its scope?
To make a pledge of 15 percent. Everyone in the cannabis industry needs to have a fund to expunge the records. The War on Cannabis did not exist in the 90s. So many people were put in jail because of the war on drugs. How many more people would have a chance to grow? How many more people would be able to get loans? They should get the education they deserve at the right time. If some of these people were connected to cannabis at a time when the world was trying to convince them that it was a bad thing, it would be horrible.
The 15% pledge was started by Aurora James.
I wondered what would happen if everyone pledged to 15%. If everyone agreed that people have been hurt and affected by cannabis, it was incumbent on them to take action. If we weren't in the industry for the sake of wealth, but for altering the narrative, what would it be like?
The Buy Weed From Women movement is five years away. I think these last few days have changed my mind. Initially, it was design and design production. It has shifted to hiring a woman staff of color, about local production, having enough money and raising enough money to build our own nonprofit.
How do we help women in the industry? How can we make them do better things with their money? How do we make this a women's game?
There is a person of color in the industry. They don't feel like they can talk about cannabis with their money.
There are women-only conventions where women talk about community and health. Every dispensary has BWFW in it. I want the product to be a utility. I want to buy weed from women to be the gap red of the cannabis industry. It was a symbol and we wore it. I will give money back to Africa if I wear this shirt. Buy Weed From Women is a symbol of something bigger. You give to women because you believe in them.
The utility is being built right now. We have a movement because we have a group of women who feel this product represents them. I want to anchor utility to that movement.
Where do you think the cannabis industry will be five years from now? How will it look?
It could get really exciting. There are creative brands popping up. It could get boring if you realize that everyone can sell cannabis in the U.S. Walmart will one day be able to sell cannabis.
When everyone is allowed to sell cannabis, what will it be like?
I think it makes brilliant people stand in their creativity. 5 years from now, what is boring will be gone. There will be sustained brilliance. I believe it's a washing period.
What do you want to say to women or people of color in the industry? Do you want to give them any hope or warning?
That is a great question. They should believe in black wealth. Women have a lot of money. Our futures will be connected to the wealth that comes from minorities. Our future will be connected to our kids. This is an opportunity to create something new for the future. People in the cannabis industry need to be strong. It is believed that wealth is an investment in our future. Reach back as we climb up.
What advice would you give the business owners who are looking up to you?
I think scarcity is a real thing for me as a black woman. It's a real thing to be scared to share. You are scared of losing what you have because you are not used to it. The brilliance mentality is what it is. I will get bigger when I am connected to another woman. I can build better and more beautiful if I am in good spirits.
What do you want men in the industry to know about you?
Be afraid is the first thing I said. Don't be foolish. I wasn't even there as I was thinking of my own business. I don't think they're nice to me. This has always been a competition and I don't need to create a space of exclusion. It isn't my fault that you'll lose if the competition is honest. Don't have dishonest tendencies. The winner may be the best woman.
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