I get asked this a lot: “Why produce a Film about WOMEN in Cannabis?”
My snarky answer is: “Why Not?”
Sometimes that does the trick, but other times the Querent needs a list of reasons why women are important in cannabis. To wit, here are my Top 10 Reasons why we need a film about Women in the Cannabis Industry.
Top 10 Reasons why we need a film about Women in the Cannabis Industry:
1. Women are roughly 50% of the global population. However, men now outnumber women on the planet by 60 million, the highest ever recorded. Preference for sons in India and China is driving the trend, but those two countries are not the only ones struggling with an imbalanced population. (Source: Quartz) Film is an important element to our cultural narrative about the importance of gender parity, so if we want countries to value women, we need to value our women in film.
2. Women purchase over 50% of movie tickets, yet represent only 30% of all Hollywood speaking roles. (Source: Variety) How many of your favorite cannabis films have a woman as the protagonist? Isn’t it time we had a cannabis film where women get to speak about their experience?
3. Women account for 40% of annual cannabis users, according to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (Source: High Times) This means that there were 13.1 million women in the United States who used cannabis in 2015 (compared to 19.9 million men). That’s a lot of women. We shouldn’t ignore them.
4. Women make up 36% of senior leadership in the cannabis industry. (Source: Inc.) The national average is only 22%. Women are leaving other industries and flocking to cannabis careers because of the unprecedented opportunity and lack of a “glass ceiling”.
5. Marijuana could be the first billion-dollar industry not dominated by men. (Source: Newsweek) That’s something worth documenting. Don’t you agree?
6. Women helped end alcohol Prohibition, and have been instrumental in every medical and adult-use marijuana campaign. Pauline Sabin was an activist who founded the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) in 1929 to repeal Amendment 18, which outlawed alcohol. Sabin has been an inspiration to many “Puffragettes” who see how the “War of Drugs” has actually made their families and communities more dangerous. They now work to repeal marijuana prohibition.
7. Women are a key voting demographic for the 2016 election. (Source: Newsweek) Women’s votes effect federal, state and local elections, and political strategists know that if you can win women’s support, you have a higher chance of winning everything from the presidency to marijuana legalization. If we want to repeal marijuana prohibition at the state and federal level, talk to the women and get them to vote.
8. Women drive 70-80% of all consumer purchasing. (Source: Forbes) Marketers have known this for years and the cannabis industry is finally starting to pivot toward the female buyers. Let’s educate them about cannabis, so they make well-informed purchasing decisions for themselves and their families.
9. Women serve as the “Chief Medical Officers” for their families. (Source: Fortune) Women make up 78% of the healthcare labor force and the United States Department of Labor estimates that women make about 80% of healthcare decisions for their families. So if someone is deciding whether to use medical marijuana, chances are it’s a woman.
10. We want to make sure the “Puffragettes” of the US’s cannabis industry aren’t forgotten. History is written by the [white, male] victors. Too often women of all colors are erased from history. “Mary Janes: The Women of Weed” is a timely film that will prove women were involved at the foundation of the fastest growing industry in recent history and showcase how they inspired gender parity, social justice and environmental sustainability in the “budding” cannabis industry.