Women of Weed
In a country where gender inequality is among the worst in the world, a group of women have taken a stand, to give a voice to those in the cannabis industry who are so often unheard and overlooked.
Women of Weed, started by Louise, seeks to create a space where women of all ages, races, cultures and religion can meet, and voice their opinions about the plant they all love so dearly. “There are women in the industry doing amazing things, but it was so quiet, they had no voice”, says Louise, “so about two years ago I had the idea to start a ladies club. Then Covid happened, and afterwards there were a couple of other ladies who came up with the idea of having a high tea. I said sure, why not, but then I got the memo wrong, thinking we were all gonna do our own thing. So, I started to organise Women of Weed, which I just thought was such a cool name.”
So, with a great name, and a vision for an inclusive space where women could speak freely, Louise began to set to work. Her first event was held at Rooftop 420 in Problem Mkhize Road, Durban, and was a platform to share how cannabis had helped women, to show how women can be successful, and still use cannabis. “They’re moms, they’re businesswomen, they’re women just like me that had to create my own space because my business went dead, and as an SME you are just not prepared for 3 months without income”, says Louise. Adding, “It was for people that have mental health issues, to show that mental health and holistic wellbeing can be addressed, even communication between couples can be addressed, if you just know how to use the plant in the best way for you. It’s just a process of creation.”
Giving a platform to other women has always been a desire for Louise, who would love to see more women speaking out about their passions. Her goal is to get the women of the cannabis community together, supporting each other’s businesses and uplifting each other, while adding value to the economy. According to Louise, it all starts with giving people a little pat on the back.
“Cannabis is one of those plants that can just address so much. With Women of Weed, and the vibe it is causing, there have been a lot of other ladies from across the country reaching out.”
This led to Louise’s second meeting, this time in Ballito, with an event that gathered 35 women to discuss the uses of medical cannabis. “It was so amazing, with ladies in their 60s and 70s amazed at what’s going on and the revolution of cannabis, how you can now have a drink that’s infused with cannabis, they were tickled pink! But then you’ve also got the ladies that are genuinely interested in the medical benefits, because they have cancer, and you realise then that there are people who are into it for their wellbeing, and others for their mental wellbeing.”
This realisation led Louise to the idea for her next meeting, which will be about cannabis & holistic practices; for mind, body, and spirit, focusing on various ways of dealing with difficult times and how they choose to overcome these in a holistic manner, be it feeding the right wolf, finding meditation in growing, producing complementary medicine from your garden to therapy through photography. “That’s what it is, how we’re going to use cannabis to make ourselves better, feel better, and look at life differently.”
“We must use what we have, which is plant based, because I hate pills. But we can show women, and women of all races, ages, religion. There are ladies with the skill to make / extract concentrates and teach you how to use it correctly. We want to be able to give them a platform. It’s still a process of creation but we will continue to evolve.”