From the prehistoric days to cannabis prohibition to an ever-growing legalization movement, the representation of the cannabis culture has always been overwhelmingly male-dominated. The reality, however, is very different.
In fact, in some of the earliest societies, women were the ones that took the lead as both herb gatherers and healers – which included cannabis.
Portrait of Queen Victoria by Fr. Winterhalter, 1859. Source: Royal Collection Trust
Cannabis and Healing Women
It is widely acknowledged that the cannabis plant has been used medicinally around the world as early as twelve thousand years ago in China. From rheumatism, gout, malaria, pain relief, and more, historians and archaeologists have several records of early civilizations using the plant.
Less known, however, is the fact that the women in these same populations have wielded the “healing properties” of cannabis as well. For instance, The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian compilation of medical texts dating back to about 1550 BC, is one of the oldest medical works known to man. The ancient scroll contains over 700 folk remedies and actually cites the use of hemp for treating not only menstrual pain but also to ease pain and discomfort during childbirth.
As time went on, cannabis spread from the East to the West, where the plant eventually became something of a phenomenon. When Western doctors traveled through the Indian subcontinent in the 1900s, they picked up these old plant-based remedies and brought them back to the British Raj.
Despite the nineteenth century being one of the most socially restrictive periods in history, Queen Victoria herself received cannabis from her physician to ease menstrual cramps.
From the Aztecs and Mayans to Queen Victoria to the everyday woman today, women have been self-medicating using the cannabis plant for ages. And it hasn’t just been in consumption.
History has hardly been kind to the women who were advocates and dissenters, like American cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead.
Margaret Mead. Source: Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
Women and Cannabis Advocacy
Mead was one of the most outspoken women in the 20th century, particularly when it came to legalizing cannabis. At the height of her career, she spoke at a Senate hearing, arguing that anyone 16 and above should be allowed to legally smoke cannabis. She even criticized the government’s “attempts to treat the use of drugs by adults punitively, instead of medically and socially”, an argument we often hear today as well.
Mead was certainly not the last in her spirit of pushing the boundaries. From activists to consumers to business owners, women have been making waves in the cannabis industry for centuries. In fact, according to Marijuana Business Daily, 42% of executive roles in the ancillary cannabis business industry are held by women.
Here at Cannabis Creative, we are proud to be a part of that statistic. With a female co-founder and a 51% female workforce, our team could not run without the incredible women working day in and day out.
The Women Behind Cannabis Creative
In honor of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, here are some of the amazing women behind Cannabis Creative.
Josefine Nowitz, Co-Founder & Managing Partner
Josefine said it best: “Women have been trying to drive change in the workplace for decades with movements like Women’s Rights and #MeToo, and now we are actively seeing female entrepreneurs and executives step up to the plate in the cannabis industry…I’m proud to be working with so many amazing and talented women.”
Amy Brandt, Digital Marketing Manager
“Working alongside so many women who are as enthusiastic about being in the cannabis industry as I am is really special. All of the ladies at Cannabis Creative are amazing at what they do, and I couldn’t dream of working with a more talented, hardworking, and supportive group of people. Thank you to all of the activists, feminists, and advocates who came before me.”
Gladys Rivera, Controller
“Happy Women’s Month! As a businesswoman and mother, I am always looking for ways to take care of and balance work and family. Seeing other women thrive is my inspiration. Every day, I learn and become inspired by these powerful women from the past, present, and future who are not only successful but also talented, passionate, and dedicated. I’m happy and excited to be part of our team at Cannabis Creative Group.”
Oceanna O’Donnell, Senior Account Manager
“Happy Women’s Month! Women are amazing creatures and we really need to celebrate women each and every day and appreciate the journey we have taken. I feel so grateful to be a woman in this place in time and to see all that has changed since my grandmother’s generation. I give so much thanks and love to all the women before us who have paved the way to a better time and future for our daughters. Being a mom and full time employee (especially during a pandemic!) is all about finding balance. Working in the cannabis industry has really helped with that because it’s such an exciting time, and I learn something new everyday. I’m so passionate about all the cannabis plant can do to help and heal people and grateful to get to talk about it everyday! Amazing to see so many women leading the way in this space. I give so much gratitude to my Cannabis Creative Team and am blessed to get to work with so many talented and uplifting women!”
Karen Ly, Assistant Digital Marketing Manager
“The past two years with Cannabis Creative have been amazing and I couldn’t be happier. I’m truly thankful to work with so many talented smart female leaders that I respect and am honored to collaborate and partner with. A huge thank you to all the hardworking women in my life that have paved the way in front of me or alongside me and have played a pivotal role in my professional life. Let’s continue to be strong, bold, and brilliant leaders and make a forward stride for the cannabis industry.”
Kavya Sebastian, Content Marketing Associate
“The team at Cannabis Creative thrives because we all look out for each other, both personally and professionally. It’s such an honor to be a part of such a tight-knit family and have incredible, strong women on the team to lead us and work with. I never imagined that I’d be working in the cannabis industry, but the past year has shown me that some of the best and most creative minds are in this space and I love that so many of them are women!”
Becky Ankeny, Senior Graphic Designer
“I have had strong, smart, and creative female bosses and art directors in my life that have shaped who I am as a graphic designer since I started in the 90s. Now I’m my own boss, as a freelance designer, working remote with a talented team of women at Cannabis Creative.”
Hannah Feldman, UI/UX Designer & Email Strategist
“Working with women who empower women is by far the fastest, most efficient, and fun way to get stuff done.”
Colette Smith, Direct Marketing Automation
“Happy Women’s Month! I am proud to stand with other powerful women who are game-changers and inspirational in everything that we – as women know how to do so well.”
Melissa Nowitz, Senior Marketing Communications Manager
“Happy Women’s Month! It’s so enjoyable to work with the group of talented, innovative and smart women at Cannabis Creative.”
Tracy Altman, CBD Marketing Strategist
“I am so happy to have recently joined Cannabis Creative! My background in nonprofit management and CBD have allowed me to grow as a strong female leader. I pride myself on being a meaningful part of the female pioneers in the cannabis and hemp spaces. I look forward to thriving and helping others succeed through my passion to be a thought partner, collaborator, and specialist in this ever-evolving industry.”
Lannan O’Brien, Content Marketer
“In my experience, the best way to truly learn about an industry is to write about it. Over the past year and a half, freelancing for Cannabis Creative has offered me an in-depth look at the many branches of the cannabis industry, from the science behind seed and plant production to the challenges of opening an adult-use dispensary. It’s heartening to see women at the helm of new businesses across the country in this now thriving industry, and to write for one where women are represented and supported so strongly.”
Hayley Malloy, Technical Strategy Manager
“I’m so proud to work with such dedicated, talented, and hard-working women. CCG understands that we cannot grow without raising each other up and valuing a diversity of perspectives.”
Lahari Tammera, Digital Marketing Intern
“Happy Women’s month! I’m so proud of all the women that I currently work with and wish them nothing but the best 🙂 It’s been amazing getting an inside look at the cannabis industry and I learn something new every single day! Thank you to the women who came before us and paved the path for us to do amazing and innovative things, and to the ones who will come after us and inevitably accomplish great feats.”
Paige Seavey, Senior Partnerships Manager / Account Manager
“I have been with Cannabis Creative for almost 2 years now and I am proud to be a part of a company where all its employees support each other both professionally and personally. It’s also exciting to say that the majority of the team is made up of WOMEN! All of these women are passionate, hardworking, creative and talented. I am so thankful and honored that I get to work with them everyday!”
Here’s to all of our women at Cannabis Creative! We couldn’t do it without you.