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In case you haven’t heard of it as yet, WOW, also known as “Women Of Weed” is the new “Gold Rush of the 21st Century” as  business etiquette and  laws change, and more states embrace legalizing medicinal as well as recreational marijuana in the US. Long-time Dish contributor Ocea Demer has long-lived in the Pacific Northwest, epicenter of the recent trend toward legalizing drugs considered criminal rather than medicinal, until now. Here’s what she’s seen and learned during her investigations, and she's now generously sharing it all with us... and with you!Weed

Here’s what she has to say........

I love the Pacific Northwest. I moved here in 1980 from the South to “find my wings” and expand who I was into the woman I am today. I have had amazing journeys along the way. 

As I write this, Spring has turned to Summer, and the legalization of marijuana on the State level in Oregon is on July 1st. My experience with pot happened on the back roads and covered porches in Kentucky. All I knew then was that it got you high. Today I am not an avid pot smoker, actually hardly ever use it, but if I do there is a purpose behind it like playing music, drumming, or for pain management in my body.

My real understanding of the benefits of cannabis came in 2009 when I had a full hysterectomy due to a benign tumor growing in my uterus. I had a friend who has been making salves, tinctures and honey infused with THC, the psychoactive part of marijuana, as well as CBD, the medicinal part of the plant. She is a caretaker of end of life elderly and wanted to offer them something besides narcotics for pain management. Most pharmaceuticals for pain management damage the liver and kidneys, in addition to causing addiction. Marijuana has been proven not to do any of those things. 

Anyway, back to the surgery. When my friend heard that I was going to have a hysterectomy, she offered to give me some of her THC/CBD suppositories. I decided to give it a try and 2 days after being cut hip to hip, I got off all of the heavy narcotics and used the suppositories. I discovered that they blocked the pain from my belly button to mid-thigh and I actually healed faster and with less discomfort than anticipated.
medical marijuana

medical marijuanaFast forward to 2015 and the legalization of Medical Marijuana in 20 states in America, along with the 4 states and the District of Columbia who have legalized marijuana for recreational use. It’s the new frontier of business, like the Gold Rush in the late 1800’s. On August 1st, when this article comes out, it will be legal in the state of Oregon for all adults over the age of 21 to grow 4 plants. Now, that doesn’t mean if there is a household of 4 adults over the age of 21 you can grow 16 plants; the limit is 4 per household. There is something much bigger than household use going on here. The experts in the money markets are expecting the Recreational Marijuana industry to be generating 14 billion dollars by 2017. Today, in the border town of Vancouver, WA, marijuana recreational stores are grossing $350,000 to a million per month.

I am fascinated by all the hoopla in the booming business of weed! But I alsoI wanted to see where the women fit into this new frontier. Is it going to be done differently than the old paradigm of businesses based upon hierarchy and bottom lines? I, for one, am hoping for the cooperation and collaboration of a win-win scenario. Already, there is some high-pitched grumbling coming across the border from Washington, where only 10% of the marijuana business is being conducted by women. That includes growers, producers and store owners.

I attended a meeting of the Women Marijuana Business Association (MJBA) in Oregon, where the headquarters of the WMBA is located. About 30 women were in attendance, who each had a wide variety of interests, and supportive skills. In addition, by this January you'll be able to apply for Recreation Licenses in the State for marijuana grower,, processor, and store owners.

Many women are already currently involved in the medicinal marijuana industry here in Oregon. At the meeting, there were a lot of surprising products available, everything from “medibles”, who specialize in edible products like brownies, cookies, crackers, and sauces for those who do not want to smoke, to bud tenders growing high grade organic bud to smoke.

Also present was a woman named Kari Accard,i who started a company called 420 Media because of her passion to educate through film formats. She covers the latest news as well as the latest products just hitting the market. There was also a woman, Sara Batterby, who not only is a partner in an up and coming brand of bud called HiFiFarms.com, but she is also the chairperson for the Portland Chapter of Women Grow, which started in Denver Colorado in 2014.an association formed to connect women in the cannabis industry

I sat and listened to Trista Okel, from EmpowerOil.com, a topical company which infuses THC/CBD into oils for aches and pains of the body, externally. She shared her trials and tribulations with the group, having been in the medical industry for several years. She spoke of the importance of finding the right "bookkeeper" to maintain good records of the flow. I discovered in speaking with other women in the group that not only are many of the women involved in the industry, but 98% of them are also users of some sort themselves.

Several weeks later, I attended a Women Grow event where the tone was very different. It was a sold out event with over 100 women and a few men in attendance. They brought in Courtney Moran, a cannabis attorney turned temporary activist/lobbyist to talk about some of the current and proposed bills on the table for Oregon Law, regarding the up and coming Legalization. Ms. Moran's passion has now turned to the Hemp industry, so she also touched on that, as hemp and marijuana are tied together by a Schedule 1 offence, even though industrial hemp has NO psychoactive properties like marijuana does. "Every day," she said, "there are bills being passed to eradicate the schedule 1 classification, which is evident by the 22 medical and 4 state legalization of marijuana." She went on to say that America is the largest importer of hemp in the world, and currently hemp is responsible for over 2200 products being made and sold in the market place today.

Also at the Women Grow event, I met women who are business-driven, and whose careers ran the gamut of business from greenhouse suppliers, realtor’s, bookkeeper’s, testing lab owners, soil companies, dispensary owners, farmers, bankers and attorney’s, just to name a few. When finding a number, it turns out that 45% of the marijuana business owners in Oregon are women. There were also women in attendance from Washington State, who are thinking about relocating to Oregon, because of the “bad taste in their mouth “ from dealing with the ego driven, male-dominated industry of pot in that state.

If you are in a State that is legalizing medical or recreational marijuana, keep an eye on Oregon, and the woman that are paving the way. Reach out to women in this article from organizations like Women Grow, The International Women’s Cannabis Coalition, NORML Women's Alliance, and Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, to get answers! As most of us know, woman have been Herbalists in this country for eons, since we are the nurturers and caregivers, the tenders in the garden.

Plus, there is also support out here for you! If we can learn from the mistakes made in the past in business practices, and keep the focus on the continuum of education and taking care of people with the highest form of compassion, the MONEY will follow! Just check out the following list of flourishing businesses that are already headed for success! Such as Julie's Baked Goods, 3D Cannabis Center, The Farm Co., Patients Choice, CannLabs, Surna, Inc., The Clinic Marijuana Center, Cannabis Trainers, Edible Events Company, Vicente Sederberg LLC, Mahatma Extreme Concentrates, Mountain Medicine, Sweet Grass Kitchen, Canna Advisors, Rise Above Social Strategies, Eden Labs, Auntie Dolores, Shango Cannabis, and more!

The old way of creating a product and then spending tons of money in advertising, just to convince people that they need that product, is over! Personally, I believe that to be successful in this industry,  its about paying attention to what people need, and then figuring out how to get that to them. As we step into this new "Booming Business of Weed", remember that you will be selling 'a plant that has valuable medicinal properties', it’s not just for stoners any more!

Below are some of those benefits:

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 173 - September 2018
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