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Women in Cannabis History: Pioneers, Advocates, and Entrepreneurs

Women in Cannabis

While the cannabis industry has historically been dominated by men, women have played a significant role in shaping the landscape of cannabis. From ancient times to modern-day, women have been pioneers, advocates, and entrepreneurs in the realm of cannabis. In this blog post, we will explore the rich history of women in cannabis, highlighting their contributions, challenges faced, and the remarkable strides they have made in an industry traditionally characterized by gender disparities.

Ancient Roots and Historical Medicinal Practices

Women’s involvement with cannabis can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where they played integral roles in medicinal practices. In societies such as ancient Egypt, China, and India, women were often the primary healers and herbalists who utilized cannabis for its therapeutic properties and figured out how to cure it by dosage. Their knowledge of cannabis as a medicinal plant helped shape the early foundations of cannabis use and paved the way for future advancements.

Early Advocates for Cannabis Reform

Throughout history, women have been at the forefront of cannabis advocacy and reform movements. In the early 20th century, notable figures like Dr. Alice B. Toklas and Mary Jane Rathbun (Brownie Mary) used their voices to challenge the stigma surrounding cannabis and champion its potential benefits. These women played crucial roles in raising awareness about the medicinal properties of cannabis and advocating for its decriminalization.

Breaking Barriers in the Modern Cannabis Industry

In recent years, women have been making significant strides in the modern cannabis industry. They have emerged as entrepreneurs, executives, scientists, and innovators, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings. Women-led cannabis companies have been flourishing, and initiatives like Women Grow have created platforms for networking, mentorship, and support. These women are not only making their mark in cultivation, manufacturing, and retail sectors but are also driving innovation, sustainability, and social equity within the industry.

Fostering Social Equity and Inclusion

Women in cannabis are not only focused on business success but are also passionate about fostering social equity and inclusion. They recognize the disproportionate impact of cannabis prohibition on marginalized communities and are actively working towards creating more diverse and inclusive spaces within the industry. Women of color, in particular, have been instrumental in advocating for criminal justice reform, equity in licensing, and opportunities for underrepresented groups.


Women have played a pivotal role in the history of cannabis, from ancient medicinal practices to the modern-day industry. Their contributions, advocacy, and entrepreneurship have been vital in shaping the cannabis landscape. As the industry continues to evolve, it is essential to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women in cannabis history while working towards a more inclusive and equitable future for all.