Celebrate The Women Of Cannabis Conference

Celebrate the Women of Cannabis Conference

By Penny Hayes

It was Sunday, and the smoke in the air and ash stuck to cars were an unwelcome reminder of the many fires burning in the mountains around the Emerald Triangle.

As I made my way into the Arcata Community Center, the Celebrate the Women of Cannabis Conference was already in full swing. The sisterly atmosphere was refreshing, a much less testosterone-driven event than the usual cannabis cups featured in Humboldt County. Vendors lined the room.  Women-owned, women-made products from medicinal creams and tinctures to face creams, edibles, employment agencies, an engineer, family farms, and more were represented.  However, due to the agreement they had with the ACC, they were unable to sell cannabis or any products containing cannabis on site.   That fact did not detract from the festive feeling in the air; empowerment is a heady feeling in itself.

The message of the conference was clear and unified.  The women of cannabis are just as successful as the men, women who bring compassion, family values, and prosperity to the business of cannabis are here in abundance and making a difference. Christal Ortiz, from True Humboldt, imparted the tone of the day when she advised that the women of cannabis have been tasked with keeping compassion alive in the age of industry.  

Topics such as the medical value of cannabinoids and terpenes, women’s health, and how to interpret upcoming cannabis legislation were discussed.  Particularly fascinating was the talk about labs and how to keep your cannabis clean.  The information was timely and user-friendly, with a Q&A session after each speaker.

Mariellen Jurkovich of Humboldt Patient Resource Center (HPRC), who was the main host of the conference, says the newest consumers in the market are between 45 and 70 and that women are a large, mostly unrepresented group.  It was obvious that the many elderly women here had questions, and the ladies from HPRC went a long way to help navigate the flow of conversation, keeping it pertinent and contemporary.  As I looked around the room I felt empowered and a bit proud of all the older ladies in attendance.  These were the true rebels, the stoners of the 60’s and 70’s, finally able to buy a joint and smoke it without worrying about being a criminal.

I would love to see more events like this around California, cannabis has a lot to offer women, and they are underrepresented.  I suggest that if you are curious, grab a friend and check out a cannabis collective, if it’s a good one they will welcome you in and help you figure out what your best options are, based on your needs.  If you don’t feel welcome and comfortable, leave and find one that feels right or come to Humboldt, and I will help you out.  It is worth the effort to have a great experience.   

If you would like a complete list of the vendors or have a comment or question about this article, please contact me at hayesinhumbold@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.