In response the predominately white, male dominated cannabis scene that is said to have emerged after Washington legalized marijuana for recreational purposes in 2012, a gang of young ladies from Seattle have pushed forward to establish an art collective called “Women. Weed. Wifi,” a heritage movement that has been generating momentum over the past few years.
According to Fader Magazine, the collective, led by Amanya Maloba, Janice Ibarra and Vanity Thomas, has become somewhat of a reefer-inspired renaissance experience for the African American community, one that encompasses retail sales, special events and other artistic endeavors.
This self-proclaimed international girl gang, whose mission is to provide a platform for “badass chicks who pursue their dreams, are committed to building strong communities, and share the same love of cannabis,” wants to help buoy the entrepreneurial spirit of African American women trying to make it in the world of legal weed.
“We uplift and inspire one another to continue on our highest paths,” their website reads. “We note what makes us the same and celebrate what makes us unique. We love marijuana and celebrate the glory of the female plant who, like us, brings beauty and peace to those we touch. Weed unites us, elevates us, and heals us. We hope to share our knowledge of the plant and extend a welcome into some of our haze-induced escapades and plots to take over the world.”
But what led to the creation of Women.Weed.Wifi?
It was necessary to for the girls to come out swinging in the name of black women in the cannabis industry because they say this group is “being underpaid, and being viewed as more threatening and therefore disposable than white employees,” Maloba said.
“Janice and I have experienced this personally,” Maloba also said, as “have many friends who are budtenders of color in Washington and Oregon who have all experienced this. In a way, this winds up as a force against us, and think it's important that we, as women of color, control the culture.”
Ibarra says the group is “filling a void in dark places,” by creating relationships with likeminded women into the spiritual aspect of marijuana.
“Ancestral empowerment is very important to us, as is feminism,” she said. “To this day, there's still a lack of spaces that allow women to be bold, you know? We hope that our courage inspires people. That's the movement we need, that vivid demonstration. Doing what the fuck we want to do. Living from the heart and from a place of integrity.”
Read the entire interview here.