In a Marin County hotel room, a group of women are giggling, adjusting each other’s hair and posing for selfies. It’s pretty typical, until you hear the dialogue.
“Fuck Facebook!” one says
“Censorship is bullshit!” barks another.
Yes, this is not just any group of women, and this is not just another gathering of friends. We’d all come together to attend the world premiere of Mary Janes: The Women of Weed at the Mill Valley Film Festival on Oct. 8, but we weren’t as happy as we should’ve been, given that we were hours away from our documentary debut.
As pioneers in an industry being reborn outside of prohibition in a society where women are rarely chosen to lead, we’re well seasoned in the ways of hypocrisy and cannabis. Yet, no matter how far we get forging the path to legitimacy, around every turn is a reminder that we can’t put down our machetes just yet.
On this day, our oppressor was Facebook. The social network had refused to allow ads for Mary Janes, because the film’s about marijuana. Let that sink in. The same company that let clandestine agents of the Russian dictatorship buy and use space to create divisiveness during the 2016 Presidential election decided that a documentary about a legal industry violated their terms of service.
If there are two things that get us Mary Janes up in arms, they’re censorship and hypocrisy, and as women in the cannabis industry, we’re intimately familiar with both. The industry’s conscience, spirit guide or even spirit animal, women have played a major role in ushering in the new age of cannabis.
Mary Janes: Women of Weed takes the viewer on a journey of discovery through the eyes of filmmaker Windy Borman (pictured above), who like myself was a child of the Just Say No era in the ’80s. Borman sets out to investigate whether the rhetoric she’d been told about cannabis was accurate or just a fabrication meant to scare her into a drug-free existence.
Borman seeks the answers to these questions by interviewing female industry leaders and those in business, science, medicine and policy. Through her questions and experiences, she uncovers not only the truth about the cannabis plant, but the ways in which female leaders have shaped the industry in the image of the plant herself—strong, diverse, adaptable and with a focus on healing.
But don’t get me wrong, we’re also fierce gatekeepers of truth and protectors of justice, which is why our happy hotel-room reunion was focused on our growing ire at Facebook. We are Mary Janes: The Women of Weed: industry leaders, business developers, researchers, educators and warriors, and a force to be reckoned with.
Check out the schedule for upcoming Mary Janes screenings here.
MARY JANES ROLE CALL
Here are the 33 “Women of Weed” featured in the movie.
- Giadha Aguirre de Carcer – founder/CEO, New Frontier Data
- Betty Aldworth – executive director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
- Sarah Batterby – CEO, Hifi Farms
- Windy Borman – director, Mary Janes: Women of Weed
- AC Braddock – CEO, Eden Labs
- Jill Brzezicki – founder/lab director, CMT Labs
- Juliana Carella – cofounder/CEO, Auntie Dolores and Treatibles
- Stacia Cosner – deputy director, Students for Sensible Drug Policy
- Melissa Etheridge – singer/songwriter; owner, Etheridge Farms
- Sabrina Fendrick – director of government affairs, Berkeley Patients Group
- Mary Gordon – cofounder, Aunt Zelda’s and Zelda Therapeutics
- Kiana Hughes – cofounder, Two Dope Chicks
- Andrea James – founder, National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls
- Wanda James – CEO, Simply Pure
- Karen Lazarus – founder, Sweet Mary Jane
- Jaime Lewis – executive chef, Mountain Medicine; board chair, NCIA
- Laila Makled – advocacy relations, National Cannabis Festival
- Leah Maurer – co-owner, The Weed Blog; branding and outreach manager, Yerba Buena
- Madeline Martinez – board member, NORML
- Jacqueline McGrane – owner, Cannabinoid Consulting
- Wendy Mosher – CEO, New West Genetics
- Jeannie Moss – cofounder/CEO, AnnaBis Style
- Genifer Murray – founder/CEO, Carbon Blue Consulting; cofounder GENIFER M
- Karen O’Keefe – director of state policies, Marijuana Policy Project
- Amanda Reiman – vice president of community relations, Flow Kana
- Lindsay Robinson – executive director, California Cannabis Industry Association
- Drayah Sallis – founder, Our Cannabis Culture
- Dr. Sue Sisley – internal medicine and psychiatry
- Sabria Still – product specialist, Metropolitan Wellness Center
- Shaleen Title – commissioner, Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission
- Mitzy Vaughan – managing attorney, Greenbridge Corporate Counsel
- Dr. Daniela Vergara – founder, Agricultural Genomics Foundation
- Ah Warner – founder/CEO – Cannabis Basics
- Taylor West – senior communications director, COHNNABIS
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