It’s March, and while that certainly isn’t the only month we should be recognizing the contributions of women and femme folks in cannabis, it’s an awesome excuse to recognize some of the best in the biz. Here are a few women who are doing some seriously cool things in the world of weed.
Ru Johnson, Owner, Roux Black
Ru Johnson is a consultant, executive producer and branding operations strategist, as well as the founder and owner of Roux Black Consulting. She also has a background working with hip-hop artists, nightlife, Red Bull and The National Cannabis Festival, to name a few. Johnson is dedicated to social justice and serves as a board member at Minority Cannabis Business Association.
“Stigma begets more stigma, so yes, there is a connection between stoner stigma and fat-shaming,” she explained to High Times in a piece on dismantling social stereotypes in 2021. “The idea that one’s body is ‘lazy’ if it’s bigger than the ‘average’—on many levels, that’s ridiculous, because ‘lazy’ is a term that engenders capitalism and is ableist at the root. I think we’re doing a great job of elevating the uses of cannabis beyond the standard ‘stoner’ stigma (lazy, ineffectual, brain-dead or foggy), and movements for body positivity also combat standard fat-shaming.
“Both sentiments take away agency and autonomy. We all deserve to do with our bodies what we will and to take care of them the best way we can with the resources we have. And for many of us, cannabis is a major component to that care.”
Katie Kinne, Vice President of Brand, Good Chemistry Nurseries
Kinne is Good Chemistry Nurseries’ vice president of brand, and has developed new social media and marketing teams. She works closely with community partners and organizations to magnify the brand’s founding principles of access and compassion. In addition to her work with the branding of Good Chemistry, Kinne is always exploring opportunities to further expand social contributions and community involvement in ways that are meaningful and authentic.
“A few years ago, I realized that I wanted to work in the cannabis industry, and I wanted to be a part of a company with a great culture and a clear, forward-thinking mission,” she said. “I found Good Chemistry Nurseries and knew immediately it was where I was meant to be. Our senior team is diverse, with 50 percent of us being women.”
Dr. Rebecca Siegel, Clinical Psychiatrist and Author
Dr. Rebecca Siegel is a clinical psychiatrist and author of the newly published book, THE BRAIN ON CANNABIS: What You Should Know about Recreational and Medical Marijuana, a comprehensive and myth-busting guide on cannabis use and its effects on the brain. More importantly, as a physician who specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, mood disorders, and ADHD with a special focus on issues confronting adolescents and young adult women, the book also addresses how to effectively talk to young people about recreational cannabis use.
Kip Morrison, Owner, KMA PR
Kip Morrison is changing the way the media and in effect, the public, view cannabis. After more than 35 years in lifestyle PR, she pivoted her firm KMA to focus on the burgeoning cannabis industry—making KMA the first national cannabis PR firm in the United States.
She put brands like Lowell, Med Men, Henry’s and Platinum on the map, while navigating tough conversations like Vapegate, taxation and federal legalization. Her clients include testing labs, scientists, dispensaries and other players from all layers of cannabis.
Sarah Aziz, Founder, Sundazed
If there’s anyone who knows how to dream big, it’s Sarah Aziz. The Egyptian-American, LA-based entrepreneur is a long time cannabis advocate and lover of the plant. Aziz entered the male-dominated cannabis industry in 2021 with her flower brand, Sundazed. The line of pre-rolls delves beyond the surface of cute packaging and focuses on the customer experience.
“It has been an exciting roller coaster ride, especially given that we are launching during a pandemic,” she told High Times. “It comes with incredible difficulties to be a woman in such a male-dominated space. The fact that I will be contributing to a growing number of women executives in cannabis motivates me to continue my mission to create space for and represent our demographic in such a stigmatized industry.”