Iconic women became legends by daring to be themselves, no matter the status quo. Today, the torch has been passed. Women in weed conjure courage and creativity daily, representing the new face of Mary Jane in the post-prohibition era.
Acclaimed author Jane Austen, portrayed here by photographer Karli Adams, endured ridicule when she refused to conform to her family’s expectations. Karli, a woman in the cannabis space, faced similar hardships within her own family sphere for her choices around cannabis. Karli draws on the strength of the women before her, like Jane, so that women after her can be empowered to choose their own path.
For centuries, women have used the aid of medicinal cannabis under the radar.
From scientists to star athletes, we explore an imaginative timeline where cannabis could have been an option for any adult woman who wanted to choose it, as portrayed by our modern women in Colorado cannabis media.
We seek to not only create a new image of cannabis but to also restore it to its rightful place in our collective memory.
Hypatia of Alexandria | 350 AD | Auberry | @auberry_lk
Auberry Lee is a 23-year-old entrepreneur who loves mixing art with cannabis and believes that cannabis is for everyone. Having inspired her own mother to choose cannabis instead of zombifying pain-pills, Auberry hopes cannabis will one day be seen as a wellness medicine for all.
“Hypatia of Alexandria was one of the first female psychologists and astronomers and I would like to portray in my message today that that being brilliant and consuming cannabis go hand-in-hand.”
Astrid | Viking Era 792 | Kim | @K.imzy_
It all began with a dab.
Convinced cannabis was an actual hard drug, Kim Nanney skeptically watched the love of her life, Jordan Stauder, take a dab of Rocky Mountain Green’s Vanilla Ice OG Live Resin. Previously riddled by pain and depression from a snowboarding accident, in the moments after Jordan dabbed, Kim realized the power of a plant to make her man not only comfortable but happy.
Kim is a certified holistic health coach turned Marketing Director. She wants to live in a world where men and women bring out the best in each other through strong partnerships to create a country where anyone is free to choose a plant if it could save their life or eases their suffering.
“I chose Queen Astrid to represent all women who played a critical role in Norse raids, much as we now “go Viking” against the negative cannabis stigma. Like the Vikings, we now explore the uncharted seas. For us, it’s the turbulent waters of the post-prohibition era.”
“Like Norse women, I seek to help our society integrate into a new culture and join the battlefield alongside our men. Inspired by the strength of Viking men and the empowerment of the shield-maidens, I am humbled to be building a new world hand-in-hand with my man as his ally, his confidante, his lover, and his colleague. As a blood descendant of Norwegian Vikings, I am proud to represent a Norse woman’s “freedom to choose.”
Queen Elizabeth I 1533 | McCarter | @McCarterGetsHigh
Emily McCarter, known as McCarter, is a creative writer and content creator who lights up a room with her energy and passion. With past experience at Grasslands Agency, Denver Westword, and 303 Magazine, McCarter is set on de-stigmatizing cannabis use through aesthetically-pleasing media and community engagement.
McCarter was immediately drawn to cannabis’s ability to give her a happier outlook on life. She hopes one-day cannabis will be celebrated for saving humanity, and that in light of federal legalization, it will remain small, local, and honest.
“My idol is Queen Elizabeth I because she was a red-headed feminist from the beginning and was an early-on adopter of the cannabis plant for its amazing abilities. She ruled an entire kingdom for several decades until she died, exemplifying all the amazing traits of a woman—intelligence, beauty, honor, power, and fitness above the rest—and chose to never marry, solidifying the message that women do not need a man to feel or be complete.”
Jane Austen | 1775 | Karli | @karli_canna
Karli is a 29-year-old cannabis photographer with a passion to help to end the social stigma around consumption. Karli hopes to inspire and empower women to join the industry and make history together. She emphasizes that cannabis is something that our bodies were designed to interact with and that it’s silly to deny that connection.
“I felt drawn to Jane Austen because of her fierce defiance to the norm. I have always felt like the “black sheep” of my family and my cannabis use has intensified that. I have always stuck to my own truth and haven’t succumbed to the pressures of living a ‘normal’ life, just like Jane. She was far ahead of the society that surrounded her and challenged it regularly. I aim to do and be the same in our not-yet federally legal society.”
Marie Curie | 1867 | Morgan | @morgancaitlin
A New Jersey native, Morgan Boyle’s love for science began at an early age with the support of her parents. This fascination with why things work turned into her current career as a microbiologist at an analytical laboratory in Denver, Colorado.
Morgan turns to cannabis to aid her letting go of stress and depression. As she studied the science behind the plant, her passion increased. She hopes to be living proof that the “lazy stoner” stigma of cannabis is untrue as she continues her life-long pursuit of cannabis research.
“I feel drawn to Marie Curie because, like me, she was a female scientist pushing through a new frontier of science; hers being radioactive energy; mine being cannabis science.”
Coco Chanel | 1883| Anna | @the_annabinoid
Anna Damata is a Boston native who has always seen cannabis as medicine. She is a crafter of quality hemp products and a passionate advocate for cannabis with a heart of gold. She wants the world to ask, “Why is it socially acceptable to use pharmaceuticals but not cannabis?”.
Anna did deep soul-searching for how to overcome an opiate addiction after a car accident and found answers in cannabis. One day, Anna hopes that the consumption of cannabis will be normalized.
“I looked for someone who has made it on their own, someone who stands up for what they believe in, and someone who made a significant change. In my eyes, that’s Coco Chanel. She taught women to never stop believing in their dreams, not to care what people think, to set goals and be yourself. Much like us, and what we need to do within the cannabis industry.”
Frida Kahlo | 1907 | Kristen | @cannabananaaa
Kristen is a cannabis artist best known for her “flower play,” combining beautiful fresh flowers and cannabis. She began implementing cannabis into her morning routine, alongside yoga, to reconnect with herself after a challenging time with her family, feeling grateful that cannabis came through and saved her life. She hopes the world will understand that lives can be saved with this powerful plant. Kristen hopes people will give it a chance. She encourages people to open their mind, educate themselves, and rise above the social perception.
“To me, Frida Kahlo is the epitome of strength and the unique feminine voice. She was who she was and whoever she wanted to be. Frida wouldn’t allow anyone to box her in or influence her decisions. I come from a crazy Puerto Rican family and can identify with her familial struggles and her story of growth and overcoming. Frida, despite all those things, created. She didn’t allow her struggles to stifle her. When I began to play with flowers a year and a half ago, it was my artistic moment that clicked and saved me.”
Mother Teresa | 1910 | Izzy | @izzy_blazee
Izzy is a 28-year-old revolutionary “Good Time Guru” from Houston Texas who went to a private Catholic university. She moved to Colorado not thinking she’d get involved in cannabis, but has since become critical to the cannabis movement.
Izzy represents a minority in the cannabis community as a woman, as a member of the LGBTQ community, and for the unique way she can deliver what others cannot as an entertainer. Izzy feels that it is important to show she uses cannabis, but that it doesn’t have to be your whole life. She is passionate about sharing how anyone can incorporate cannabis into their life.
Izzy, as the Good Time Guru, is about the experience of cannabis, of people, of products and of the culture we are pioneering together. She is most proud of realizing that her impact wasn’t the product she pushes, but her as a person and people connect to what she says. She wants people to realize that what’s important is not the influencer or title, but who they are portraying themselves to be.
“At face value, you wouldn’t think Mother Teresa is the first decision I would make, nor do people think I have such faith or history with religion. In order for me to do this shoot, I wanted to be true to myself and how I was raised that I’ve hidden for a really long time. I know a lot of people haven’t had a good experience with religion, but I could never relate to that because I had such a beautiful experience with faith. It taught me love, compassion, and empathy and it gave me morals and ethics and values that I wouldn’t have learned had it not been for my faith. It made me realized that I could love everyone and that we could find common ground.”
“I chose Mother Teresa so that people should see that they shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. There is so much more depth than what social media delivers. Overall, there is so much more to me as a person than what they see.”
Nellie Bly | 1922 | Sydney | @Sydney_Slabs
Sydney Montoya, a 21-year-old photographer and entrepreneur born and raised in Colorado, is one of the youngest voices in the community. As a teen growing up in a medical state, she sought out a natural replacement to prescription painkillers and other medications she was prescribed at 15 and found cannabis.
Since then, the movement to legalize, normalize, and educate the general public has become an ever growing passion. We believe Sydney will become a prominent voice in the cannabis community in the years to come.
“My idol is Nellie Bly, an investigative journalist from the 1900s known for writing pieces that gave a voice to the poor and abused- she was most famous for an exposé of a mental asylum for which she went undercover as a patient to show the cruel practices. Nellie is also known for her record-breaking 72-day trip around the globe.
She broke the mold for professional women at a time when our power in society was suppressed, and she is made from a cloth that I too aspire to be cut from. Her life was a series of dares that she met straight-on without fear and conquered them just as well as a man could, if not better. I see a lot of the same fire in myself and the tenacity I have to bring about change through the cannabis and hemp industry.”
Audrey Hepburn | 1929 | Whitney | @Sunnny.Daze
Whitney is a cannabis marketing, branding, and content creator in living in Boulder, Colorado. She is beloved in the cannabis community for her bright, friendly disposition and down-to-earth nature, as well as her ability to deliver massive value.
Whitney’s personal experience with cannabis about ten years ago began when she was dealing with depression and anxiety. She needed to find a natural path to recovery instead of harmful prescription medications that left her worse than when she started. When a family member introduced her to cannabis, she was skeptical because of the stigma, but when she tried it herself, she knew she’d found her path. Whitney combines her passion for the plant with her love of photography to help people understand cannabis as a medicine.
“Audrey Hepburn has always been a huge inspiration to me, bringing intelligence, wit, beauty, and strength to the table at a time when people didn’t expect that kind of confidence paired with grace from a woman.”
Elizabeth Taylor | 1932 | Taylor | @LifteddLadies
Taylor is a 26-year-old cannabis creator with a passion for the normalization and de-stigmatization of the plant with a sweet and lively spirit. Taylor portrays cannabis through elegant flat-lays and through conversational glimpses into her daily canna-friendly lifestyle. She believes the world deserves more than images of “stoner in the basement” because it has evolved into something dignified and lovely. Tay shows the world that you can consume cannabis and be seen as a classy individual at the same time.
“My idol was Elizabeth Taylor because she was the epitome of ‘sophisticated and classy’. Literally dripping in diamonds. She was a true talent and an inspiration for me in bringing elegance to cannabis content.”
Brigitte Bardot | 1934 | Cait | @caitcurley_
Cait Curley was so intent on pursuing her work within the cannabis arena that she uprooted her life and moved from New York to cannabis-centric Denver. She’s an educator, entrepreneur, social media influencer, marketing expert, and content creator with a passion for all things hemp and cannabis. Cannabis has brought her to different states of consciousness and changed the way she looked at life.
“My idol for this project is Brigitte Bardot. She used her smarts and beauty to lure people in and then educate them once she had their attention. She was a fashion model, actress, and an animal rights activist. She was able to make big marks in her advocacy with animal rights by using her beauty to influence and get people to listen and I aspire to do the same!”
Vivienne Westwood | 1941 | Kristine | @kristinebobean
Kristine is a photographer with a passion for showing cannabis up close and personal. She wants people to view the plant as a work of art. Her goal as a photographer is to stop time and motion to create a slice of life that lives on forever, making cannabis a natural choice for Kristine in this unique time in history. She represents the idea that just because women smoke weed doesn’t mean that they aren’t hardworking and driven.
“I chose Vivienne Westwood because there is no limit to her EXTRA, and I feel like my closet is a representation of her philosophy. She said it herself, “You have a more interesting life if you wear impressive clothes.”
Her fashion sense is over-the-top and unapologetically in your face. Her style is bold, unique and full of life. She uses her clothes as a way to express herself and advocate for causes she feels connected to.
As a photographer, my photos are my truth. The things I capture with my camera are part of me, an extension of the way that I feel. In the same way, Vivienne’s clothes are an extension of herself and the life she lives. At the end of the day, life we live is what we make of it, not what it makes of us.”
Janis Joplin | 1943 | Chelsi | @chelsicannafairy
Chelsi is a medical patient that moved from Florida to Colorado in 2015 to work in the legal cannabis industry. She started her cannabis activism in 2012 by advocating for legal cannabis in Florida with the Florida Cannabis Action Network. She is currently the Marketing Manager for Lightshade in Denver. Chelsi believes the industry needs to move towards the elimination of exploitation of both influencers and the plant itself.
She is a strong voice for education and honesty in reviews to best serve the public. Chelsi hopes to see cannabis nationally legal to make it possible for standard dosing and international research. She wants the world to know: cannabis is not what you think.
“I choose Janis because she was truly herself. She proved that even though she was young, she could touch people’s lives and make an impact. I hope to be and do the same in the cannabis world.”
Priscilla Presley | 1945 | Izi | @iziaragon
“I wanted to represent Priscilla Presley, Elvis Presley’s wife. She shared an idea with other icons of the ’60s of being bold and different. I want to be happy and what makes me happy happens to be out of the box. I wanted to show someone that they may not know.”
Patti Smith | 1946 | Jonna | @highcountrystoner
Jonna is a 32-year-old veteran of foreign war, a farmer, and a business owner. Her core message about cannabis is that cannabinoids are nutrients and are essential for proper human physiological function. She believes that cannabis is what has been missing in our society.
She grew up in the Ozarks and joined the military shortly after graduating high school. After serving two contracts in the military, she graduated from Missouri University of Science and Technology and moved to Western Colorado, where she now owns an orchard, vineyard, and a cannabis-friendly bed and breakfast.
Jonna’s passion for cannabis stems, in part, for the quality of life it offers her and her husband. Her husband was injured in Afghanistan, and before cannabis, the Department of Veteran Affairs used to send months worth of opioids to their front door. On top of dealing with her own PTSD and traumatic brain injuries from war, she used to have panic attacks around the idea that she would come home to find her husband dead from an overdose or suicide. Because of cannabis, she has hope.
“Patti Smith is my Idol. I initially felt drawn to her when I was a teen because she has a handsome face and she was a badass. I was abandoned by my biological parents, neglected by my foster parents, and abused under the guise of religion by my adopted parents. So when I heard the end of her song Babelogue—“He spared the child and spoiled the rod, I have not sold my soul to god”—I remember trembling and it touched on the rage that I felt. It was one of the first things I remember feeling in awhile through all the years of numbness, depression, and anxiety.
She was an outsider, just as cannabis is an outsider to society, and that really resonated with me. After leaving home I joined the Army and was placed in a combat unit that didn’t want me there. I think it’s kind of funny that after all those years of trying to fit in, I live life as an outsider by choice now. I think Patti would be proud.”
Stevie Nicks | 1948 | Sabina | @highhoney710
Sabina Palermo is a cannabis advocate originally from the southwest suburbs of Chicago from a small town called New Lenox. She has been working as a behavioral therapist for children and adults with autism for the past two years and dreams of a world where parents will be able to smoke without the fear of losing their children and where cannabis will be available for all people with disabilities— and where women will be at the forefront of the industry!
“My idol is Stevie Nicks; her witchy soul has always called to me. Stevie is both so soft and so dark and that resonates deeply with me. Fleetwood Mac was such a unique, influential group and getting the chance to portray her is something I’ve only dreamed of by dancing in my living room.”
Joan Jett | 1958 | Jules | @jjuuulless
Jules is a powerhouse creative model in this industry, as well as others. She encourages people to think for themselves and do what works for them. Jules believes you can enjoy cannabis in your own way.
“I picked Joan because there are a lot of similarities between us. We are both Libras, we are both a little queer and proud of it, and we have that ‘I don’t care’ attitude but ‘spread love’ attitude. She is unapologetic and that’s something I strive to be.”
Yoko Ono | 1933 | Melissa | @yourgreatestjoy
Melissa was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago where she couldn’t stay out of trouble for smoking weed—especially during college. Immediately after graduating with a business degree from Elmhurst College in 2012, Melissa made her way to the safe smoking haven of Colorado, where her love for live music and music blogging eventually led her to a part-time writing position with DOPE Magazine.
Melissa is portrayed as Yoko Ono in celebration of her Asian heritage.
Twiggy | 1949 | Hailey | @lilmountainwitch
Hailey is a young creative and entrepreneur with a passion for sustainability. Like many, Hailey suffers from anxiety and insomnia. Cannabis has helped her combat those issues and has helped her become the strong, confident, productive, and well-rested woman she is today.
She hopes she can be a role model for younger girls that they can follow their dreams no matter what they look like. As a five foot two model, Hailey brings her talent to the cannabis industry as a delicate but fierce face of Mary Jane.
“I chose the most iconic model of them all—Lesley Lawson aka Twiggy. I was drawn to her because, in a way, she single-handedly changed the modeling industry without even knowing it. Before Twiggy graced the covers of every big magazine known to man, models were traditionally bustier, curvier, and slightly older. It’s amazing how she and her style took over the world during the ’60s. I chose her because I want to do that. I want to help change the industry too.”
Selena | 1971 | Evelyn | @evil.evelyn
Evil Evelyn started out as a Cannabis Vlogger who moved from Chicago to Denver to pursue a career in the cannabis industry. Now the general manager of Resolution Colorado, she is consistently working on breaking through the many stigmas that exist about cannabis today.
As a woman in the cannabis industry, she hopes to inspire others to break through gender barriers, outdated stigmas, and to inspire others to live their best lives.
“As a Latina, it is such an honor to represent Selena. I grew up singing her songs and I saw how her music inspired and brought others joy. I feel drawn to her because, much like the music industry, the cannabis industry is dominated by men. Selena, as a powerful woman, broke through gender barriers as if they didn’t exist. As a strong woman, I hope to do the same. It is such an honor and a joy to be surrounded by powerful, inspiring women who are genuinely cheering each other on.”
Drew Berrymore | 1975 | Natalie | @mssmedicinal
Natalie Buller, a 25-year-old women and mother, hails from Sonora, CA. She graduated from Charis Bible College in 2014 and in 2015, gave birth to her now 4-year-old daughter. She has worked for many different companies in the industry and broke away shortly in 2017 to promote for companies on Instagram full-time, traveling to shoots and High Times events in California and Champs in Las Vegas.
Recently she’s been focusing on her family, empowering women, and other small endeavors. Natalie says she would hate for her daughter to have to grow up watching her take meds that make her feel even worse and not be able to function.
Instead, Natalie is even more creative and aware of what her daughter needs because she can use cannabis. Some may not agree, but Natalie has found that it works best for her and her family. She paves a new road for mothers everywhere to see that cannabis can be their remedy, too.
“I chose Drew Barrymore as my idol because she dances to her own beat no matter what anyone has to say. She has always been true to herself and that really speaks to me. So many people can say things about you, but if you stay true to yourself and keep pushing forward no one can stop you.”
Serena Williams | 1981 | Sydney | @canna.blisssful
Sydney is a 23-year-old cannabis influencer. She was raised a military brat and is now a military wife. She specializes in cannabis photography, marketing, and modeling, hoping to highlight how diverse and versatile the cannabis plant is. Cannabis has impacted Sydney’s life in many ways, but most notably in controlling her intense moods and improving her confidence.
“I chose Serena Williams, the world-famous tennis player. I chose her because just like her, I am a minority in the industry I’m most passionate about. Serena impacts her sport the way I want to impact my industry, and she encourages those like to me pursue it if they really want to and not feel discouraged. Time and time again, Serena has picked herself up and achieved more than she anticipated, and that’s exactly what I will do too.”
Miley Cyrus | 1992 | Chrissy | @chrissycalain (soon to be @cannachrissy)
Chrissy is a 22-year-old content creator from California. Chrissy just arrived in Denver in September from San Diego with her fiancé after graduating from San Diego State University. One day, Chrissy hopes that cannabis will be more accepted than alcohol for recreational purposes and that cannabis will replace most pharmaceuticals for medicinal purposes. Chrissy is a proud member Doreen Katz Memorial Cancer Foundation and supports families who are going through cancer to find alternative ways of healing through cannabis.
“I was honored to represent Miley Cyrus as my icon. I’m drawn to Miley because like her, I always push forward despite adversity. One of my favorite quotes from Miley is, “when life puts you in a tough situation, don’t say ‘why me’, say ‘try me.’ Her versatility is beyond compare and that’s something I aspire to.”
All women in the cannabis space, not just the ones involved in this project, are like cannabinoids themselves. Some are well known, but there are many yet to be discovered. Each offers a unique benefit to the world at large.
Together, we create an entourage effect that has the potential to elevate the perception of this powerful plant, bring healing, and eliminate a stigma for the benefit of all.
Who are your icons? What wisdom do you wish to incorporate in how you impact the world about cannabis?
A special thanks to Carolina Vasquez (@ahoycarolinamakeup) for make-up assistance in solidifying the concepts of the project.