Mary Janes: The Women of Weed

Women have taken leadership roles in every conceivable aspect of the cannabis industry, and a recent documentary captures the depth and diversity of the successes of these women, whom the filmmakers have dubbed “Puffragettes,” as you well know from the classic David Bowie track “Puffragette City.” (Goddammit, Josh…—Ed.)

On Wednesday, July 17, the Northwest Film Center presents Mary Janes: The Women of Weed at a one-night screening at the Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum.

The film’s executive producer and director, Windy Borman, and many of the Portland-based subjects of the documentary will be on hand for a pre-show reception and post-show Q&A. The film premiered at film festivals in 2017 and played locally at the Clinton Street Theater in April 2018.

Per Northwest Film Center’s description of the film, “Cannabis is one of the fastest-growing industries in the nation. It is also an industry led by women, who hold 36 percent of leadership positions—against a national average of 23 percent. This means marijuana has the highest gender parity of any industry in the United States.”

Director Windy Borman spoke with 35-plus women from across the country, working in all fields of the cannabis industry—production, marketing, advocacy, science, sales, and others—gaining their perspectives on how the cannabis industry intersects with a host of issues.

As interview subject and artist/cannabis business owner Melissa Ethridge says, “There’s so much opportunity in the cannabis industry because it has not been set up within the old-world male business paradigm. Women can grow it, heal with it, and now… you can make a business.”

Smoking or vaping isn’t allowed at the Whitsell, and while I would never suggest anyone break the law—perish the thought—it happens to be located across the street from the South Park Blocks, which I have been told by those in the know is frequently used by some people who choose to partake of cannabis. So definitely don’t go there before the reception, and do that. It’s going to be a nice summer evening, and it would be wrong, and illegal, to do so.

Mary Janes: The Women of Weed screens on Wednesday, July 17, at 7 pm. Tickets and information are at the Northwest Film Center’s site.

Josh Taylor is a well-known and successful entrepreneur in the legal cannabis space, producing B2B and B2C cannabis events, "Backstage Budtending" and upscale concierge services through his companies and His weekly syndicated newspaper column and features about cannabis ran for five years until March 2020.

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