Women's History Month - Featuring Women That Paved the Way for Cannabis

We’re kicking off Women’s History Month off this year with an homage to the women of the cannabis industry. Because many of us have experienced the normalcy of cannabis in our daily lives, we often forget that a time cannabis wasn’t easily accessible. And was often deemed as a drug and unfortunately is still seen that way in today’s society. 

In the cannabis world, it’s perceived to be a male-dominant industry. However, several women before us have taken huge risks and sacrificed their livelihood for cannabis legalization, especially in the medical community to bring marijuana to those who desperately need it the most. 

For Women’s History Month, at GreenLabs we will be featuring Women in Cannabis Series. During the month of March, we will be sharing information about our dispensary, women’s history in cannabis, and featuring women-owned and led brands and dispensaries in Maryland. 


The Plant 

Flower, also known as weed, refers to the smokable, trichome-enriched part of a cannabis plant. Fun fact – the smokable part of the marijuana plant is female! Cannabis plants show their sex by what grows in between their nodes (where leaves and branches extend from the stalk). What starts as a pollen sac on a male plant or a stigma on a female will become what either spreads or catches pollen, respectively. Learn more about cannabis and cannabis methods of consumption here (Link to our page on this on our website. If this is not in place yet remove this line item, but add when it’s in place on our website to continue SEO and traffic to our website.) 


Women in History  

Queen Victoria (24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) 

As early as the 17th century there are many reports about the use of marijuana. Did you know that even queens used cannabis to help with their pain? Yes, it’s true! Queen Victoria is said to rely on cannabis to relieve menstrual cramps. Reports suggest that she also used cannabis to help battle her morning sickness and during her menstrual cycle. 



Billie Holiday (April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959) 

Eleanora Fagan, known professionally as Billie Holiday, was an American jazz and swing music singer with a career spanning 26 years. Nicknamed "Lady Day". Billie was a huge cannabis advocate. She ultimately suffered from liver disease and would often smoke cannabis to help with her pain. She would even enjoy smoking flower with other fellow musicians, such as Louis Armstrong. You can visit the Billie Holiday statue, right here in Baltimore! 


Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) 

Margaret Mead is well-known anthropologist who frequently was featured as an author and a speaker for the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. Not too long ago, Margaret Mead spoke before Congress in 1969. She advocated to make improvements in the medical system and one of her main recommendations was for the legalization of marijuana. 




Brownie Mary (December 22, 1922 – April 10, 1999) 

Mary Jane Rathburn, known as Brownie Mary, was a medical cannabis rights activist—often referred to as the “Florence Nightingale of the medical marijuana movement.” Rathbun lobbied for the legalization of cannabis for medical use, and eventually helped pass San Francisco Proposition P (1991) and California Proposition 215 (1996) to achieve those goals. Mary is also called, Brownie Mary, because of her famous marijuana brownie recipe she used during the AIDS epidemic to help ease the pain of the disease and get patients to eat. 


Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) 

It’s fairly well known that the late Maya Angelou was a poet, activist, author and a driving force in the Civil Rights Movement. However, not many people know that Maya was a cannabis enthusiast! That’s right! The famed author described her cannabis use and first experience in the memoir “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” (1969). When joining friends for dinner one night her hosts suggested they all share a joint before the meal. Ms. Angelou also described what cannabis made her feel in her autobiography,  “Gather Together in My Name.” with this quote, “I learned new postures and developed new dreams. From a natural stiffness, I melted into a grinning tolerance. Walking on the streets became high adventure, eating my mother’s huge dinners an opulent entertainment, and playing with my son was side-cracking hilarity. For the first time, life amused me.” 


Women at GreenLabs 


Did you ever notice that at GreenLabs, most of our staff is all women? Well, it's not just a coincidence. GreenLabs is women-led! At GreenLabs, we strive to make our dispensary welcoming for all  Not only that, one of the part owners, is a woman. Christi is the Chief Operating Officer. Behind the scenes, Christi runs a tight ship and when she's not operating at GreenLabs you can find her with her two Italian greyhounds, Vido and Fredo.


Libby has been with GreenLabs since the beginning!  

We nominated Libby Dorman as Best Budtender in Baltimore and here’s why. Libby always puts herself in her patients' shoes and provides the best recommendations for products and patient care. When she’s not diligently working in the dispensary, she spends her time researching and learning everything she can about cannabis. 

As we mentioned before, most of our staff at the dispensary are women and we’re happy to be a women-led dispensary! Many of our patients that are women have found it comforting to speak with our women budtenders. In addition, it has helped them to learn more about cannabis and find to help them find the perfect combination of cannabis methods to help treat their conditions. If you are interested in becoming a patient, if you have any questions about cannabis or cannabis consumption methods, we at GreenLabs is here to help to you. 

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