When it comes to women cannabis users, 75% say they use for medical purposes, with the goal of easing common issues like having trouble sleeping, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, irritability, and muscle and joint aches.
For local mother Sarah Tupper, cannabis helps ease stress, quiet anxiety and soften her sharp edges. It's also something she considers fun, relaxing and engaging.
"Cannabis allows me to be fully present, as both a parent and a partner," said Tupper. "It makes me feel good in my body and outside in nature. It even helps me to bring a level of creativity and enthusiasm to the craft table that my kids can enjoy. I worry less about the mess (of life, of the house, of my email inbox) and check into the positivity of living in the moment."
Tupper explains that a fair share of rocky run-ins with alcohol prompted her to look into how cannabis could help.
"A few years ago, I decided to experiment with what it would feel like to wake up on a Sunday morning without a dull headache—throw three kids into the mix and I knew there was no going back," she said. "We talk a lot about alcohol and the tendency to 'escape.' I talk a lot about cannabis and the ability for it to help me be present."
These benefits are part of what inspired Tupper to found Sarah Jane, a company that provides resources for consumers and entrepreneurs seeking conscious wellness and intentional collaboration through cannabis in Michigan. In under two years, Tupper and her team established one of the first women-owned and operated cannabis brands in Michigan.
"We exist to support personal and professional journeys with cannabis that can responsibly fit within a modern woman's lifestyle," she explained. "I envision a cannabis industry that gives women their rightful seats at the boardroom table. With balanced representation, the market can better provide wellness solutions to conscious consumers and business opportunities to intentional entrepreneurs."
Tupper believes the most effective way we can eliminate the stigma surrounding cannabis and women— both in business and personally—is through conversation and education.
"There's a lack of resources around product education and conscious business practices. Women in cannabis tend to be sexualized, without a lot of opportunities for inclusion," she explained. "For women of my generation, we are the outcome of the 'just say no' generation. There's such misinformation about how cannabis is used, what the effects are and the various methods of ingestion. Mothers face even more scrutiny in regards to cannabis use. Decades later, we're still combating the 'lazy stoner' stigma ... the spacey, 'out of it' cannabis user ... the 'not a good mom' stigma ... the 'cannabis munchies' stigma."
Tupper hopes Sarah Jane can help combat these stigmas and empower other women and mothers to dip their toes in the cannabis waters confidently.
"By establishing product lines specifically for women, along with in-person events, opportunities for exposure to provisioning centers for comfort in shopping for cannabis as a retail experience, along with additional education about the effects of cannabis, we can showcase how to integrate cannabis comfortably into your daily lifestyle with a level of confidence and knowledge."
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Jun/Jul '22 issue of West Michigan Woman.