Well, naturally this SWEET JANE post is behind schedule.
Fatigued from 2020 and optimistic for 2021, we, like all, didn’t expect the year to begin with such sadness. But the lesson learned is to assume nothing (a common saying in journalism).
SWEET JANE has spent the last year doing a lot of soul searching, which doesn’t make us unique—we all have. Our exploration was rooted in redefining our mission so it better fits the intersection of women and cannabis within our larger ecosystem that faces so many challenges.
We began SWEET JANE wanting to educate women about cannabis and cannabis consumption, specifically mothers. This magazine is founded by women and mothers, it seemed an obvious goal. Not only did we want to remove the stigma, we also had questions, our friends had questions, we looked for answers. And so it went.
But after 2020, we discovered that our mission wasn’t good enough if we truly wanted to make a difference and educate others about cannabis.
This assessment began with access to cannabis. The pandemic was all but certain to create disparities in access to healthcare. When it came to cannabis, it became clear that people who needed plant medicine did not have access to it. Because of patchwork legalization across the country, the debate between essential and non-essential businesses, among other issues, so many of us suffered from debilitating anxiety or depression, with limited or no access to this form of relief.
Next was racial inequities in, and out of, cannabis. Over the summer, we underwent our own racial education, opening our eyes further to the ongoing and systemic racism in America. This inequality also is more present in the cannabis industry. The persecution against communities of color for non-violent drug crimes, the access to funding and licensing for BIPOC business owners, state and federal legislation that continues to create barriers, and those still incarcerated from the War on Drugs. It’s all quite disturbing.
After that, it was the climate. Shutdowns across the country revealed a bluer sky, cleaner air, less dependency on non-essential items. Knowing there is a global deadline to curb carbon emissions made us think, ‘how is cannabis managing its footprint?’ It does a lot of good, but there is also a lot of waste and roadblocks to being greener.
And then we were spinning. Where is more research? Who should I shop from? What is Delta-8? Where do I buy hemp tampons? Can cannabis help with trauma? I need a new pipe! Is it safe to consume while pregnant? Influencers, bongs, parenting … AHHHHHH!
It was overwhelming.
Once clear headed, we discovered cannabis and its consumers want the industry to be better than all the others. We are living the creation of a new industry from scratch in the U.S. Are we going to make it fair? Equal? Just? In order to do those things, consumers need to make positive impacts with their voice, their choices, and their dollars. We want to be the ones to educate them and to hold this budding business accountable.
So welcome to the renewed SWEET JANE, the briefing for women on all things cannabis.
As the founder, a white woman, and a mother, I couldn’t be more humbled to see the future of our work through this new lens. Thank you to the many supporters who have helped us focus this view, either through their feedback or by helping to point out our own ignorances.
And so, we are at work.
We value your feedback and hope our readers will help us shape future content. Feel free to share comments below, sign up for our email, or send ideas via our Pitch Guide.
Thank you for reading. –Katy Ibsen, Founder + Publisher