by Kayla Johnson
Cannabis has a unique ability to bring people together from different walks of life. No matter where you come from, what you do, who you are, what gender you are or the color of your skin, there’s a place for you in cannabis. For many women especially, who generally have pushed for decades to even get their foot in the door in many fields, the industry has been a welcome change, a bold career leap, and an opportunity to spread their wings on the way in. For the six women who make up High Maintenance Productions, cannabis has been all of the above, and so much more.
High Maintenance Productions is a cannabis talk show, produced entirely by women who play different roles within the industry, and who come from different walks of life. The cohosts, Randi Kay, Nicole Holt, Tiffanie Dartez, Chelle Cook, Alexa Moss and Jesserea Morgan, all met through their work in various businesses in the Flower District in Tulsa, from the Bong Boutique to White Rabbit Medicinals. They’re employees, managers, and business owners who came together to help end the stigma surrounding cannabis use, especially in regards to women, and to help encourage others to be open with their cannabis use in order to change the conversation about it. “For the most part, all of us are out of the cannabis closet, but we were coming into contact with a lot of people who were afraid to come out of the closet, and needed faces to go with the cause, so we wanted to help people feel comfortable with cannabis.”
The group is a mix of vibrant women with different backgrounds. Their individual uniqueness is a centerpiece of the success of High Maintenance Productions so far, and it’s something that really gives them an insight into the struggles of many women in the cannabis industry. “Sometimes, I think it’s really, really hard to find a regular face of women in cannabis, it’s kind of just a half naked body usually, with no real education or content to go with it, so I think it’s important for the women in the industry to see that other face and know that they’re represented too.”
Knowing how underrepresented strong women are in the industry, High Maintenance strives to promote women in a different light. “I think there is a real lack of empowered women everywhere, and just seeing empowered women in cannabis, in business, and in regular life really adds to the normalization efforts that go right along with the medical cannabis movement.” That normalization of cannabis is important for all patients and industry members, but for women, it can be especially important to be able to break out of the negative stereotypes and stigmas that have prevented professional advancement or business ventures for decades. The women of High Maintenance encourage other women of the industry, both patients and employees alike, to not only speak up, but to be there. “Be present. Go to events, go check out other women owned businesses, just try to show that cannabis is for everyone. There are soccer moms who use cannabis, business owners, the girl who works at the grocery story, everyone, not just a certain type of person.” More than anything, they encourage women to help educate other women. “If you have knowledge that your neighbor, or your coworker, or another woman in your community doesn’t, and it would help them, share it with them. Don’t let your voice go unheard.”
The women behind High Maintenance Productions, like so many others in the medical cannabis industry in Oklahoma, saw a need within the cannabis community; strong, empowered women educating other women and patients, all while just living their lives. They bring a new sense of normalcy to the industry, something badly needed, but in a way, these ladies are also starting to really impact the cannabis conversation; instead of tea and gossip, this talk show brings education and awareness to an important aspect of the industry, and help shine a light on the everyday women who are helping cannabis thrive.