by Kayla Johnson
The Oklahoma medical marijuana industry is off to a booming start. As of October 15, a total of 1,941 business applications have been received with 589 dispensaries, 925 growers, and 248 processors approved so far.
That’s a large number of new businesses in a very short time but, with nearly eight thousand patients now approved and licensed in the state, there is no shortage of need. One organization is making an effort to help promote women in this new green world of business, whether as a business owner or investor, and they’ve been involved with the efforts to legalize medical cannabis in the state since the beginning.
The Oklahoma Women’s Cannabis Association has a simple goal: help encourage the relationships needed for women to succeed in a cannabis business by bringing them together and ensuring they have access to trade events and the knowledge they need to succeed. As with many industries, women are often far underrepresented in the cannabis business. The OWCA has made strides in keeping women involved in Oklahoma by partnering with the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association. Together, they help organize networking seminars on topics from product testing to managing the back office of a cannabis business. They also create community events to help promote healthy cannabis culture in order to tear down the stigma surrounding it. Though heavy rains required it to be rescheduled to spring of 2019, the OWCA has plans for a 4.20 mile fun run, to help raise funds and break the ‘lazy stoner’ stereotype that lingers on in today’s world.
In addition to the work they do with the OCTA for community events, they’re also helping to connect cannabis access to those who desperately need it in Oklahoma. Partnered with FlowerCraft Co. and OCTA, the OWCA began a charity organization, Little Buds.
Through the Little Buds charity, fees will be covered for the families who cannot afford the medical marijuana registration or recommendation for their child in need. It is the belief of Little Buds that any children who could benefit from medical marijuana should have access to it, and no family should have to have that access withheld simply because they can’t afford to pay the fee due to hardships. They’ve already helped one family get the recommendation and license their child needed, and a portion of the funds raised in the future will go towards this effort.
The women who form the board of the OWCA come from different backgrounds, different religions, and different walks of life. They first became involved in the cannabis movement and industry for different reasons, but the same vision brought them together: to break the stigma of cannabis use, to help women get a solid footing in this industry with the knowledge and resources they need, and to help share a natural medicine alternative with those who desperately need it. Working with a focus on integrity and authenticity, the environment of shared knowledge, cooperation, and the willingness to put in the effort is setting the stage for OWCA members to thrive in the green wave.