You’ve seen her on Instagram. Her tongue is out, her tits are out, and she really needs to ash that blunt before she makes a mess on the carpet. This girl will be Type A. On the contrary, those who are Type B are not girls—they are women. They are professionals, perhaps growers, budtenders, or even cannabis culture writers. But they are not sexualized objects used as an advertisement ploy. The gendered dimensions of the cannabis economy have generated two distinct categories of women: those with power and those without.

UNDERSTANDING POWER

“Images of women in the contemporary drug economy are highly mixed.”1 These varied representations are caused by a shift in power dynamics. Traditionally, power is understood as the possession or control over others. The organization of the cannabis economy depicts two interdependent forms of power. “At a bare minimum, these include structural features of power (i.e. possession of resources, domination and control) as well as relational or transformative features of power (i.e. empowerment of the self and others).”2 Although contemporary cannabis culture has given opportunity for women to gain power within the industry, the sexualization of women has simultaneously decreased their value.

USING POWER

The voyeuristic nature of the cannabis economy has created an unstable landscape contingent on the sexualized relationship between women and marijuana. Those who are Type A possess little power within the drug economy, because they are dependent on sexualized versions of transformative power. As commercialized objects within the industry, they are limited to their physical assets. By advertising themselves in this nature, they are represented as objects that can be possessed.  Thus making them subjective to changes in trends, which also causes their depreciation in value. In short, their value is equivalent to a new bong. You love it at first, but as it gets older you find yourself searching for something fresh.

Contrasting them are the Type B women. They possess structural power, which gives rise to opportunity for growth within the industry. By possessing these tangible assets, they are better able to market themselves within the cannabis economy. By operating in this sphere of professionalism, these women are becoming leaders within the industry. The perception of women as being passive entities within the drug economy is quickly fading. For some, the cannabis economy has given them the opportunity to become pioneers in a quickly expanding industry. These women even use professional networks to expand and enhance their operations. If you’re curious, search #WomenGrow, a national network of professional women within the cannabis industry.

Cannabis culture has given opportunity for both Type A girls and Type B women. The difference being that the latter is respected, while the former has a shelf life.

With Love,

THE BLUNT C*NT

1 Lisa Maher, Kathleen Daly, “Women in the street-level drug economy: continuity or change?” Criminology 34, no. 4 (1996): pg. 465

2 Tammy L. Anderson, “Dimensions of women’s power in the illicit drug economy,” Theoretical Criminology 9, no. 4 (2005): 372