According to an article by Green Entrepreneur, more women seem to be influencing the cannabis industry as entrepreneurs and consumers. The report describes that women are also designing new products in the industry.
But it seemsthere is still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to having morewomen executives and more products that appeal to women in the cannabis world.
“When I step into an important meeting and take a look at everyone around me, I notice that most of the time, I’m the only woman in the room. When I walk into a dispensary, I notice that most of the female-leaning brands are rarely owned and operated by women. Although discouraging, it was a series of realizations like this that was the impetus of Wyllow.” shared Roistacher.
“Elevating the female consumer isn’t something cannabis flower brands are doing right now. We see companies that are focused on edibles and topicals gearing their efforts towards a female audience, but not a lot of flower brands. There is a strange underlying notion in the industry that women don’t ‘know weed,’ so we wanted to rectify that by offering high-quality strains hand-picked by a woman, for the female consumer.”
Roistachercontinued, “However, being inclusive is also important to us. We didn’t want toalienate male consumers and we were a bit concerned about that in thebeginning. Thankfully, we’ve noticed throughout several in-store events thatmen have also been purchasing the product, so we’re thrilled about that.”
Roistacher is able to bring an exclusive cannabis flower that is considered to be a high-end product (no pun intended) and dispenses her product through a distribution business she co-owns with her husband, Josh Roistacher, called Voyage Distribution in Los Angeles.
VoyageDistribution is a complete supply-chain company that houses cannabis brands,distributes products across California, and has a wholesale showroom whereclients have the ability to shop for flower products in bulk from over 250farms that span from Humboldt to the Coachella Valley.
According to a recent report by Politico, experts are forecasting a 25% spike in marijuana sales this year amid the pandemic.
InCalifornia, the cannabis industry was declared an essential business byGovernor Gavin Newsom when he announced the state-wide lockdown to help stopthe spread of COVID-19 earlier this year. This included the entire cannabisbusiness supply chain — including all state-licensed marijuana businesses suchas farmers, distributors, manufacturers, and testing labs. All these business inthe cannabis industry were able to continue operating as long as they followed publichealth guidelines.
The newsonly strengthened Roistacher’s momentum while working to launch her new brand. Shequickly pivoted business strategies to present Wyllow, despite the challengesof launching a new business during a pandemic.
“NavigatingWyllow’s launch during the pandemic was a major challenge that was eye-openingand eventful, to say the least. We couldn’t host a big party or ask ourout-of-state team members to come to town to celebrate and help promote thebrand. We couldn’t pull off what you’d typically have in mind for launching acannabis brand, but for every door that closed, another weird,pandemic-friendly door opened. We brought all of our events online, invitingpeople to sample our flower while engaging in virtual experiences on Zoom, suchas a ‘sound bath,’ a yoga class, and a DJ set. Years from now, I think peoplewill definitely remember these virtual celebrations. Who knows if brands willhost them once the pandemic is behind us, but I certainly feel they are uniqueand memorable experiences if done well.”
Roistacher’s flower products are grown in Coachella and Wyllow is part of a non-profit organization called The Floret Coalition — an anti-racist collective of small business in the cannabis space funding equity-oriented actions that serve a spectrum of needs in Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities.
In 2020, with a renewed passion in the country totackle racism and inequality in all institutions, some businesses are takingthis opportunity to join the conversation and support organizations fightingfor racial equality in their local communities.
Roistacher wants Wyllow to be among thosebusinesses. “Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities have played a large rolein developing the cannabis culture that we all know and love, but they receivedthe short end of the stick when it comes to being disproportionately policed orreceiving jail time for cannabis-related crimes. These communities bear thedeepest scars of the misguided war on drugs, and as a woman of color, I knew Iwanted to do something to help.”
During a time when everyone seems to be strugglingin some shape or form, signs of promising endeavors are not easy to come by asthey require a new level of determination and will to take risk and buildsomething new.
“A willow tree symbolizes growth and taking a step in the rightdirection, which is exactly what Wyllow intends to bring to this industrythrough the inclusive essence of womanhood,” says Roistacher, CEO of Wyllow.