Melissa Pierce isn’t a great fan of marijuana but she is building up a national network aimed at women where they will have a platform to talk about their experiences with weed. She says that she didn’t expect to be in this line of work but she was eventually convinced by a group of dozen women who ranged from the age of 20 to 70.
41 year old Melissa founded Chicago Women Developer, a group that trains and encourages women to enter the tech industry, an industry that has traditionally been dominated by men. She saw another opportunity and this was the cannabis dominated industry which she ventured into with Aliza Sherman. Sherman is a woman’s issue advocate and a tech entrepreneur.
The first meeting was at Living Room in Wicker Park and the women invited shared their experiences with cannabis. Pierce says that the goal of the women’s group that focuses on marijuana is to offer an alternative view of cannabis users from the stereotypical “backwards-hats-wearing bong guys and women in tiny, tiny outfits getting super high on whatever.”
Majority of the women in the first meeting said that they first experimented with marijuana during their youth. Some said that they used both alcohol and marijuana in their first experimentation. Among those who attended were Ellen Floren, the co-owner of Resq Organics, a company that specializes in cannabidiol-infused products that are used to treat skins conditions in both humans and animals.
In addition, the talk focused on cannabidiol CBD which is one of the 80 cannabinoid chemicals that are in hemp and marijuana. CBD is mainly sought after since it has physical therapeutic effects unlike THC which has psychological effects.
Floren together with her business partners Arleen Floren and Hope Black emphatically spoke about success they have gotten when treating people and animals with cannabidiols. Marcy Capron who is the co-owner of the site where the meeting was said that she previously wasn’t a fan of weed but had found significant benefits from CBD.
However, not everyone in the meeting showed enthusiasm about CBD. There were those who reported that it made there depression worse rather than relieving it. However, other said that it assisted them to treat fibromyalgia.
Pierce plans to have other meetups in different other areas that include Seattle, Portland, Denver, Anchorage and Oregon. She plans to encourage other local support groups with a major focus on Baby Boomers and Gen Xers. These platforms provide a safe haven to discuss about issues without any shame or fear.
Women who live in fear will have an opportunity to hear from other women. In the event, many women expressed their frustrations over the legal status of the marijuana in the state. The hopes of many of them was that the current medical program would be expanded and lawmakers could approve proposed legislations to legalize recreational marijuana. Pierce says that lack of awareness on the current state of marijuana legislation is still a big issue and she seeks to work on it in the nearby future.