Food, Cannabis & Intuition: The Future of Women and Weed
Women are turning to cannabis more than ever, thanks to increasing legalization across the US. Up north, we're already there— with recreational weed being legal in Canada for the last two years. And despite the accessibility boost thanks to dispensaries popping up more frequently than coffee joints (pun intended), there remains a steady stream of taboos surrounding women and weed.
In a study completed by Van der Pop, a cannabis lifestyle brand for women, they discovered that while the majority of women polled consume cannabis for health and wellness reasons (pain relief, relaxation, curbing anxiety), 66% of them hide their cannabis use. The reason? A fear of being judged, having their ability or intelligence questioned, or being tagged with lingering stoner stereotypes.
Sarah Best believes there’s a simple solution to this: “The more we lower the barrier to reaching for cannabis, the less stigmatized it will be”. It’s part of the reason why she created Dirt, a lifestyle brand and dinner series that collaborates with local restaurants to create uniquely infused meals— all centred around merging community, amazing food and cannabis. Read on to learn about Sarah’s experience in the weed industry, the future of de-stigmatization, and the importance of having intuition when working in male-dominated spaces. Meet Sarah.
Hi Sarah! Tell us a bit about yourself!
Hello! I’m Sarah, and I’m the founder and CEO of Dirt International Inc. Dirt began as a travelling dinner series, and a creative outlet for me to explore my love of food, cannabis, and the experience of bringing good people together. The last decade of my career has spanned the cultivation of the art, technology and entertainment industries in both marketing and live events, although my passion for creating memories has been a lifetime pursuit.
How did you get into the cannabis industry?
I was raised by a couple of undercover hippies, who although tried their best to hide their love of certain vices, gave in pretty quickly once each of my siblings and I reached an age where we could all enjoy it together.
Sarah is wearing our Lace High Rise and Lace WingWoman in Pacifica
I think alcohol was far more stigmatized in our household than cannabis was, so I’ve naturally viewed it as a very welcoming, and useful material. When cannabis started to go through legalization I got really excited about the idea of creating a brand that explores the history of the plant, and imagine all the ways it fits into the chaotic world we live in today. Immediately I wanted to apply my view of cannabis, a nurturing and lighthearted plant, into my love for curating a meal and getting great people around a shared table, all open to new experiences. And so Dirt Dinners were born.
What do you think is so special about centring these experiences around food?
I think we were really successful in redefining high dining. We didn’t try to invent something new, we took something most people love to do, and we added a little weed. I think the dinner table is such a special place because you know you’re about to be looked after— someone is going to serve you food, and that is such a gift. It’s that care-taking feeling that goes along so nicely with cannabis. Getting a little high and being fed is to me the perfect marriage.
Now we apply that same sentiment to our goods. We only want to create things that evoke care and joy, and we collaborate with people who pay special attention to those same things. I hope that every time someone looks at an item we’ve produced or attends a dinner, they know we want the very best for them.
How is Dirt helping to destigmatize THC and CBD use?
Dirt specifically is centred around micro-dosing. It’s the approach I’ve taken to enjoy it everyday, and so we seek to bring this idea to others. The more we can lower the barrier to reaching for cannabis, the less stigmatized I believe it will be. I think especially for women, who are so multifaceted and take on so much responsibility for ourselves and others— cannabis is such an excellent way to help us balance that.
Our mission is to inspire others to enjoy their lives, a little more. Whether that means you’re smoking a blunt every morning or digesting a CBD edible, I don’t care, as long as you are happy and you feel good. Everything we produce should evoke balance and joy, without any judgment. To me stigma is judgment, so just know there is none of that here, and we love you.
What’s something you’ve had to learn from being in a heavily male dominated industry?
I’ve learned to stay true to me and my intuition. Those who ‘dominate’ are always going to try to convince you to do things a specific way, based on their own motives and what they think is best— that’s why you see a lot of sameness in the industry today. One of the greatest things about being a woman is being intuitive. With Dirt we are playing a long game, not just a 'moment in time' experience, and so listening to my gut about what we should and shouldn’t be doing, who we should be listening to and who we surround ourselves with has been a superpower.
The moment we stop enjoying the work, that’s the moment it’s been ruined— so it’s important to always have those check-ins with myself. I also think the notion of dominance is based on optics. I like taking the backroad to get somewhere, so my mission is to keep blinders on against the dominators and stay true to our vision. I find with this approach you naturally attract the right people, who understand what it is you’re building, respect your potential and support you along the way. Everything else is just noise.
What do you think the future of women in the weed industry looks like?
My hope for the industry as a whole is to start opening up to smaller businesses. It’s currently a big business marketplace and you're pushed to align with big corporations if you want to produce a cannabis product. Hopefully this will shift to welcome smaller businesses that are here out of true passion. I think that’s when we’ll start to see women really shining— when there is acknowledgement that we're incredibly smart, collaborative, savvy and intuitive people who are ready to guide the industry somewhere even better.