In the culture of pot smokers and blunt rollers, there are quite a bit of stereotypes. A lot of these stereotypes do not do justice to average people that use marijuana, whether it be recreationally or medicinally.
How are stereotypes perpetuated in stoner culture? Popular media like hip-hop songs and movies mostly portray the male side of grass-blazing. Women marijuana users are not often talked about in media, but when it is, it tends to be offensive and vulgar.
Marijuana dispensaries – the places that sell pot – play into this stereotyping and prejudice. Posters of scantily clad women smoking blunts line the walls, the media playing throughout the store often being derogatory, sexist, or sexual. One or all of those. It is believed that this is how they can appeal to their customer base and garner attention. But is it the wrong attention?
This media, although it heavily appeals to the Wiz Khalifas of marijuana culture, tend to alienate an entire group of female marijuana users. Unless they don’t care about perception, the average woman shopping at a dispensary would not feel comfortable in that environment. Since the way that dispensaries are appealing to a specific group of men makes women stray away, what can they do to change how they are perceived?
The first way for dispensaries to make their female customers feel more comfortable shopping there is to change what they hang on their walls and what’s on TVs inside the shops. Instead of slapping up posters objectifying women’s bodies, it would serve them to amusing cartoons and illustrations instead. Even pictures of snacks would have a better effect. And on the TVs, most dispensary shops portray sexist media. Again, it would serve them well to use anything that’s cannabis-related and doesn’t objectify a woman’s body.
Secondly, they should take a look at who they employ. Is there anybody working there, anywhere from cashier to executive, that’s a woman? Having a woman working in the shop would have clear benefits for their female customers. They would have someone they can relate to in an unfamiliar place. Something as simple as that could ease them into becoming loyal customers.
How else can dispensaries become more appealing to all marijuana users? For starters, they can play a part in altering public perception of the typical marijuana user. To most people, the stereotype of someone that uses weed is an adult still living in their parent’s basement and hotboxing. What marijuana shops can do is show that their customer base extends to many different kinds of people. They can engage with their community and show that all kinds of people are using products like theirs. Not only that, they can show that there’s more to cannabis culture than blazing. There are more consumers out there that are using CBD to alleviate medical issues than there are people that are just smoking the THC in marijuana to get high.
That leads into the next part of how pot shops can “put a flame” to negative perceptions. Don’t sell only THC products. There are a lot of people that like to walk into a dispensary and get a few ounces of weed, sure, but that’s not all. Edibles are a great way to expand on the core product. Cannabis-centered apparel is another product dispensaries can introduce to appeal to consumers. Including CBD products, like medicinal oil or creams or things of that nature would make them an option for everyday people that want to deal with medical symptoms or abolish them completely. These weed dispensaries can have an even further, massive effect on their female customers and provide products that help women deal with cramps, PMS, and getting aroused when it’s needed.
Are dispensaries that aren’t appealing to their female customer base making a mistake? They sure are. And it will cost them in the long run. But it’s not all said and done. They can make changes both internally and externally to make their shop environment more welcoming to female marijuana users. Inclusion in a place that’s still considered taboo in much of society is essential. Female customers will be happy and so will the shop owners.