b.Blunt Talks: Sweet, Sweet Jane

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Where cannabis empowers women

This week, b.Blunt talks to Katy Ibsen, editor, and publisher of Sweet Jane, a new cannabis magazine for women and mothers looking to achieve healthier and balanced lives through cannabis.

Katy recognizes that many women in newly-legalized and prohibition states don’t have access to the right type of content that would help educate and destigmatize mainstream acceptance. Katy created a resource for women who are new to cannabis and want to educate themselves before trying any form of cannabis.

The premier edition that just launched is sophisticated, relatable, and smart. You will find well-written articles about wellness, how to use cannabis, parenting, community, advocacy, profiles of inspiring women, removing stigma, and empowering readers who want to find new means to care for themselves.

Sweet Jane profiles women that inspire

Katy! It’s great to meet you. I love the first issue. Tell me more about Sweet Jane, a new cannabis magazine for women. How did you come up with the idea?

The simple answer is to make women and mothers feel more comfortable about their cannabis use. I’ve found that many women are open about this—especially those connected to the industry. There are scores of women across the country, in prohibition and legal states, who are afraid to talk about their cannabis use, ask questions, or even go into a dispensary. And in many cases, who can blame them. I believe launching Sweet Jane, and building a community is an opportunity to change that. The magazine will empower women in their choice to incorporate cannabis into their lives and not be afraid.

The idea had been simmering as I witnessed more and more women, friends, colleagues, etc. struggle to talk about cannabis or CBD, or even understand it. As a journalist with 10+ years in publishing, I eventually decided a print magazine that can educate women about cannabis was an incredible opportunity.  

“Ad astra per aspera,” which is Latin for “through hardships to the stars.”

What attracted you to the cannabis industry?

The industry is so exciting right now! It’s surreal how right before our eyes more, and more states are legalizing in some form. The passage of the Farm Bill, greater attention to criminal justice reform and harm reduction, opportunities for family farms and businesses, and new research surrounding plant medicine. It’s easy to be attracted to such a burgeoning industry with so many potential positive outcomes.

All that said, I felt like the industry hadn’t quite figured out how to talk to a large segment of potential consumers. My hope is that Sweet Jane can improve the narrative on cannabis for women.

“My hope is that Sweet Jane can improve the narrative on cannabis for women.”

What type of content will be featured in Sweet Jane? How are you different from other cannabis lifestyle magazines?

Sweet Jane differentiates itself by offering educational content as well as profiling women who can inspire. I want to inspire women by living our reader’s experiences. We’re striving to reach women and mothers who are still new to cannabis—especially as legalization advances. That means in many cases, we’re creating content that women in newly-legalized or prohibition states will find abundantly useful. I truly believe that women who are educated can help destigmatize and advance mainstream acceptance.

The magazine’s departments: Well-Being, Innovation, Women, and Inspiration allow us to cover topics related to health, body, and mind, advocacy and acceptance, social equity, and even the fun side of cannabis! Our features dive deeper, such as the essay in Issue 01, “Mothering with Marijuana”—an honest, intimate testimonial about the benefits of parenting with pot, combating stigma, while also using one’s privilege to help others. In a word, it’s “empowering.”  

Inspiring Janes

Who is the team behind Sweet Jane?

In addition to the many amazing contractors and freelancers working with Sweet Jane, we have the support of an Editorial Board of industry leaders, cultivators, and advocates who ensure we are meeting our mission and considering all levels of consumers and readers. Our board includes Leah Maurer, The Weed Blog; Lisa Snyder, Tokeativity co-founder; Shabnam Malek, Brand & Branch LLP; Dr. Michele Ross, Infused Health; Chelsey Joseph, [WHT LBL]; Becky Frieze, Treetop Gardens; and Shail Paliwal, 3Leaf Edibles.

Have there been any challenges that you’ve had to overcome since launching the magazine and website?

Of course! Plenty. In the beginning, I was asked, “Are you launching a magazine or a brand?” It was a valid question and one that hadn’t fully crossed my mind because I was so deep in thinking about what the reader needed. Following the release of Issue 01 and the feedback from readers across the U.S., I realize that the community we’re reaching is indeed hungry for content that can broaden their own view of cannabis. Enter Sweet Jane.

Where are you located? What’s the weed scene like there?

The magazine is published out of the Midwest, which may be a head-scratcher to many, but it’s not to us. For one, CBD’s rapid availability across the nation doesn’t necessarily mean consumers know how to use it. There are a lot of women and mothers in prohibition or even MMJ states who are accessing cannabis—but that access may not always be safe or legal. Part of the vision behind the Sweet Jane was to create content that can educate everyone on the benefits of Plant Medicine regardless of their location. In our opinion, everyone deserves to learn about cannabis, and many women are begging for it.

Dead or Alive?

If you could invite three people, (dead or alive), to a dinner party, who would you invite and why?

Martha Stewart. You have to admit she’s got some O.G. in her. She’s setting the tone for a generation of women who are revisiting cannabis after their first foray in the ‘60s and ‘70s. I’d like to think she rolls a tight joint!  

Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson, a social justice activist, is quoted, “The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is justice.” He’s right. Anyone in the cannabis industry needs to be hyper-aware of inequalities and fight for justice for those who have borne the weight of the targeted drug war against people of color. We must demand justice in cannabis.   

My grandmother. We are living in a time where women are fighting for their worth and equality—and affecting change. She definitely had that fight in her despite living in a time when that fight could not be applied for opportunities. I think she’d be proud of the work we’ve done. 

Where can you buy this new cannabis magazine for women? When is the next issue available?

Issue 01 is still on sale at Barnes & Noble across the U.S. or readers can grab a copy at www.sweetjanemag.com. Issue 02 will release in November. You can also follow us on Instagram @sweetjanemag

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