Women Who Grow: The Pass’ Female Cultivators
Making a consumer driven industry successful takes a lot of moving parts, and the first building block of The Pass’ prosperity are the cultivators. It’s ironic that such a beautiful and mesmerizing plant means dirty hands, sore backs, and sweat filled brows for those who grow it, but at the end of a long day, it’s all worth it. Just ask Amy and Emilyn, two cultivators here at The Pass.
In its infancy, the cannabis industry did not meet ideal diversity standards, typically resulting in a department like cultivation lacking representation from women. Well, Emilyn and Amy’s passion for growing cannabis quashes any doubts or intimidation when walking into a greenhouse of only men. Plus, they’re aware history shows their part in the industry. Emilyn’s take is that, “The traditional market is supported on the backs of women. Women, specifically women of color, have always been background players, and in the traditional market it’s been a lot of women who were doing the growing and the processing. Historically, women carried the ‘illegal’ cannabis market.”
Since the legalization of cannabis in Massachusetts, Amy and Emilyn have been pursuing their passion for cannabis, and are ready to see the industry take strides forward. When asked about how else she believed our industry could improve, Amy remarked, “I think cannabis should be more obtainable. Of course things are changing, there are dispensaries everywhere now, but it’s still expensive. I feel like it should be more accessible for everybody.” Cannabis can now be found at an odd crossroads, where many still have the perception of it as an unsavory, criminal consuming habit, while now becoming less accessible for poorer socioeconomic communities who have been greatly affected by that negative perception.
So while the cannabis industry is still far from perfect, Amy and Emilyn have only elevated their passion for their work in hopes of progressing the industry in the right direction. Each and every day they come in and see their work grow into something beautiful and strong, and once it’s all chopped down for harvest they get to start it all over. Whether it be transplanting, maintaining flower beds, bucking, draining lines, trimming, or harvesting, Amy and Emilyn are critical in cannabis’ journey from seed to sale at The Pass. A few years ago they thought this career path was unrealistic. Now they’re doing a job they love, with a team they respect, while fulfilling their own passions and creating a more equitable industry to share.