Director Windy Borman, on screen, admits to being a virgin. In her documentary “Mary Janes: Women of Weed,” Borman admits that she has never done marijuana. What she has done is leverage the look-at-me-look-at-me topic of weed into a primer on gender equality with a flavorful mix of environmental sustainability and social justice.
Borman gets down to business ... women’s business. That is, intersperse a studied sweep of reasons why cannabis should be legal, but emphasize a far less familiar story. In the legalized cannabis industry, 36% of the top leadership are women. Compared with 22% in business generally and 12% in the financial sector, this is the first billion-dollar industry on the leading edge of “you go girl.”
The “Women of Weed” in this film range from venture capital types to chefs, from science types to retailers, from getting high types to getting medicine to getting real. Women can and are flourishing in an accelerating business realm that isn’t entrenched in institutionalized gender roadblocks.
Women can and are shaping a world of business that is new enough to be shaped well. That includes setting up a whole industry where features like pesticides and other non-organic components are bad for business. That includes setting up an industry that isn’t complicit in marginalizing and punishing people of color.
The reporting works as congenial exploration. “Mary Janes: Women of Weed” especially works as a record and a roadmap of progress that needs to happen and is happening.