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Miss Grass CEO Kate Miller Is Breaking the Grass Ceiling by Redefining Cannabis Stereotypes

WrapWomen LA Blog: Miss Grass opens up to WrapWomen about what it takes to build a successful cannabis brand

Miss Grass co-founder and CEO Kate Miller will be hosting the workshop “Want to Start a Career in Cannabis? Advice from Miss Grass” at WrapWomen’s BE Conference on May 13, 2021. Click here to register and receive 50% off with code “MISS GRASS”.

In addition to Easter and Coachella (pre-COVID), the month of April is also home to 4/20, a national holiday in cannabis culture. To celebrate the occasion, cannabis retailer Miss Grass partnered with top executives, founders and scientists in the industry to set up a hotline where anyone could text in their burning questions about weed, from “How can I not get paranoid when I’m high?” to “Why can’t I get weed shipped to me if I live in a legal state?” The day also served as a fundraiser benefitting the Women’s Prison Association, an organization that empowers women to redefine their lives in the face of injustice and incarceration.

But seven hours into the campaign, the text platform shut the whole operation down. According to Miss Grass founder and CEO Kate Miller, it was just another reminder that despite cannabis becoming more and more normalized, we still have a long way to go.

“Being in the cannabis industry and a founder, there are definitely a lot of hurdles as it relates to the marketing platforms that we can play with,” she told WrapWomen.

Whether you’re eating an edible or “smokin’ a doobie,” as my parents would say, there has long been a perpetuated stereotype about marijuana users, particularly around criminality and pot culture. Although cannabis has for centuries been used for medical purposes, the media has often portrayed it as something only consumed by Rastafarians, hippies, criminals and lazy stoners. 

It’s these clichés — or rather, her need to defy them — that sparked Miller’s interest in the cannabis industry. After her brother (neither a Rastafarian nor lazy stoner) was kicked out of school for smoking marijuana, the New Jersey native began looking at the history of the plant, trying to understand why the negative stigma around it even existed. 

After Miller moved to L.A. to attend the University of Southern California, she decided to take advantage of living in a state that had a medical cannabis program.

“I like to say that was kind of my turning point of becoming a conscious consumer of this plant where I started integrating it into my wellness routine,” she said.

Diagnosed with psoriasis, Miller began applying cannabis topically and it completely transformed her skin, only increasing her fascination. So in 2008, during her junior year of college, Miller decided to start working as a cannabis medical bud-tender at a local dispensary.

“I was seeing real medical patients come in and use cannabis for a whole host of different reasons and it was quite powerful to see this plant impact so many people,” she said.

While Miller loved working with customers, she was also surrounded by products that didn’t really represent her taste; she was a 20-something year old girl in college, and a Rastafarian bong with an oversized marijuana leaf wasn’t really her style. So right then and there, in 2008, she bought the Miss Grass domain, not even imagining where it would take her a decade later. 

“The idea then is still true and core to our mission now of creating a brand that authentically represents the modern consumer and the myriad of ways that we’re integrating this plant to enhance our lives,” Miller said. 

From pre-rolled joints wrapped in hot pink packaging to stress kits and sweat suits, Miss Grass is more Regina George and less Bob Marley. (Think: “I saw Miss Grass smoking the Herb Minis for Sleep, so I smoked the Herb Minis for Sleep.”)

But above all, Miss Grass continues to put education at the forefront of the brand. By equipping consumers with the resources they need to be conscious consumers in the space, the company is able to carry out their mission “to help the world get good at weed.” 

“[Our consumers] know how to read a label, they know the proper doses, they know the form factor, they understand the history of this plant so they can vote with their dollars and support the inequitable industry,” Miller explained.

Although Miller still considers us to be in the “prohibition days” of cannabis, there are a lot of untapped opportunities for those looking to break into the industry. But with more and more cannabis-friendly brands popping up each day, how do you separate yourself from the competition? 

According to Miller, a lot of people are getting into the market because they see dollar signs, but “the real winners will come from the authentic people in this industry that have an authentic relationship with this plant and who are leading with the traits that cannabis truly brings out in people,” she said. “Traits like compassion and collaboration and doing things to repair the damage done from the war on drugs.”

So there you have it. Kate Miller doesn’t have dreadlocks. She is a successful entrepreneur and businesswoman. And she loves weed. Peace out, stereotypes. 

Click here to register for BE Conference and join the workshop “Want to Start a Career in Cannabis? Advice from Miss Grass” on May 13, 2021 and receive 50% off with code “MISS GRASS”

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