Jackee Stang might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of the crusade for cannabis legalization. She’s never aspired to be a face for advocacy. She’s been quietly pushing the agenda forward by building up other people and brands. And as the only senior executive who's a woman at High Times, she’s been happily holding court behind the scenes.
But late last year, Jackee decided to step up and breathe some life into an idea—an idea that would help the High Times brand evolve to be more inclusive and relevant to women, while normalizing cannabis for the masses, and ultimately, making change at the political level.
The project kicked off with the appointment of the High Times Women’s Council. And whether or not Jackee realized it at the time, this will make it hard to maintain her behind-the-scenes perch for much longer.
If you don’t know, High Times is the “world's leading source for daily cannabis news, weed information, and marijuana culture.” And has been since 1974. It started as a weed catalogue filled with double page spreads of the plant, like a sexy magazine might feature women’s breasts in soft relief. But if you’ve never seen a copy of the magazine or visited High Times online, you would be like most women.
It was never built for us.
“High Times has had a very masculine skew aesthetically for the majority of its 44 years,” says Jackee. “What’s happening in the cannabis space now is so female, there are a lot of cool brands coming up, but where are the women from before—the women who have paved the way?”
Jackee says a certain respect for the wisdom of elders played a big part in how she was raised. And that was the impetus for the High Times Women’s Council.
“Being the oldest cannabis brand, we should comment on the women before in addition to the younger women doing it now,” says Jackee. “And get them all in a room and see what happens. At the end of the day, we’re trying to legalize
“It made me paranoid,” she says. “It made me overthink and just go down dark holes. But I was always around it. Everyone I’ve ever dated would be considered a stoner.”
“I think I Googled him afterwards and thought that was hot,” says Jackee with a laugh. “He was a bad boy.”
And so began their love story.