Whoopi Goldberg Hopes Her Marijuana Line Will Spark Women’s Healthcare Discussions
Whoopi Goldberg has long been an outspoken advocate for the benefits of cannabis. She even has her own cannabis brand, Whoopi & Maya, which is a partnership between Goldberg and Om Edibles founder Maya Elisabeth. Together, they are targeting a niche and underserved market in the cannabis industry—women consumers.
Goldberg tells the Daily Beast that she’s proud to be starting a conversation about women’s healthcare through her cannabis company, especially in a world where women’s pain is often dismissed. Studies have shown that doctors often believe women have a higher pain tolerance, that women wait longer in emergency rooms, and that women are less likely to receive medication for their reported pain.
“It’s frustrating, because the conversations we’ve having among ourselves as women are about how we can help more women with medical issues,” Goldberg told the Daily Beast. “But we need everyone to talk about this, too… We’re trying to make people more productive, to eliminate an issue that’s been around for as long as women have been around.”
Last year, Goldberg talked to The Cannabist about dysmenorrhea—painful menstruation—and how she feels medical marijuana should be able to be prescribed to treat it. But, because men often don’t take period pain seriously, it’s hard to convince doctors and regulators that it’s a legitimate and qualifying condition. She cited New Jersey governor Chris Christie saying that menstrual pain wasn’t “real” pain. “The fact that people think of (women’s health) as a niche market—that he didn’t think of menstrual cramps as ‘real’ pain—tells me that there’s a lot of education to do on this subject,” she told The Cannabist.
And Goldberg is onto something, too, when she talks about women being the future of cannabis. A survey from Eaze earlier this year found that a higher number of women than men reported using cannabis on a daily basis. Not only that, Sheena Shiravi, head of PR for Eaze, told Refinery29 that female consumers are more likely to favor tincture products—like
Whoopi & Maya produce—and they use lower-dose edibles and CBD-dominant products 42 percent more than men do.
Goldberg acknowledges that not everyone wants to use marijuana as a treatment, but that shouldn’t stop it from being available. “You know, not everybody drinks, but we still have bars and—so why not dispensaries?” Goldberg asked the Daily Beast. “If you’re OK with oxycodone being given to people, why aren’t you OK with cannabis being prescribed to people? It’s mind-boggling that people can ignore something that is this important.” She continued, “This is the new penicillin. There are so many things it helps, why wouldn’t you want this in our lives?”
Currently, Whoopi & Maya products are available in 320 of California’s dispensaries. The brand is now expanding to Colorado, where Elisabeth lives. By mid-November it should be available in 15 dispensaries in the state, and the company hopes to expand even more in 2018.