Why the Political Climate Is "Ripe" for Female-Focused Cannabis Platform Miss Grass
A former exec for Lorne Michaels' company and a onetime TV publicist expect Hollywood to embrace their new commerce and content venture: "Some of the most brilliant creative minds use cannabis as a catalyst."
"By no means do we want to be the Amazon of cannabis," says Kate Miller, 30, former director of enterprises for Lorne Michaels' Broadway Video. She's talking about Miss Grass, the highly curated cannabis-driven platform she'll launch Jan. 31 with co-founder Anna Duckworth, 33 (who previously worked as a TV and film publicist in Toronto).
Designed as an educational content and product source for women, Venice-based Miss Grass won't actually sell cannabis, but it will offer luxe items like Asche scent-controlled leather bags (starting at $135) and CBD-infused lip balm from Vertly ($22). Within the next year, the brand hopes to both launch its own cannabis-related line and roll out a partnership that will enable Miss Grass to provide products containing THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis) in states where it's legal.
Content plans include a video series, Flipped Scripts, featuring female cannabis advocates like Brit-born, NYC-based DJ Chelsea Leyland (who has spun for Dior and Burberry), a proponent of CBD oil, which she uses to control her epilepsy.
New Jersey native Miller, who also put in time at Electus under Ben Silverman, first became "a conscious consumer" of cannabis as a USC undergrad. In 2008, working part-time at a dispensary, she discovered a hole in the market for female-targeted products. "It was all weed leaves on this, Rastafarian flags on that," she says. She secured the URL for Miss Grass, and a decade later, California's legalization of recreational weed use gave her and Duckworth their opening.
"It's a $7 billion industry, and it's growing to $50 billion in five years," says Miller, who notes that she received an overwhelmingly positive response from the entertainment community when she announced her departure from Broadway Video (where she headed up brand partnerships for shows including Saturday Night Live and Portlandia) to pursue her new venture. Feedback included everything from words of encouragement to offers to help with financing, connections, strategy and content creation. “It makes sense," she says. “Entertainment people are business people and you look at the [cannabis] industry, and it’s a really smart business right now.”
The current cultural and political climate also is “ripe for what we’re building,” adds Duckworth, who worked at cannabis-based startup Dosist (formerly known as Hmbldt) in L.A. before teaming up with Miller to head up content for Miss Grass. “People are taking self-care really seriously, and women are one of the fastest-growing consumer segments in cannabis. It's an exciting moment for women and the space.”
Though onscreen stereotypes (think Seth Rogen in Pineapple Express) persist, Miller expects that cannabis will soon become more normalized, and will also be portrayed in “a more elevated and premium way” in content. She points to Netflix’s Disjointed, created by Chuck Lorre and David Javerbaum, which stars Kathy Bates as the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary. “It only helps bring cannabis to the forefront. It’s a stepping stone.”
Off-screen, Miller expects Hollywood women to embrace the "self-care" Miss Grass offers: "Some of the most brilliant creative minds use cannabis as a catalyst for creativity and inspiration."
A version of this story first appeared in the Jan. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.