Damien Williams’ Facebook page boasts a picture of him as a young child looking lovingly into his mother’s eyes. This innocent love of women has led him to create a female focused company that gives part of its proceeds to #HeForShe, The Herbalista Set.
The magic of the cannabis plant has already been lost in the newly formed cannabis industry. Companies use scantily clad models to hand out product samples at shows. Social media and cannabis advertising focus on the female body to highlight their products. Even ancillary products are geared toward men. Damien Williams, founder of The Herbalista Set seeks to change this.
Why do you feel so strongly about representing women of cannabis?
Cannabis is sacred to me. It has the capacity to treat people’s ailments to an almost unbelievable degree, and it can transform human consciousness. It has the ability to cure us on physical levels, and on unseen, spiritual planes too. Furthermore, the cannabis plant carries distinct male and female sexes—a rather unique trait shared by only about 10 percent of all plants. When it comes to cannabis, it is the female of the species that bears the greatest healing and transformative properties.
“Cannabis is sacred to me. It has the capacity to treat people’s ailments to an almost unbelievable degree, and it can transform human consciousness.”
In my view, it’s not just cannabis that’s sacred, but all of nature. It’s about more than going outdoors and seeing nature as beautiful. In much the same way, it’s about more than recognizing the purely physical beauty of women.
If you could start cannabis advertising over again, how would you advertise?
Honestly, if we were doing this all from scratch, I don’t think there would be much need to advertise it at all—cannabis would speak for itself. We don’t see people advertising parsley or oregano, and a culture that never criminalized this downright miraculous plant in the first place just wouldn’t need to be sold on it.
How do you see your company changing the male-focused perspective of the cannabis industry?
We do this by highlighting the femininity of the plant itself. In the eyes of the industry, male cannabis plants are virtually worthless. All of the plants grown for production purposes are female, as it is the females that produce the signature flowers replete with the powers of healing and transformation. My goal with this company is to restore awareness of, and reverence for, the sacred feminine, as it is expressed all throughout nature. This starts with helping women themselves reconnect with the magic of the cannabis plant.
“We will keep working to fulfill our mission of empowering women and of reconnecting the world to Mother Nature through the magic of the cannabis plant.”
Who’s the woman you look up to the most?
Despite her political affiliations, it’s Coco Chanel. Her story is the stuff of legend. She grew up in an orphanage, starting at absolute zero. There, she learned how to sew, and subsequently transformed that humble skill into her own empire. She literally created the basis for the modern woman’s look, being the first designer to make pants for women, as well as the originator of the woman’s suit. She is the most influential person in the world of fashion.
What do you think the most misunderstood thing is about women and cannabis?
The industry’s past tendency has been to hyper-sexualize women. At best, this is an appeal to the basest of male instincts—attempts to speak to the pleasure of the cannabis experience by evoking male enjoyment of the female form. At worst, they suggest that cannabis women are of “loose morals,” with inhibitions perhaps lowered as a direct result of cannabis consumption. This association is damaging to all of us. It debases the true essence of the cannabis experience by nullifying the powerful connection that the feminine element has to the plant and to the natural world at large.
What’s next for The Herbalista Set?
We launched our beautiful, all-inclusive, portable vaporizer kit called the Goddess Vape Set. This product invites our Herbalista community to elevate themselves and become their own goddesses. In just weeks, we will expand the Herbalista experience with several new health and wellness, bath and beauty, and fashion products, many of which will contain 50-state-legal CBD extracts. We will keep working to fulfill our mission of empowering women and of reconnecting the world to Mother Nature through the magic of the cannabis plant.