Christie Lunsford used to feel so lonely.

As a medical marijuana caregiver, she would attend cannabis industry meetings and be the only woman in the room.

“The first time I saw another female, I was really excited. That was in 2010,” said the 43-year-old Denver wife and mother, who has branched out to cannabis marketing, product development and sales.

These days, she attends some cannabis-industry meetings that are all-women — and all about women. What began several years ago with a trickle of women tiptoeing into the brave, new weed world has turned into a stream in Colorado.

This summer, the state will have its own cannabis network for women, Women Grow. The new organization will stage educational symposiums and regular monthly events where like-minded women in the industry can connect and mentor or be mentored.

More than two dozen women in the Denver area, ranging in age from late 20s to mid 60s, are running large grow operations, opening storefronts and developing topical products and edible lines. Women are selling marijuana-friendly real estate, creating software for the industry, taking the reins at cannabis testing labs and climbing into leadership roles in the policymaking and legislative arena.

The intent is to tip the statistics that show nearly half of men admit to having tried marijuana but only a third of women have.

They are persuading more women to try to consider cannabis by staging pot-themed events that appeal to the more feminine side of users, including spa and yoga retreats, upscale culinary and art soirees, bachelorette parties and even symphony and marijuana mashups.

“We are encouraging women to come out of the woodwork,” said Jane West, owner of Edible Events Co. and founder of Women Grow. “We need their voice in this industry.”

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