At first, Dope Girls was just a photography project. Beca Grimm, a writer based in Atlanta, began collecting images of the containers women and non-binary people use to carry their weed, including coin purses, glass jars, and repurposed perfume spray bottles. Grimm soon became intrigued by the feminization of weed culture. “Weed is traditionally associated with machismo and can feel inaccessible to people who don’t identify as such,” she says. “It’s no longer a subculture revolving around black velvet posers, black lights, and deadbeats.”
Grimm roped in her friend Rachel Hortman, a graphic designer, and the pair launched Dope Girls as a zine in 2016. They reached out to writers and artists to weigh in on their relationships with cannabis. The debut issue features stories about getting stoned for the first time, the joys of cleaning while high, and a recipe for weed granola. Contributors work for free, with any proceeds from the $13 publication going to Planned Parenthood as an unaffiliated donation. “We decided early on that since we couldn’t afford to pay anyone, we’d make the whole thing a fundraiser,” says Grimm.
Being on staff does have its risks, however. To get the right image for a cover shoot, Hortman (who doesn’t frequently smoke) had to puff repeatedly. “It was a tough shot. She kept taking rips and I kept apologizing,” says Grimm. “She had a big gardening project planned later that day and miraculously, high as hell, that girl still pulled it off. But shit, that’s what Dope Girls do.”