How Mia Ray’s GRL Cannabis Club is a taking luxury to new heights

Through her brand GRL Cannabis Club, Mia Ray looks to break stereotypes surrounding marijuana by offering a luxury, wellness-focused experience.

Whether you call it weed, marijuana, “Mary Jane,” or the “Devil’s lettuce,” cannabis is a fast-growing industry in the United States. With more and more states loosening restrictions around marijuana, society has slowly begun lifting the taboos that once surrounded the drug. In addition to growing acceptance of the herb’s benefits, the image of cannabis users has also shifted. 

Understanding the diverse demographic of those who indulge, entrepreneur and founder Mia Ray hopes that her brand, GRL (Get Real Lifted) Cannabis Club, encourages cannabis users to feel no shame for indulging. 

“I feel like I’m pulling the curtains back [for] all the moms and women who were hiding once upon a time that they may indulge in edibles, vapes, gummies or joints. I’m now pulling the curtain back [and saying] ‘It’s OK,” Ray told theGrio. “[Cannabis] is something that is now legal [in dozens of states]. This is something that doctors recommend … we’re not back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, where it was such a horrible thing.” 

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Mia Ray founder of GRL Cannabis Club (Photo credit: Mecca)

As a mother, entrepreneur, and CEO and founder of the popular luxury lifestyle brand GlamAholic, Ray understands firsthand how cannabis can help relieve daily stressors, anxiety, and more. Fueled by her own experiences purchasing weed, she sought to change the “dark, grungy and very manly” aesthetic typically seen in dispensaries. 

“When it came to me, when it’s time for me to enjoy cannabis, I want to feel light, free, fun, flirty. So I didn’t see anything that was being marketed in a way that felt like a luxury line of cannabis for women to enjoy,” she said. “I really felt like women who want to experience luxury and all aspects of life weren’t represented well in the cannabis industry, so I was like, ‘Hey, Oprah [paraphrasing Toni Morrison] told me to create what I wish existed,’ so I created it.” 

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So, on the plant’s “high” holiday in 2023 — commonly known as 4/20 — Ray launched GRL Cannabis Club, a premium cannabis company offering chic relaxation and blissful wellness. With an offering of thoughtfully and meticulously crafted products, GRL Cannabis Club aims to provide users with a sense-enhancing, well-informed experience. 

“We are into educating people on how to use the products, what different strains might work for you, etc,” Ray explained, emphasizing the importance of teaching within her business. “You can use cannabis and become creative. You can use cannabis and it helps put your anxiety at bay for a bit. There are so many different helpful things that come from it. [Indulging in it] is not just about getting high and being lazy and not being able to operate.”

Through its Instagram page, packaging, and representatives who go into each dispensary teaching workers all about the products, GRL Club Cannabis ensures that consumers, from experts to novice-level understand the ins and outs of the products they are buying while having a luxury experience.  

“[Weed] was just something that people really made seem like such a bad thing when it’s really such a helpful tool to a lot of people,” Ray said. “ I’m not trying to encourage people to do it; I am simply letting the women know who actually indulge that, ‘It’s OK, baby.’ After a long day of work, after a long day of [being] mommy, after a long day at work, it’s OK to relax and have a bit of self-care, get your thoughts together and regroup — even if it’s in the form of cannabis.”

Currently selling cannabis-infused gummies and vape pens in 24 dispensaries across Michigan, Ray has plans to expand the brand into various locations and offerings like pre-rolled joints and other smoking accessories. Though the founder emphasized a clear distinction between GlamAholic and GRL Cannabis Club, her intentions when serving her target audience remain the same. 

“I know what women like. Sometimes I know what kind of handbags they like, and sometimes I know what type of cannabis that they like,” she said. “But for me, the same way I made [my first] lifestyle brand [centered around] affordable luxury, which gave women the freedom to feel comfortable right where they are, [I hope to] provide that same comfort with [my cannabis brand]. I want everybody when they are purchasing from me or receiving a product or even a service one day that they [say] ‘Oh, this feels like a warm hug.’” 

As she celebrates GRL Cannabis Club’s one-year anniversary on Saturday, Ray is elated by the reception from her followers and industry veterans. 

“It feels so good to be received like I am new in this space,” she said, reflecting on her experience. “The fact that not too many women are represented in this space and now I am able to use different platforms and not just highlight myself as a woman in cannabis but highlight all women in cannabis and I just love it.” 

Haniyah Philogene is a multimedia storyteller and Lifestyle writer for theGrio covering all things culture. With a passion for digital media, she goes above and beyond to find new ways to tell and share stories.