Amid the recent uprising and protests there’s one undeniable fact, the energy of the people and the messages from the streets are what politicians should be paying attention to. During June, the Pride month for LGBTQIA+ and their allies to celebrate and advocate for equality, the Supreme Court ruled against the administration, making it illegal to terminate an individual’s employment based on their sexual preferences or identification.
This landmark move by the Supreme Court highlights a very special factor in history. It was the pain and suffering of the Civil Right Movement in the 60ies that created protections in 2020 for LGBTQIA+ community. It’s the sacrifices of many that created rights and protections for more in present day.
When you look at the cannabis industry, one thing is very clear, diversity is lacking and opportunity appears to be nothing more than a rumor. While this market fights for the ability to exist, there is much work to be done to ensure that it’s an equal playing field.
Looking at the pain and suffering of queer communities during the AIDS / HIV crisis, activists like Harvey Milk and Dennis Peron were leading the charge. It’s the work of the queer protests that helped pave the way for cannabis legalization. Peron even co-wrote Prop 215, undeniably linking the queer community and the cannabis industry.
Together, the marginalized communities can work to bring diversity and equality into cannabis, hopefully restoring the loss of opportunity that was once a reality.
While Pride celebrations this year are very different and while many timelines have been delayed due to Covid-19, here’s how some cannabis brands are giving back, honoring Pride and celebrating at home.
Sonder: One of the only truly Queer owned brands in the California market, Sonder is owned by wife and wife team Faun Chapin and M Paradise. Launching an all-new product at the end of June, the anticipated debut of Sonder Space Crystals (essentially cannabis infused pop-rocks) has been delayed amid corona but will be hitting shelves before July.
The team of seven is one of the most diverse in the California market, the brand will be donating a portion of company proceeds from June 2020 sales to the Santa Cruz Diversity Center, an organization close to both founders Faun and M. This year, there’s no better way to support queer business’ and celebrate Pride than purchasing and interacting with Sonder.
Kana is teaming up with Woodman Peak Farm in Mendocino County, for a limited edition drop: the Purple Cupcake 1/8th, a heavy-hitting cross between Wedding Cake and Purple Punch.
With a dense and frosty bud structure and a berry-sweet, citrusy aroma, this cultivar with a strong terpene profile and 22.81% THC, it’s packing an inspiring Entourage Effect. Due to its high Limonene and β Caryophyllene levels, its powerful combination of uplifting and calming effects make this cultivar the perfect stay-at-home treat.
Proceeds are going to a national LGBTQIA non-profit organization serving as a lifeline for at risk queer youth.
WEEKENDERS CANNABIS: Weekenders Cannabis, a new-age BIPOC owned lifestyle brand featuring Humboldt sun-grown cannabis flower, in partnership with California Street Cannabis Company, (CSCC) a BIPOC owned boutique dispensary in Nob Hill, have created an all-new compassion program for San Francisco based low-income HIV+ patients with the help of the non-profit organization Brownie Mary Democratic Club. Launching on June 15 in honor of Pride month, 50 units of Weekender’s Chill Packs will be donated to patients in need of affordable and safe cannabis. This will be an ongoing program with goals of scaling.
Hosted on June 27th, the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, “The Summit” will feature a full spectrum of influential speakers, educational programming, and unique performances highlighting the intersections of LGBTQIA+ and minority communities in the cannabis space.
LOWELL HERB CO: Lowell Herb Co. released a limited-edition Pride 2020 collection, which celebrates two of its farm partners in the LGBTQAI+ community, Tuff-n-Tendergrass and Ventoso Farms.
The collection features two new limited-edition strains, Magic Melon Sativa and Blueberry Muffin Indica. Lowell will donate a portion of proceeds to GLAAD and The National Black Justice Coalition.
KUSH QUEEN: Kush Queen, the female-founded topical and wellness brand famous for exploding the cannabis bath bomb trend, refuses to let Pride 2020 pass without a party. This year, turn your tub into a club with their Pride Edition Bath Bombs, complete with THC or CBD, and a heavy dose of eco-friendly glitter.
Kush Queen will be donating a portion of the proceeds of the Pride Edition Bath Bombs, available exclusively through Sol Distro, to Asylum Connect, a non-profit tech company providing the first and only resource website and mobile app for LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and other persecuted LGBTQ+ people.
By Warren Bobrow for Forbes