LGBTQ+. Lesbian. Gay. Bisexual. Transsexual. Queer. And many more identities.
As we respect the variety and possibilities of hundreds of cannabis strains in Maryland, June is the push to respect those differences that exist within humanity and our cultures.
So as a send off to Pride Month, here’s our take on improving inclusivity within the cannabis industry and how we can do better for our LGBTQ+ peers.
Casting away invisibility for inclusivity in the cannabis industry with Pride Month
Like the cannabis community, here at Peake Releaf we keep our team as diverse as the Maryland patient population.
The path to legalization being laden with so many complications. So it’s wise to maintain a “All of us or None of us” mentality with the progress of the industry.
Our team member Emily is apart of the LGBTQ+ community and she had a great time at both Pride parades, in Baltimore, MD and Washington, D.C. The positive rainbow vibes come with it the baggage of generations of discrimination and invisibility stemming from the Stonewall Uprising.
We can’t forget that this pain contributes to their lives as patients. Like Emily said:
“Cannabis patients are a very diverse demographic. Peake is and always will be patient focused, so having a diverse group of employees and business owners who can speak directly to patients who identify with them increases the comfort level and trust when in our facility.
There is power in connecting with people. It is my hope for the industry to continue to broaden the outreach and speak to all segments of our diverse culture. As consumption grows into becoming more mainstream, all consumers should have a branded experience that speaks to them.”
Solidarity with legalization for LGBTQ+ and cannabis communities
Even though it wasn’t too long ago that same-sex marriage was illegal, the LGBTQ+ community still struggles for protective rights when it comes to health insurance, employment, bath access and just existing in public.
Comparing our issues in cannabis to LGBT social issues is a game of apples and oranges to some degree. Be aware that cannabis consumption is a choice; one’s sexual identity is not.
However, similar to how both apples and oranges are fruit, our respective communities meet in the amount of legal suffering and social ostracizing that can result from others’ knowledge of your identity and/or cannabis usage.
We’re aligned in fighting against systems that suppress our autonomy in respective ways.
Help with health is apart of Pride Month
Ultimately, there are patients, employees, business owners, and freelancers in the cannabis industry who deserve safe access to cannabis and deserve to feel included where they’re investing their money and energy.
Sometimes this industry fails them with product choices and marketing. For some LGBT patients are leaning on cannabis to help with anxiety and depression that can extend from social pressure and their identity.
For Trans people and/or those who don’t identify with a gender, claiming a product is “for women” or marketing sex products and highlighting only heterosexual couples feels exclusionary.
So we stand with LGBT patients who want to see language that includes them while they’re shopping.
We hope you had a great Pride Month!
Were you able to make it to a Pride month parade? Our industry is still growing and has plenty of opportunity for improving inclusivity.
Don’t hesitate to let growers, processors and dispensaries know how to accommodate you and improve their language and habits.