At first glance, you might think cannabis is following in the footsteps of alcohol sales. But let’s rethink this a moment. Cannabis has more in common with the LGBTQ+ culture than anything else.
The struggles and similarities between bringing both cannabis and the LGBTQ+ communities into a mainstream society run parallel. They are interwoven by decades of advocacy and struggles, practically fighting side by side to remove the harmful stigma.
Since the LGBTQ+ community seemed to be disproportionately affected by HIV in the 80s, many people in the community turned to increased cannabis use as the only treatment for symptoms. At the time, pharmaceutical solutions weren’t providing any relief.
If you consider both journeys, it’s clear to see that these two revolutions suffered together. An activist, Dennis Peron, better known as the “father of medical marijuana,” worked hard for the acceptance of cannabis during the 80s and 90s. In 1991 he pushed for Proposition P which allowed medical cannabis in San Francisco, even opening a dispensary to help get cannabis to anyone suffering from side effects of HIV.
This dispensary, known as the Cannabis Buyers Club, was the first location for buying medical cannabis. Later on, Peron was recognized for organizing California’s Proposition 215 and Proposition 64 in 2016 which legalized cannabis use for individuals 21 years of age or older. With Peron’s work, reputation and legality have been hard-fought and still have so many areas of change on the horizon.
What do cannabis and LGBTQ+ culture have in common legally? Both cultures were outside legal approval until the year 2000. They were both riding the fringes of society. On a positive note, advocacy for both legalization of cannabis and LGBTQ+ rights was easily combined early on. One of the key aspects of this revolved around cannabis being a treatment for HIV, Peron’s advocacy, and stern legal issues that were not easily changed.
Both movements are still struggling for full recognition and appreciation to this day.
In a special interview, Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary asked industry leaders and the LGBT community to share how the Cannabis industry can better support the LGBT community.
And yes, the cannabis industry is super accepting and has done so much to support the community, but can it offer more in terms of diversity and inclusion? This is the most important question companies and consumers should be discussing.
At trade shows, there seems to be a sense of inclusion, but little representation of the LGBTQ culture. And this needs to change. The positive aspect of this realization is that times are changing, and there’s so much hope that diversity will keep pressing in and saying, “Hey! I’m here! And I deserve to be heard!”
And now is the time that the community can speak up, both cannabis representatives and members of the LGBTQ family. Some of the changes that have been discussed are placing genderless bathrooms in the dispensaries and teaching about the correct use of pronouns in the workplace. And these changes are important because everyone should feel safe and included especially in the cannabis sector.
As far as teaching inclusion and providing a comfortable workplace, the cannabis industry is already ahead of the rest. Considering their colorful history with the LGBTQ community, understanding needs comes naturally, just as natural as enjoying cannabis products by the community.
There continue to be unique opportunities in the industry to be more creative and transparent. For instance, unlike the tobacco or alcohol industry, who targets minorities with false information, the cannabis industry can provide the truth in its marketing techniques.
Will the cannabis industry target the LGBTQ+ community? Not necessarily, but they do understand better the needs of that community and have a delicate approach to those needs. At LucidaClub, we are an all-inclusive and loving family, providing only the best cannabis products to the public. Diversity and inclusion are at the forefront of our revolution.
If you’re curious, try one of our soothing tinctures or creams, and experience true euphoria and freedom.