Pride shouldn’t be limited to a single month. This is also true when it comes to cannabis.
Rainbow-themed products are cute — we love them, too — but giving your precious consumer dollars to the companies who are owned by LGBTQ entrepreneurs year-round, instead of only during Pride month, is even cuter.
But seriously, the cannabis legalization movement in the United States owes its start to efforts from our LGBTQ foreparents during the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and ’90s. Thanks to the monumental activism efforts from California’s LGBTQ communities, Proposition 215 passed in 1996, making it the first state to legalize medical marijuana in the country. The ground for today’s burgeoning cannabis industry was laid in part by LGBTQ allies, HIV/AIDS patients, and gay rights advocates of the past.
In the modern era of legal weed, LGBTQ-owned cannabis businesses can operate proudly, or quietly, and include cultivators, delivery services, producers, manufacturers, and storefronts.
If you’re interested in celebrating and giving a nod of respect to cannabis’s and gay rights’ interwoven history, here are 5 LGBTQ-owned brands across the U.S. to consider.
The People’s Dispensary
The People’s Dispensary is not only a safe space for the queer community and marginalized consumers but one that aims to empower LGBTQ and business owners of color to open their own storefronts. TPD, as it’s called, is growing from storefronts in Portland, Oregon; and Oakland, California, to three more California stores in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Fresno; New York and New Jersey locations are also in the works.
Founded in 2016 by Christine De La Rosa, Chaney Turner, Charleen Caabay, and Michael Schlieker, the company is unique with its national equity program. “We realized in the cannabis industry, there was going to be a lot of profit for our investors, but there could be profit for the community as well,” co-founder De La Rosa told Weedmaps. “In the equity framework, everybody’s sharing. You have people with capital, like us, and you have people without capital. What if we could put those two together and help them develop their business? We have to make pathways for them to enter the market.”
Portland’s Panacea and Oakland’s Benefit Health Collective joined forces under The People’s Dispensary umbrella in 2018.
— Find The People’s Dispensary on Weedmaps
Founded in 2014, Peak Extracts is the first women-owned extraction company in Oregon. It entered the adult-use market beginning in 2016 to be among the first batch of legal licensed edibles processors. CEO Katie Stem and Chief Operations Officer Katie Black are partners in business and in life, working together for the last seven years.
Published: June 18, 2019
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News