Diversity! It’s a strong and often-used word. What does it mean to you? To me it means to have variety, not in my weed drawer, but in life. In life, we as humans want variety. We want variety in the music we listen to, the food we eat and, yes, the weed we smoke. But take a look at the industry we love and live in. The cannabis industry that is! Is it truly as diverse as we think? Yes, we have tons of products to choose from, tons of strains to puff on. So one may think it’s super diverse, but after scrolling through Instagram one day I came across a page that truly showed what our industry is missing. This particular page was REAL! It was real people, real content, real humor, and real everyday honesty and love! This page showed that a good portion of cannabis companies out there were missing something huge. I mean, yes of course the cannabis industry figured out the whole “Sex Sells” marketing ploy, but so did the alcohol industry and several other industries. I myself truly love and value real people giving real opinions and content when I’m on social media. Hints why I started following this particular page and have since then become what I would call digital friends and can’t wait to meet one day in person. The knowledge, experience, fun, and passions they share is vast… So here is a little look into what we chatted about.
What are your names?
Sue & Lee
What are your professions or passions?
Lee is a semi-retired accountant. Sue is a retired, end of life stage, private caregiver.
The cannabis industry is really booming. It’s really being shaped and molded as we speak. What are some of the awesome things you see happening? What are some of the not so awesome things you see happening?
One of the great things we see happening in the cannabis industry is the acceptance and understanding of the plant’s medicinal qualities. Along with this comes normalcy over time and the negative stigma slowly diminishing. Something not cool is the greed of corporate cannabis trying to run small craft businesses out of town. States have their own regulations and it’s so important for local governments to support the citizens of their state and not let outsiders interfere with local businesses and the hard working people that own them.
How can we as a Cannamunity help the future of legal cannabis? What changes can we make?
We feel the Cannamunity can assist the progress of legalization by educating general practitioners about medicinal alternatives to Big Pharma. Money controls so much, but if we as the Cannamunity fought back against Big Pharma and spread the benefits of cannabis, as opposed to chemical medicine, we feel more people could see the benefits perhaps seminars with cannabis doctors and non-cannabis doctors holding debates would give light to cannabis as a medication.
For me especially and I’m sure for many others, cannabis has been a gateway – a gateway to amazing friends. Friends I would’ve probably never crossed paths with if it wasn’t for cannabis. How do you think cannabis has helped people unite and accept?
Cannabis connections are some of the most solid relationships we’ve seen in our lives. There is an understanding that exists amongst those in the cannabis industry that is composed of local, open-minded people. Groups of people come together to share the love of one plant and its benefits. The excitement over this plant is ripe with a joy that only a cannabis lover experiences. We feel that this camaraderie is what will continue to drive the cannabis industry forward.
Where do you think the cannabis industry will be in 5 to 10 years?
In 5-10 years it seems as though cannabis may be federally legal. We still feel there will be conditions on this legality but acceptance of this plant will only continue to rise. On the flip side, with federal legalization comes a corporate greed and control game. Small businesses will have to continue to show their communities what they have to offer and how their products are superior to national companies.
Some cannabis companies use the whole “sex sells” ad themes. Similar to the alcohol industry. What are your thoughts about the marketing choices of some of these companies and how do you think it affects the industry?
Unfortunately, using sex to promote cannabis and related products diminishes the value of the product. We use “sex” as a parody of some of today’s big cannabis accessory companies. It’s a play on the fact that a young, sexy body (according to society) isn’t a representation of the product being sold and the product should be the star of the promotion. Our generation was using cannabis long before most of the people promoting were born. Another fact that companies forget to take into consideration is that our generation has more disposable income to spend on the products. We have worked hard and it’s time for us to play and enjoy some of the new gadgets. There are very few cannabis related companies that have a variety of people on their feed, age-wise, appearance and experience. Many look for people they can relate to and believe about a product. Not everyone is 20’s-30’s and a model-like body in a bathing suit. In a way, we feel this tactic devalues what we, as a cannabis community are trying to promote in that cannabis is beneficial for all ages, sizes, genders, sexualities, etc. When we connect cannabis to sex, we stereotype ourselves and give the world a reason to look at us with judgment rather than acceptance.
Diversity! A strong word right? Well it’s not as strong as it should be, but we can change that. We have led the way for cannabis this far, so why stop here? Why stop now? Cannabis has never and never will be just be about sex sells, reefer madness, and political opinion. It has always been about variety and people, so in the words of The Sober Junkie “Teach people about people and people will love.” They will love variety, they will love each other, they will love with an open mind.