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The cannabis industry has long been a predominately white industry. These businesses are profiting off of the years of labor and knowledge of Black and brown people. Figuring out how to open up a business is not only tricky due to confusing laws, but licenses are also costly with varying costs depending on the purpose and location.
This means that those who have money are able to buy their way in, and brands by Black and POC most often end up with the short end of the stick. Today, 81 percent of cannabis owners are white and of the remaining 19 percent of POC-owned brands, 4.3 percent are Black-owned businesses.
Additionally, while cannabis usage is relatively the same, Black individuals are more than 3.64 times more likely to be arrested and incarcerated for possession in comparison to white cannabis users.
As you stock up to celebrate 4/20 (responsibly, of course), we wanted to highlight some Black, Latinx, and other POC cannabis brands in your community to consider supporting.
Black Owned Cannabis Brands
Founded by Chris Ball, this Los Angeles-based brand is “the first vertically integrated, minority-owned, Social Equity commercial cannabis facility” in the city. A company that is vertically integrated means that the business is self-sustaining in that they grow and distribute their own products, which means that BFF has full control over everything they produce. This ensures that the quality of their products is top tier. Combine this with a company that’s working not just for themselves, but for their community, and you have a winning combination.
Oakland-based, Black-owned, and woman-led, DIOS Cannabis is more than just a brand. Founder Mahlate Hagos set out to take up space in an industry that was built off the backs of Black and brown folks, not just for herself but for other POC as well. In addition to creating DIOS Cannabis, Hagos also partnered up with Steep Hill Labs to create Social Equity as a way to give back to the community directly, by “creating and promoting opportunities for ownership and meaningful participation in the cannabis industry, specifically for communities disproportionately targeted and criminalized in the War on Drugs.“
Launching on 04/20, itsPurpl was founded by Jaleel White. Listen, this is more than just a celebrity slapping their name on a cannabis strain; after meeting 710 Labs owner Brad Melshenker on a flight a few years ago, the two hit it off when they realized how passionate they were about cannabis. 710 Labs is known for having some of the best concentrates out there, thus their flower is also top-notch. White worked with 710 Labs to carefully source seeds and cross strains to ensure that their stuff was the best of the best, and it’s safe to say mission accomplished. If you’re a purple cannabis lover, itsPurpl should definitely be at the top of your list.
A newer brand that offers a wide variety of products, Napalm Cannabis set out to take the world by storm. They offer products that will take even the most experienced indulger by surprise. Napalm Cannabis has become one of the fastest-growing cannabis brands with plans to continue expanding its line of innovative products.
Latinx Owned Cannabis Brands
Product of Los Angeles prides itself on being the first Mexican Cannabis company. The two brands created by POLA are La Familia and Agua de Flor and they each specialize in different goodies inspired by the owner’s cultura. La Familia brings you treats such as chocolate bars, puffed rice bars, and even cookies in Mexican flavors. Agua de Flor combines cannabis and aguas frescas for a unique experience best served over ice. With flavors like Horchata, Piña, Mango, and Fresa, just to name a few, Product of Los Angeles’s creations are a 4/20 must-have.
Amigo Cannabis was created to bring top-quality cannabis at affordable prices by forgoing “trendy marketing and flashy packaging.” Instead, Amigo Cannabis focuses on “making our amigos feel better… just like any good friend would.” From gummies, to concentrate, to flower products, Amigo Cannabis caters to all tastes and preferences.
Blaze Mota is proof that as long as you consistently deliver quality goods, you don’t need to get fancy or have a huge assortment of products to make it in the industry. The Los Angeles-based brand launched in October 2020, and it specializes in indoor grown strains that are packaged in eighths or ready-to-go pre-rolls. Bonus points for creative af packaging.
Not all cannabis products are created equal, and Dreamt Products is one that even our abuelitas might embrace. When Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, a cannabis scientist, tried all sorts of products meant to help her fall asleep and stay asleep but found no success, she created Dreamt Products. A common misconception is that cannabis is meant to just “get you high.” There are other properties of the cannabis plant that help serve different functions and Carolina Vazquez is at the forefront of ongoing research in the field. Dreamt Products creates products meant for anyone who needs help managing their insomnia or getting a full night’s sleep, helping to solve this common health concern and thus improving people’s quality of life.
Other POC Owned Brands
The creators of the clothing brand have their own cannabis company. Sundae School is a Korean owned brand that sets themselves apart from the rest by being intentional in everything they do. The company ensures that the farms they partner up with practice sustainable agriculture and minimize waste while conserving water. Sundae School is leading the energy efficiency movement. Even their packaging is 100 percent recyclable and reusable. If the company puts this much thought and care into their packaging, you can only imagine the quality of the contents being packaged.
Not to be confused with the Drake song (although they do have an “Unruly” strain!). Blem is cultivated by Cali Lotus, another Southern California-based brand. Blem offers a variety of strains depending on the experience that the user is looking for. Whether you want to chill out for the day or something to trigger your creativity, Blem and Cali Lotus have something for you.
Much like the name denotes, Hey Bud wants you to feel like you’re among friends. The company pride itself on delivering some of the safest and cleanest cannabis in the industry. Rest assured that it is pesticide-free and that you know exactly what you’re indulging in. As a growing brand, their small-batch drops mean that it doesn’t take long for the products to hit the dispensary shelves, ensuring freshness and thus keeping demand for quality cannabis high.
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