Things That Matter

Check Out This List of POC Brands To Support This 4/20

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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

Ball Family Farms

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.

DIOS Cannabis

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.

Napalm Cannabis

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

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

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

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.

Dreamt Products

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

Sundae School

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.

Hey Bud

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.

READ: Meet Manuel Mendoza, The Winner Of Netflix’s Cannabis Cooking Competition Show

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Luis Gerardo Méndez Explores The Time Mexico Legalized Drugs In New Podcast


Luis Gerardo Méndez Explores The Time Mexico Legalized Drugs In New Podcast

Courtesy of Sonoro

In the 1940s, one doctor had the idea of curing addiction by legalizing drugs in Mexico. After six months, and some success, the entire project was abandoned. Luis Gerardo Méndez is digging into where the idea came from and why it was abandoned in a new podcast.

Luis Gerardo Méndez and his friends are exploring the time when Mexico legalized drugs.

It was 1940 and the Mexican government legalized all drugs. Doctors were able to prescribe their patients drugs in a methodical way to slowly get addicts off of drugs. Dr. Leopoldo Salazar Viniegra is credited with creating the program that showed success during the short time that it was allowed to be.

Gerardo learned about Dr. Salazar only recently and is excited to be able to tell the story of the Mexican doctor. The actor is a little shocked that more people do not know about the doctor who could have changed the course of history had he been allowed to proceed.

“I was immediately hooked on the story because I had no idea that that happened. To be honest with you, 99 percent of the people that I know in Mexico have no idea that drugs were legal in the ‘40s,” Gerardo admits. “It was really interesting for me, not just for the story but I was really intrigued about why we don’t know about this. Why didn’t anyone that I know know about this doctor and the incredible work that he did 80 years ago? He was a doctor who was 80 years ahead of his time and the world.”

Gerardo promises, without revealing spoilers, just how the U.S. managed to undercut the medical program.

The U.S. was not happy with Mexico experimenting with this kind of legaliztion. The host hints at talking about Harry Anslinger, the First Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He held the position from 1930 to 1962 and, according to Gerardo, he placed some pressure on Mexico to re-evaluate the program.

“You, as the audience, in a way, realize that the legalization in Mexico ended because of the pressure from the U.S.,” Gerardo says. “The U.S. was putting a lot of pressure on Mexico telling them that they can’t do this about the legalization effort. Now, marijuana is legal in the U.S. and in Mexico we are still having this conversation. I’m pissed. Its not cool. I think it is really important to talk about these things.”

Despite the president supporting the measure, it was rolled back after six months.

The program was helping people get medical attention for their addiction issues and started to curb criminal activity around drugs. The cartels were losing business because addicts and drug users could seek proper medical attention from doctors to get their drugs for free.

Part of the program involved slowly weening people off of their drug addiction. It got people back into a healthier lifestyle while getting them back into the job market.

While Gerardo stops short of endorsing legalizing marijuana today, he is interested in showing people all sides of the conversation. The host splits his time between Mexico City and LA and has seen the marijuana industry take off in the U.S. but not in Mexico. He feels frustrated that the conversation in Mexico hasn’t advanced to the same place where the U.S. is.

“The same people doing that work in Mexico are criminals because someone behind a desk is saying what it legal and what’s not. Especially when this system proves that it works in the U.S. It is making millions of dollars in taxes for schools, for public health, and in Mexico we are still thinking about it,” Gerardo says about the difference in the U.S. and Mexico round marijuana legalization. “I think, again, I’m not saying whether I am in favor or not. I’m just saying that it is really important for me to expose these points of view and open a conversation for the mainstream.”

For Gerardo, telling the story is a point of pride in his Mexican heritage.

“The other thing is that sometimes in the world, we have an idea of all of these progressive ideas come from Europe or they come from the U.S.,” Gerardo says. “Yet, this Mexican doctor had this idea, this really really interesting and strong point of view 80 years ago and no one listened. No one listened to him. For me, I feel really proud to share the story of this man because I think he, in a way, is a hero. He was pretty close to stopping the drug cartel war.”

Dr. Salazar was a visionary of his time. His work to legalize drugs and work to treat drug addiction like a mental and physical health issue was promising. We have seen this same stance done in Portugal decades after Mexico tried it with the same positive results.

“It’s so incredible that we are hearing about this doctor, now, 80 years after this extraordinary things. He was one of the most polemic figures in Mexico and in the United Nations because of his way of thinking,” Gerardo says. “What I thought was really interesting and sad is that we are hearing about this guy 80 years later. He made some really powerful people really pissed and they erased him from the story.”

READ: The Controversy Behind Delta-8 THC And Why Shoppers Are Buying It Up

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The Controversy Behind Delta-8 THC And Why Shoppers Are Buying It Up

Things That Matter

The Controversy Behind Delta-8 THC And Why Shoppers Are Buying It Up

Luke Dray/Getty Images

There’s a new cannabis product that we need to talk about since it’s exploding in popularity across the country – especially in states where recreational marijuana remains illegal.

Delta 8 buds look, smell and taste (when smoked) like traditional marijuana, and it even contains a type of THC. Yet it is seemingly legal to buy and consume even in many states where recreational marijuana remains against the law.

What is Delta 8 and does it get you high?

Before getting too far into it, though, readers should be cautioned that products containing it have not been FDA-tested or FDA-approved. Delta 8, which is most commonly sold as an edible, is extremely similar to what we think of as typical THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main ingredient in cannabis); the only chemical difference is the location of a certain double bond. The effects are also super similar, the main difference being that the high from delta 8 is a little less intense, and reportedly gives you more energy than a typical delta-9 high. 

Many people stated they felt more of a “body high” with fewer mental effects. Many folks enjoy using it as a means of alleviating their anxiety and pain while still being able to think clearly.  

In most states, yes, Delta-8 is legal. There are 11 states that forbid it: Delaware, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.

These companies place a leaflet into the boxes indicating why it is legal as per the 2018 Farm Bill in case packages are inspected by the government or the Postal Service.

Whether or not Delta-8 is legal in your state has nothing to do with actual cannabis legality. For example, cannabis is legal recreationally in Arizona and Colorado, but not Delta-8. 

While CBD and Delta-9 THC (usually just referred to as THC) are undoubtedly the most well-known cannabinoids, Delta 8 suddenly, and seemingly out of nowhere, became immensely popular within the last year. 

Retailers who specialized in CBD before introducing Delta 8 in 2020 reported a drastic spike in sales to Newsweek, which they partly attributed to its supposed anxiety-relieving properties helping people cope with pandemic-related stress.

Anyone using Delta-8 THC should be aware it will turn up on a drug test as regular THC, and thus could cause one to fail the test should it exceed the accepted limit.

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