As America faces a painful reckoning with centuries of racial injustice, there’s a growing sense that 2020 is a turning point of epic proportions. And while there’s still much work to be done, we’d like to point to the cannabis industry as a potential example of a path forward.
For many in the world of cannabis, social equity is baked in, so to speak: An increasing number of states are making access to opportunity in the cannabis industry a centerpiece of their legalization efforts. This includes forward-looking pardon and expungement programs, as well as grants designed to stimulate and support those communities most impacted by the Nixon era’s disastrous War on Drugs.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few cutting-edge cannabis companies helmed by people who might otherwise have been left circling the building, so to speak!
Cannabis Social Equity: Female- and Minority-Led Companies
Based in sunny Orange County, this all-female team is an acknowledged leader in cannabis products designed for womens’ needs. Clinging to the dream of safe, legal access to cannabis (before the voters of California had made it a possibility) the team—headed by sisters Chelsea and Crystal Kitahara—launched Yummi Karma’s High Gorgeous line, touted as the first mainstream cannabis beauty brand. Now, they’re making waves with their tinctures,handcrafted for specific outcomes (we love Stay Lifted and Cloud Nine!).
Co-founders Amanda Jones and Jennifer Chapin are on a mission: To empower women to take back their health and live with more joy. And their uniquely crafted botanical cannabis-infused teas, tinctures, honeys and mints deliver joy and a whole lot more. “Sensuali-Tea” delivers a precise 7mg of THC per pouch, blended with ingredients such as rose petals, lavender, hibiscus and cloves for a uniquely erotic charge. The company’s proprietary honey shots are no less memorable: Try the “Snooze” offering, which blends Australian manuka honey with CBN and THC for powerful and restorative sleep.
Even if you’re no stranger to cannabis-infused chocolates, Kiva’s luscious, award-winning confections are likely to raise the bar quite a bit higher than you thought possible. Now entering their second decade of chocolatiering, Kiva founders Kristi Knoblich and Scott Palmer spent nearly a year developing their first offerings, the venerable cannabis-infused chocolates that still blow minds and tastebuds all across the country. The vegan Dark Chocolate Bar is still a benchmark in the edibles category, but newer offerings like Blueberry Terra Bites are sure to keep fans guessing (and smiling).
After years spent in the cannabis trenches, Kush Queen founder Olivia Alexander was determined to change the face of the cannabis topicals business for the better. By focusing on CBD-infused products and continually improving formulas designed to work with the feminine body, Kush Queen has become one of the most respected and sought-after cannabis wellness brands on the market. Their nearly instantaneously active Ignite Lubricant is a game-changer in the personal lubricant class, and their carefully formulated tinctures, bath bombs and other personal care products have earned Olivia the title “The Mariah Carey of Weed” by Elle magazine.
Looking to get into more female- or minority-led brands? Ask our budtenders for some recommendations or browse our online menu.