Host and curator ChaVon Butler lightbulb for her video series during a time( losing her mother to pancreatic cancer in 2016) that she needed exactly what she represents, a woman of color and believer of the most high God, Christ, well informed on the medical benefits of cannabis, and an informative resource or community.
The series of conversations amongst women of color opens a healthy and comfortable space for others to share experiences, education, and create representation in the cannabis industry.
“When I started doing research on cannabis and the medicinal benefits, I was so mind blown. I knew that many people of color suffered from the stigma, I knew that it was a thing that we didn’t talk about on this level , I knew that it was shunned upon. I knew that a lot of black men are STILL institutionalized for it. I knew that I needed to be a part of the change.”
In less than 24 hours Nevada will sell marijuana to adults over 21. In a business full of people of means there is an anxiousness to stop the bleeding of cash. An estimated 46 Dispensaries in Nevada, all medical facilities have been operating in hope for this day.
Many of the Industry leaders in Nevada have spent most of their lives believing marijuana was a gateway drug and everyone that smokes it was a thug. Some of them still do. However, on tomorrow night, they will ALL make their mark as the FIRST to sell marijuana legally in Nevada.
Las Vegas is estimated to have over 40 million visitors this 4th of July. Many of them will absolutely try pot for the first time while they are here. I wonder how many of those people will walk into a minority owned establishment and purchase minority products?
While I will admit this is a time to celebrate I also can not help but mourn a little. I know that someone in my community is STILL incarcerated for the same amount of marijuana someone else this weekend is going to be able to purchase “legally.”
In 2016 I advocated for Question #2 because I knew legalization was what was best for my community. Not because of the dollar but because if there is a possibility ONE of my brothers didn’t go to jail for pot, my community wins. Also because I have a minority son and it is my responsibility to make a better future for him.
So although legalization is a victory for those who will profit, I am very much aware of the places where my community is losing. There is 1 Black owned Dispensary, 3 Black owned cultivation and not one black owned lab. That means the odds of someone walking into a minority by ethnicity owned dispensary is 45 to 1 and the odds of someone buying a minority by ethntecity product is 75 to 3. I know these numbers sound unreal but I can only write what I know. This is the place where I mourn our loss.
My mentor once told me, “everyone is ok with Minorities being employees, NO ONE wants us to own.”
I have seen the future of this industry and I am few and far between. The future is White male doctors, scientist, lawyers and politicians. They ALL believe this plant can help treat many ailments but their true consumers are minorities. Marijuana is legal, they are getting paid and they STILL just see us as thugs.