There’s no question about it: cannabis has done wonders for people all across the spectrum that consume it on their terms, whether they’re smoking it, eating it, vaping it, drinking it, using drops, or any other form of weed. However, it’s no secret that there has been a negative impact in many circles (especially within communities of color) thanks to its prohibition. If one thing is certain, the industry needs to continue to work on being more inclusive and diverse and being able to offer safe and effective products to people all across the spectrum.
It’s been more than five decades since President Richard Nixon coined the term “the war on drugs,” going as far as to say that drug abuse was “public enemy number one.” There’s no question about it: addiction is a plague that is affecting thousands of communities across the U.S. and the world, but let’s be clear: weed doesn’t play in the same ballpark as truly dangerous drugs. That being said, education and safe consumption within the cannabis community are still super important because abuse of any substance can have awful consequences. Nowadays, billions of dollars are still spent by the United States government to further drug-related initiatives, and we’re happy to see companies taking part in bridging the gap, furthering inclusivity and diversity, and educating cannabis consumers.
Here at Herb, we love companies that do more than just provide the general public with cannabis products but also invest part of their earnings to support communities affected by some of the many problems the world has. One of the most important today is, obviously, the war on drugs. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of the social equity companies that support organizations that help at-risk communities.
When you buy products from these companies, you can be sure that you’re doing more than just smoking some weed! You’re also directly helping communities survive and thrive in a world that is becoming more cannabis-positive.
Photo courtesy of Blaqstar Farms
Blaqstar Farms main mission since its founding back in 2012 is simple: to provide top-tier, clean, and high-quality cannabis products. Focused on sustainable growing techniques and constant innovation, they’ve managed to make a name all around the country from their headquarters in Los Angeles, but there’s so much more behind their products.
Since their establishment, they’ve been laser-focused on promoting and supporting awareness and social equity from the injustices that are born from the war on drugs. They believe that everybody (yes, everybody) should have the tools and knowledge to gain leadership in the cannabis world, all while bridging the social gap and supporting the communities that need it the most.
Photo courtesy of Luchador
We love seeing strong, capable, and smart people from the Latino community gain leadership in the world of weed. One of the companies that have diversity at the helm is Luchador, created by the Guadalajara-born Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, otherwise known as “La Científica” (a bad-ass nickname if we’ve ever heard one).
She’s made waves in the cannabis community, powering through all the things that make it difficult for people like her to thrive: she’s an immigrant, a woman, a minority. Although it wasn’t easy for her to make it to the top, she has become one of the most impactful women in the marketplace and created award-winning products that are renowned in the marijuana industry.
Photo courtesy of Biko
If there’s a name you should drill into your brain, it’s Timeka Drew. She’s the proud CEO and founder of Biko, a cannabis brand that does way more than just create the best products that the industry has to offer by celebrating the time-honored tradition of cannabis. The company also wants the world to know what they stand for: supporting the underrepresented excellence to thrive by building lasting partnerships with other social equity brands and supporting a network that does everything in its power to make the industry better.
Timeka has been in the cannabis world for over a decade and now is not only the boss behind Biko’s genius but also an active member of organizations like the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign and co-coordinator of the Green Party of Los Angeles County Council. Her life’s work has been dedicated to fighting for what she’s passionate about systemic racism, economic injustice, climate democracy, and of course, a thriving cannabis community.
Photo courtesy of KGB Reserve
We love to see it: Latinx-owned brands are becoming more and more popular, and we couldn’t be happier about it. As a community that has historically experienced racism and xenophobia related to the use of cannabis, it’s empowering to see them gain leadership in the evergrowing world of weed. KGB Reserve is one of these brands, founded by Mike and Derrick after they met at a cannabis convention back in 2011.
Nowadays, their combined 45 plus years of experience, knowledge, and friendship are the foundation of the luxury cannabis brand that promises memorable experiences. The company holds licenses through the city of Oakland that focuses on groundbreaking social equity programs, furthering the fight in the War on Drugs, and helping communities thrive by example.
Photo courtesy of Dreamt
We’ve got double trouble: the same founder of Luchador, Carolina Vazquez Mitchell, is the creator of the groundbreaking formula that combined cannabinoids, terpenes, and sleep supplements to give birth to dreamt. She always had sleep problems, and realized that cannabis just might hold the key to fixing that (boy, was she right).
Together with her best friend, Dr. Jannise Babbush, they co-founded dreamt and went on to win awards and have been featured in anything from Rolling Stone to Dope Magazine. Women are leading the way in the future of cannabis, and this brand proves that by delivering products made with purpose and supporting social equity programs.