The Cannabiz is booming, and the spotlight (unfortunately) tends to shine mostly on white, cisgendered people. The parallels, however, between the LGBTQ+ and cannabis communities are historically strong, so queer folks in the business are reclaiming space and making a name for themselves.
“I’VE ALWAYS BEEN SUPPORTED; I’VE NEVER BEEN MISGENDERED”
“I actually transitioned on the job almost five years ago, and I encountered the most amazing, accepting people in this industry.”
Passing as a cis man for her first 25 years, Jacqueline Renae McGrane only transitioned after founding a business (Cannabinoid Consulting) and making her mark in the cannabis industry — finding only solid support.
“Being able to run my own business and transition is something I think a lot of trans people don’t get the opportunity to do, so I am very grateful for this industry and the people in it. I’ve always been supported; I’ve never been misgendered.”
Learn more about McGrane’s experiences in the business, and meet fellow queer cannabis pioneer Kait May.
BRINGING CANNABIS BACK TO ITS (QUEER) ROOTS
“The queer community, specifically gay men and the HIV/AIDS crisis, are why we even have legal cannabis today.”
Trans porn star Buck Angel has taken adult film success — and high visibility as one of the most famous trans men in the world — and pointed it toward the $40B cannabis industry.
The goal? Bring the healing powers of weed back to the LGBTQ+ community, where the fight for legalization got its start.
Read on to learn how Buck Angel wants to take the huge breadth of opportunity in the cannabis industry, and share it with his community.
RECLAIMING THEIR SPACE
With state after state passing cannabis reforms — and poll after poll showing the majority of Americans supporting said reforms — the marijuana industry is poised for seriously explosive growth.
A glaring problem? The industry’s gatekeepers are overwhelmingly white, cis, straight, and male.
Women and people of color have been fighting for visibility and space within the industry, but another group largely left out of the conversation is the LGBTQ+ community: A group that blazed the trail for America’s current medical marijuana policies with their activism at the height of the AIDS crisis.
ON THE FRONT LINES OF CHANGE
For cannabis activist Lynette Shaw, it all started in 1995 with a surprise meeting with a Californian chief of police. The subject? AIDS, and how an officer under the chief’s supervision might find relief, as the man was losing 25 lbs per month.
When Shaw met Dennis Peron, an LGBTQ+ activist involved in both San Francisco’s gay rights and cannabis rights movements, he hired her to do intake at his San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club (one of the first illegal, underground medical cannabis clubs). Their friendship would form an alliance that’s responsible for the medical marijuana legislation we see today.
Learn how Lynette Shaw ended up in that surprise meeting, and into a life of HIV/AIDS and cannabis activism.
WHO’S YOUR DREAM CELEBRITY CANNA-BUDDY?
As strides continue toward the legalization and destigmatization of cannabis, it’s important to give a huge thank you to the community that’s making it happen.
A great way to celebrate and give thanks? Gettin’ high with your fav queer celebrities. (Hello, “Weed Queen” Ilana Glazer!)
Who else is part of the list? Check it out, and start dreaming.