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Celebrating Pride Month 2022: The Cannabis and LGBTQIA Crossover

This June is Pride Month, a global celebration of freedom, civil liberty, and the power of asserting one’s identity. But did you know that Pride is also a cannabis story? If it weren’t for the passion and dedication of a handful of LGBT activists, the cannabis rights we get to enjoy today would look very, very different.

In today’s post, we’ll share the stories of a handful of these pioneers, as well as introduce you to a couple of the LGBTQIA-led brands we’re proud to carry.

When Is Pride Month? Honoring Harvey Milk, California’s First Out Official

Harvey Milk had worked at several careers by the time he moved to San Francisco in 1972. And one of them—as a naval officer—ended when he was forced to resign over his sexual identity. 

In San Francisco, Milk embraced his homosexuality, and what’s more, he elected to do something meaningful. In 1977 he was elected to the office of City Supervisor, thus becoming the state’s very first out elected official. And one of Milk’s most influential acts was to support Proposition W, a policy paper urging San Francisco to stop prosecuting those caught growing, selling, and using cannabis. 

Milk was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in 1978. But his legacy lives on both in the freedom of self-expression the LGBTQIA community enjoys today, and California’s path-breaking embrace of medical and eventually adult-use cannabis.

Pride Month: Dennis Peron, Cannabis Firebrand

Dennis Peron is known as “The Father of Medical Cannabis” for his pioneering work bringing medical cannabis to California. A friend and associate of Harvey Milk, Peron began his cannabis activism in the ‘70s, holding “smoke-ins” at his commune in the Castro. 

Recognizing that the federal government wasn’t interested in addressing the AIDS crisis and then decimating the city’s gay population, Peron began laying the political groundwork that would culminate in the approval of medical cannabis bill Proposition 215 in 1996. 

Pride Month: Brownie Mary

In 1992, 70-year-old Mary Rathbun partnered with Dennis Peron and other LGBT activists to found California’s first medical cannabis dispensary, the San Francisco Buyers Club. As a hospital volunteer, Rathbun had picked up the nickname “Brownie Mary” for bringing homemade cannabis brownies to AIDS patients. 

While Rathbun’s goal was to provide symptomatic relief to those patients’ suffering, she became an unlikely media star due to her three arrests for possession and distribution of cannabis. Eventually, the City gave her permission to continue distributing her cannabis-infused brownies to those in need. Her work inspired researchers to launch clinical trials to quantify the effects of cannabinoids like THC and CBD that relieve the suffering caused by HIV/AIDS and other serious diseases. 

Some of Our Favorite LGBTQIA-Led Cannabis Brands

Calexo

Offering highly flavorful “alcohol alternatives,” this artist-led beverage brand has created a viable—and completely delightful—option for those who want to get a little loose while remaining social and engaged. 

Drew Martin

Drawing inspiration from its founder’s love of mixology and herbalism, this boutique brand focuses on low-dose prerolls infused with luscious botanicals. 

Nekktar

Biracial, queer- and women-owned, this company is dedicated to meeting the practical needs of those who smoke on the go. Their signature Buzzbox is a simple, sleek, and above all practical option for transporting cannabis products without moisture damage or the escape of telltale aromas.

Sonder

Developed by a couple of outside-the-box cannabis entrepreneurs, this boutique brand produces stellar cannabis oils from an outdoor-grown flower from the warm hills of Mendocino County.

Wyld

Known (and loved) for their flavorful gummies and hipster-Scandinavian packaging, Wyld has taken the edibles market by storm, thanks in large part to shoot-from-the-hip founder Aaron Morris.

Happy Pride Month 2022 From Higher Path

Do you have any other questions about Pride Month or any of the excellent LGBTQIA-led brands we carry? Just reach out! We’re always happy to help. You can also stop by our dispensary or peruse our online menu to see what we currently have in stock. We look forward to serving you soon!