Love is the Foundation of Our SOCIETY
Here at SOCIETY’s Plant we believe this plant is intended to be used for the healing and betterment of society. Sharing the stories of how people of different races, religions, genders, sexual orientations, physical abilities, backgrounds, and philosophies utilize this plant to better themselves, helps us to connect with others, and raise awareness of the good that can come from cannabis.
Starting from a place of LOVE and curiosity, helps to guide us in the work we do in accepting and understanding others. LOVE is the foundation of our product creation process as we strive to provide customers with products that we hope will positively impact their life. Today we tell the stories of some of the people we admire and respect, to learn from hearing different perspectives.
Advances in the legalization of cannabis can be attributed to the LGBTQ+ community!
One point we have to cover is giving a huge THANK YOU - to the LGBTQ+ community for paving the way to cannabis legalization. Advocates of cannabis and the LGBTQ+ community have long gone hand in hand. The LGBTQ Community has not received the recognition that is deserved for the hard work and effort that the community has put in. The work during the AIDS epidemic, which advocated for patients to have access to cannabis for symptom tolerance and life extension, propelled California medical marijuana legalization forward in the most notable way. If you want to read further on the history of LGBTQ community and cannabis - check out this brief history of how cannabis and LGBQ rights have reformed through the decades. The cannabis community largely should be thanking the LGBTQ community for the foundation they laid in cannabis advocacy work and beyond.
Cannabis & LGBTQ Advocates Create Safe Spaces
More than anything creating spaces that allow those in the margins to be seen, heard, and cared for is vital to activists and the movement they are fighting for. Every one of our PRIDE advocacy participants creates safe spaces in some way. Whether it is through creating content that allows others to feel safe like Bradley Cooper and Shayna Matevich, building an online community like Lisa Snyder from Toketivity, or curating a physical space to host people like Copper House Detroit, co-owned by Jess Jackson.
Jess Jackson - Co-Founder of Copper House Detroit
Jess Jackson Cofounder of The Copper House tells us how plant medicine has changed her life.
Jess @iamjesshuman centers her work on the visibility and inclusion of marginalized bodies and she is the co-founder of @copperhousede, which offers a safe space for cannabis consumers to gather, rest, and connect.
How do you advocate for plant medicine?
I hold space for folks to consume & learn about plant medicine in peace. I am co-owner of Copper House Detroit and we offer a safe space for cannabis consumers to gather, rest, and connect.
How has cannabis improved your life?
I have lots of digestive issues. I use cannabis as an alternative to narcotics for pain management. Additionally, I consume cannabis to help me manage mental illness—depression, and anxiety, specifically. Cannabis has helped me show up more fully myself and with less pain.
The HIV/AIDS epidemic plagued the LGBTQ+ community in the 80’s and queer and trans advocates organized for legalization because cannabis helped AIDS patients gain an appetite. They advocated for legalization so that patients could have access to their medicine and extend their lives. So, LGBTQ+ advocacy has not only shaped modern cannabis legalization - it created it.
Are there any ways that being LGBTQ+ has helped or prepared you for cannabis advocacy?
Yes! I always liken my public consumption to coming out of the closet. I had to move across the country to marry my wife because we did so before it was federally legal. Cannabis is not yet federally legal and that doesn’t scare me. Being Queer and Out has prepared me to advocate, educate, and consume shame-free.
What challenges have you faced in your advocacy work for cannabis or as an LGBTQ+ person?
When I started hosting kickbacks in my house and marketing my engagement in cannabis, I got terminated from an executive-level position. I was told I was operating in direct conflict with the mission of my firm. I call that moment my liberation. I hated that role and would have never left. Now I’m The Director of External Affairs and Social Equity at the largest vertically integrated cannabis manufacturer in the state and make nearly double what I was paid, so God had a plan.
What is your favorite SOCIETY’s Plant Product and how or why do you use it?
I love the Magical Plant Salve! Pain rubs have been so critical in my pain management journey. From managing menstrual cramps to healing skin irritations, I put it on everything like Windex!
Tokeativity - Creating Events and Community to Unite Female Cannabis Consumers
Despite censorship, cannabis advocacy continues to expand online and in grassroots communities. With e-commerce of CBD products continuing to expand, so does the knowledge of the plant. Some of our advocates are on a mission to use digital strategies to keep the industry growing, and we are here for it!
We spoke with Lisa Snyder, the co-founder of Tokeativity to talk about her work in the advocacy space of cannabis, women’s empowerment, and the LGBTQ+ community. Lisa is an inspiration in the way that she leads communities and holds space for communities through both positive and challenging times! She’s a badass feminist and plant medicine advocate with incredible knowledge and experience in the realm of digital marketing. She has been recognized for her work in Forbes, Rolling Stone, Condé Nast Traveler, Yahoo! Finance, The Guardian, MJ Lifestyle, Travel Portland, and Dope Magazine among many more and we are very honored that she took the time to hang with SOCIETY’s Plant.
Lisa Snyder, Co-Founder & Chief Innovation Officer of Tokeativity
Currently, I’m the executive producer for Tokeativity events and have spearheaded the development of over 300 global experiences, along with Tokeativity’s membership portal. I am also the co-creator of Bridges, a series with a focus on race, equity, and inclusion in collaboration with Club Kindness and Haus of Jane; events produced in partnership with Women Employed in Cannabis, for women working in cannabis, hemp & CBD. Lastly, I am a board member of Sweet Jane Magazine and The Oregon Cannabis Association.
How has cannabis improved or impacted your life?
Cannabis has played a huge role in supporting women's liberation, which I am super passionate about, in addition to normalization. The more everyday people, especially women and mothers, that get comfortable with talking about cannabis, the further we can go together. Co-Founding Tokeativity has changed the trajectory of my life and I hope many other people's lives, too. My hope is that my normalization work helps liberate others and helps doctors, nurses, and politicians understand that a plant can help save lives, and maybe even cure cancer. Putting energy into Tokeativity is my way of supporting those who want to break free of the things that hold them back from being themselves.
How has being LGBTQ+ prepared you for advocacy?
I was outed at 17 by my girlfriend at the time's parents, to my parents in 1999. I ended up attending Ithaca College my freshman year, a very gay-friendly school, which helped me find more people like myself through the LGBTQ+ club. 1999 - 2000 was a big coming out year for me, where I had the opportunity to choose who and when I told people about being - at the time - bisexual. I ended up walking in the big Gay Pride parade in New York City along with being invited to be a public speaker at Ithaca where I spoke openly on sexuality panels in classrooms.
What challenges do you experience in cannabis as an LGBTQ+ person?
Cannabis, in general, and like most of the world is extremely heteronormative. The visibility of the LGBTQ+ community is a tiny pinky nail on the giant cannabis community in this country and across the world. I am surrounded by straight people who think and see the world in a certain way most of the time. I love my straight allies, but the cannabis industry does lack the diversity I crave on a daily. My community of queers has been reduced significantly as I travel further along in my cannabis journey.
As a femme-identifying lesbian, it pains me to feel like in order to be truly heard or taken seriously by both women and men in this space, leaning into my femme identity and feminine qualities is more celebrated and accepted.
In leaning into my femme identity or qualities, I have, at times, become seen by men as a sex object and therefore have to try 40 times harder, if I even care to, to have what we are doing be taken seriously by them. I have to use statistics and throw out accolades to be heard and respected by them.
Conferences are particularly the most patriarchal environments filled with men who do and say whatever the hell they want. I've had my ass grabbed once after giving my business card to a guy. Another time at a professional conference I was sexually harassed even though I barely interacted with the guy, again, talking about my ass and what he liked sexually. It's stuff like this that makes environments for women and other marginalized groups, not want to participate in things and that needs to change. These conferences completely lack harassment policies. We encourage anyone who is seeking to create a more welcoming environment for all and who truly wants to see more diversity to take our code of conduct (available at http://tokeativity.com/connect/terms at the top) and adopt it for their own events (please credit Tokeativity if you do this, in the credits, along with the others who have helped pave the way.).
What is your favorite SOCIETY’s Plant Product and how/why do you use it?
I love the Delta 8 gummies - they come in the cutest round tin, and you can get them shipped right to your door. I use them at night instead of a glass of wine or on the weekends walking out with my dog.
Parents Can Consume Cannabis and Not Conform to Societal Norms...
Bradley King lives an authentic life that he loves, and it shows. You can see his confidence when you visit his IG @bradleykingcc
Cannabinoids are an essential part of Bradley King’s lifestyle, and he confidently displays that through his educational reels that entertain and keep us giggling for more. He expands our minds on what a family can look like and inspires us to openly be ourselves. Much like us, at SOCIETY’s Plant, he wants to use his platform to push forward initiatives such as cannabis use during parenting, the right to body autonomy, the use of plant medicine, and the fight to free those still behind bars for non-violent cannabis crimes. We consider Bradley a direct member of the SOCIETY family and we love working with him to promote the KING’s GOLD-X line of Delta-10 products. Of course, this article is about his advocacy work in the LGBTQ+ community and with cannabis, so let's dive into what he had to say…
Bradley King in Drag as Mrs. Ivana Humpalot
Tell us about you as an advocate and how cannabis impacted your life?
I enjoy showing the world that you can be a great member of society while utilizing plant medicine. I am a Gender Nonconforming Father/husband and I work in the cannabis community as an "online influencer" and a Life Coach that will incorporate plant medicine into my sessions if the client desires! www.cclifecoaching.com
Cannabis has given me a lot to look forward to in life. I have gone from being numbed out with pharmaceuticals to being fully present in every moment! Cannabis has helped me to gain more control over my mental health. I had panic disorder anxiety and PTSD for over 15 years. Luckily, I figured out that cannabis helps, but we still have to always work on ourselves and take additional action to seek well-being.
How do cannabis and the LGBTQ+ community crossover?
A lot of the queer community has helped the cannabis community to where it’s currently at. I believe we have a long way to go with the acceptance of those in both communities. Cannabis and LGBTQ communities should be working together side by side.
What challenges have you faced in your advocacy work?
I believe you’re going to experience hate anywhere you go, no matter what you advocate for. You just have to keep moving forward. People are always going to have something to say about your situation, your lifestyle, or the way you just are, as a person. It’s important to only listen to the ones that you love and to constantly remind yourself that you deserve the peace of mind. We all deserve to live authentically!
What is your favorite SOCIETY’s Plant Product?
The KING’s GOLD-X Delta-10 gummies are my go-to every single day. It helps combat my anxiety, and it helps me stay calm throughout the day. By the end of the night, I’m ready to crash and I love that I can sleep through the night without waking up.
Cannabis Digital Content Creators are the Movement
Unique and fabulous Shayna, from @SouthSideShankie is a Digital Creator that represents Chicago and Colorado advocating through education and humor.
Shayna AKA Southside Shankie sharing life as an advocate with a dash of humor to end the stigma about my favorite plant!
In what way do you advocate for plant medicine?
I am a multidisciplinary creator focused on diversity and representation in the plant wellness + cannabis industry. I create it as a way to bring awareness to ending the stigma surrounding BIPOC people & cannabis use. I'm very pro-normalizing cannabis consumption for all.
Cannabis and Autoimmune Disorders..
Cannabis has impacted and improved my everyday life! I live with Autoimmune disorders and cannabis helps me to function. It’s important to manage stressors to avoid flare-ups and cannabis is my go-to. Without cannabis, I wouldn’t have found this community that I feel blessed to be a part of!
What challenges have you faced in your advocacy work for cannabis?
I would have to say the cannabis niche censorship on social media is wholly disheartening. As a result, I’ve had to become even more creative and change my content strategy a few times. I see it as an opportunity to “try on other hats”, so to speak. I know it’s hard to stay motivated when you get seemingly innocuous posts removed, but keep posting! Your tribe will find you!
What is your favorite SOCIETY’s Plant Product and how/why do you use it?
I have really enjoyed my daily cup(s) of the Positivi-Tea! Especially a nice tall glass of iced Positivi-Tea (I add a little agave nectar) with these hot summer days in Chicago we’ve been having. It is the perfect calming & refreshing treat!
Gratitude for the LGBTQ+ Cannabis Advocacy Efforts
The cannabis community would not be where it is today without the gallant efforts of LGBTQ+ community members in the 80s, which still inspires others to this day. It is an honor to present these stories of advocacy and awareness done by these incredible humans that we featured. We know there are many others out there doing this great work of normalizing cannabis consumption and helping to fight for equality. We have immense gratitude for the hard work that has been done by the LGBTQ community to pave the way for cannabis legalization efforts. Here at SOCIETY’s Plant, we want to show our appreciation to the LGBTQ+ community that has helped pave the road to where cannabis normalization is today.
Love is the Foundation of Our SOCIETY - Advocacy T-shirts
If you want to spread the LOVE of SOCIETY in a wearable fashion, check out our “Love is the Foundation of Our SOCIETY” t-shirts.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the products mentioned in this article are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.