Diversity in Cannabis: Lil Wayne Leads the Charge in Time Square with BIPOC & Female Led Brands

National Cannabis DayIn 2021, the once secret code for cannabis, 4/20 was more than National Cannabis Day; it also marked the historic passage of New York's Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act (MRTA), hailed as the country's most social equity-focused cannabis legislation to date. We were thrilled, as the leading cannabis media brand, to join the award winning Honeysuckle Magazine Times Square billboard campaign recognizing Women and Artists who have participated in and advanced the cannabis industry along with our friends from The Hive, Herb Somm, THC Magazine, Legacy 420, My Bud Vase, HighTeaToday, Rebelle Dispensary, Hamptons Medi-Spa, and Gkua.

It's a monumental moment for showcasing the diversity amongst cannabis, as the entire display was 99% powered by women and has the first two indigenous brands advertising in Times Square.

Pursuing Social Equity in Cannabis

The gutsy and even edgy 420 campaign's purpose is to elevate the social equity conversation by sparking a global presence. As the list of states legalizing marijuana increases, so does epic economic opportunity for some.

Legalization in and of itself does not include diversity or access to the cannabis industry.

This campaign represents the urgent need to understand and advocate for social equity programs that funnel resources to the people who need them most. "At the core of my mission is to set the cannabis record straight and to support equity and minority owned brands and companies that set forth to help women of color become stakeholders in the cannabis space."

The Journey from Reefer Madness to 420's 50th Anniversary

There were no federal restrictions on the sale or possession of cannabis in the US in the 1800s. There were many applications for Hemp including clothes, paper, rope. In the 1900s Mexican immigrants fleeing from poor conditions brought the practice of growing and consuming “marihuana,” the Spanish spelling to the US.

The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act, “fueled by Harry Anslinger, took the scientifically unsupported idea of marijuana as a violence-inducing drug, connected it to black and Hispanic people and manufactured a perfect package of terror to sell to American media and the public. By emphasizing the Spanish word for marihuana instead of cannabis a strong association between the drug and the Mexican immigrants – and created a narrative around the idea that cannabis made black people forget their place in society.

The idea that jazz was evil music created by people under the influence of marijuana was commonplace propaganda.

In 1938, within one year after the Marihuana Tax Act passed, “black people were about three times more likely to be arrested for violating narcotic drug laws then whites and Mexicans were nearly nine times more likely to be arrested for the same charge.

“There are still a lot of people incarcerated and there are still a lot of people that need help. While it is important for us to become a part of the dialogue, it is also incumbent upon us to be the social equity. We have to also be a part of the change."

In 1971 the Waldo brothers used 420 as the secret code for marijuana, in 2021 I like to say "50 is the new 420," and 420 is now fabulously 50!

Have something to say? Let's talk on social!

About the Author

Green Bee Life founder Maria Calabrese author photo

Maria Calabrese

Maria thrives off giving a voice to the cannabis industry's most innovative brands and community, while helping them get the exposure they deserve to unleash the full potential of cannabis as a wellness solution.

Related Posts

April 17, 2023
Laws of the Land: A Legal History of Hemp in America

For centuries, mankind has been using hemp as a source of fiber, oil, food, building material, and medicinal purposes. Though it has been outlawed in the past, hemp has recently been gaining in popularity again. This is thanks to the many benefits that hemp has to offer — and the revival of cannabis legalization and […]

Read More
February 24, 2023
Cannabis Criminal Justice Reform & the Last Prisoner Project

We have a big problem in the US. Our federal, state, and local corrections systems have record numbers of people filling their cells and holding rooms. Yet, despite the legalization and/or decriminalization of various forms of cannabis, there are legions of people still sitting in jail for cannabis-related drug offenses that are no longer crimes. […]

Read More
February 17, 2023
Why Social Equity Is Needed for Those Harmed Most by the War on Drugs

Legalization in and of itself does not include diversity or access to the cannabis industry. Marijuana legalization and its ensuing commercialization require social equity programs to enable access and inclusion into the industry for marginalized populations and communities. Marijuana's bad rap is rooted in racism. Today, in the United States marijuana criminalization still disproportionately affects […]

Read More
November 4, 2022
Never Forget! Weed for Warriors: Medical Marijuana Access for Veterans

Federal marijuana prohibition prevents the VA from offering medical cannabis to veterans & onerous state policies prohibit affordable medical marijuana access to veterans from legal dispensaries. 1 in 3 Americans now live in states where marijuana is legal yet for many of the nation's 18.2 million veterans, federal policy denies veterans access to cannabis from […]

Read More
1 2 3
Download your free guide New To CBD
National Cannabis Industry Association Sustaining Member logo
Green Bee Life
*FDA Disclaimer: These statements and products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

Copyright © 2024 Green Bee Life | Green Bee LLC, is a subsidiary of Green Life Media, Inc., a full service creative agency and production company.

logo for Maria's Kitchen GBL TV channel
Know n' go logo
Knowledge for NewBeez logo
logo for Green Eye for the Stoner Guy GBL TV channel
Quick Hits logo
usercalendar-fullcrosschevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram