Being inclusive is a big deal.
The saying goes “when you have more than you need, build a bigger table not a higher fence.” The cannabis community is historically one that embraces the underdogs and outcasts. The solidarity that came from partaking in cannabis in the face of prohibition together made for an instant bond. (At least in my experience.) With the passing of initiative 502 in Washington state, along with similar voter approved legislation in other states, that prohibition is coming to an end. It’s no longer the oddballs and outsiders who are becoming cannabis enthusiasts; it’s beginning to be all walks of life (21 years of age or older, of course). As we go from stoners who love the herb, to professionals of industry who love the herb the importance of an inclusive attitude when it comes to cannabis is pivotal to the Washington cannabis market.
New demographics expanding the Washington cannabis market.
False propaganda regarding cannabis being pushed for years along with the labeling of weed as an illegal substance has kept lots of people from entertaining the idea even of trying it. People who were under the impression that it would turn them into an immovable object or into an addict are now being educated on the misconceptions they’ve bought into. The Washington cannabis market is expanding, which for our industry, is a fantastically good thing and something to build upon.
We’ve written before about the outreach we’ve done with seniors. The reaction of which has been incredible. It’s landed us on the front page of Westside Seattle along with features in a couple local papers around South Seattle. Since showing that we’re a welcoming place to all levels of experience our budtenders have noticed more people in the advanced age range have been coming to our stores. They feel comfortable and welcome in doing so.
There are all kinds of demographics which could be contributors to the Washington cannabis market. They just don’t realize it yet. Of course, as a business this is great because it means more people coming to your store. More importantly, in an age where weed is still federally illegal inviting those new demographics to join our table is putting more people on the side of progress and normalization.
Embracing the canna-curious and the microdosers.
Now, not everybody seems to get this. There are still plenty of people in the industry who would rather remain elite. Some feel a little superiority for smoking before it was legal. It’s fine to take pride in that, but now is not the time to use it as a reason to shame people new to cannabis. You don’t need to be able to dab a full gram to enjoy cannabis.
Making someone feel unwelcome when they decide to give it a try is only going to hurt the overall mission of normalization. The more people on board– including the soccer moms, the retiree’s, the PTA, foodies, your local pastor– the louder our voices are when we demand changes to laws regarding cannabis. Just because someone prefers to microdose instead of eat a 1000mg edible doesn’t make them any less of a contributor to progress and to expanding Washington’s cannabis market.
I love cannabis. I love bringing people into the fold and showing them how it could improve their quality of life. This industry is full of people passionate about the plant. If you love something, if you’re passionate about it why wouldn’t you want more people to enjoy it? Imagine a world where more people opted to enjoy an after work bong rip instead of beer. Creating a culture of inclusion within the industry is a step closer towards making the world a better place.
Written by: Nikki Marangon
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