Pride Month occurs every year in June and honors the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The first Pride march was held in New York City in June of 1970, the one-year anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, according to the U.S. Library of Congress, and has become a staple in cities across the globe every June. The month aims to show support and appreciation for the LGBTQ+ community across the world. Pride parades and festivals happen everywhere as well as many companies offering donations to LGBTQ+ communities. Many cannabis companies have been following suit and offer special deals for Pride and donations to different LGBTQ+ charities around the nation.
Companies such as Lowell Farms and The Source+ make it a priority to show support for the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month. These companies are offering deals and donating some of their proceeds from this month to different LGBTQ+ organizations. These companies believe it’s important to show support to the LGBTQ+ community and prove it with their actions.
“Inclusivity is one of the pillars of our company—we like to make sure everybody is included and treated equally,” says Brett Sprau, the director for The Source+ Massachusetts in Northampton.
This month, The Source+ is doing a round-up promotion with the Venture Out Project. The Venture Out Project is a local Northampton program for the queer and transgender community to go on wilderness and backpacking trips. It also offers inclusion workshops for summer camps, educators and more. On all purchases this month, The Source+ is asking customers if they want to round up their change to the nearest dollar for a donation to the program. The store is also hosting an in-store raffle where customers can purchase raffle tickets in-store and be entered for a chance to win tickets to a RuPaul Drag Race show in Boston at the House of Blues Boston on Aug. 7. The store has been offering Pride Flags and Pride-themed drawstring bags to customers.
Sprau says that Northampton is a very LGBTQ-friendly community and a community-driven area, so partnering with a local organization was a “no brainer” for the company. The Source+ also works with several other organizations aiming to better the area. For example, they partnered with OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation, which is an organization that focuses on helping the local area. They have launched campaigns that helped clean up the streets of Holeyoke and helped to distribute COVID tests to lower income areas. It also hosts tutoring programs for students during the school year.
As a company that is very involved in the local community, it’s easy to see why The Source+ wanted to help support Pride Month. This company believes it’s important to support the community “We just want to be a part of the community,” Sprau says. “That’s what I think the easiest way to support the community is, to be involved in it and do whatever the community needs for us to do.”
The cannabis community and the LGBTQ+ community are very similar, Sprau says. Both have faced tough battles, though the LGBTQ+ community has faced more. “Cannabis has a history of being seen as an outsider community,” Sprau says. “I think there’s just that relationship of understanding. I think it’s just two groups of people that understand each other better.”
Another company that is celebrating Pride Month is Lowell Farms. The company is offering limited-edition Pride Packs this month, which include six premium prerolls packaged with a Pride Rainbow Lowell Farms logo. Lowell Farms has been partnered with GLAAD for many years now, and this month it is donating $1 from every sale to go to GLAAD.
George Allen, chairman of the board for Lowell Farms, states why it’s important to support the LGBTQ+ community during Pride Month. “The ‘why’ is very easy to answer,” Allen says. “It’s because we support the LGBTQ+ community. We support human rights and the personal freedoms that all people deserve, without exception. Diversity and inclusivity are foundational to Lowell Farms’ mission, and we will never waver from our support.”
“We are honored to renew our Pride partnership with Lowell Farms for the second year in a row,” says Melissa Harris, GLAAD’s senior director of strategic partnerships. “The support of allies in every space is tremendously important in our collective effort to accelerate LGBTQ acceptance. As we celebrate queer joy, GLAAD encourages everyone to remember that allyship extends far beyond the month of June. Brands like Lowell Herb are using this opportunity to educate the public on LGBTQ issues, and it is vital that allies commit to continue this kind of support for the community year-round. This is an ongoing movement—for customers and corporations alike.”
The mission for these companies is the same—lend support and appreciation during this Pride Month and beyond. With many cannabis companies showing their outward support for Pride month, they are an example for others to celebrate Pride month and LGBTQ+ community.
AUTHOR BIO: Carlie Reese is an editorial intern for Cannabis Business Times.
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