Don't stop! Fighting stigma and maintaining stamina in the cannabis industry
"Life would be so much easier if I had a 'real job' still," I told Brit Smith, host of iHeartMedia's Blunt Talk podcast last month while recording an episode about the stigma cannabis professionals experience.
But easy ain't sexy. Easy isn't fun. Easy isn't exciting. Easy doesn't change the world. Sure, being a pioneer in an oft-loathed industry with a nonstop barrage of ideas and opportunities and revelations about people and businesses keeps the best of us up at night, but it's worth it.
This is a complex time for any Massachusetts cannabis entrepreneur, and for any professional and/or advocate working in the cannabis industry. Big businesses and big money are coming into play more and more, jobs are being created, competition is increasing regardless of what type of business you're in. This is what we fought for.
More members of the non-consuming public are understanding that cannabis is something to be understood rather than feared, thanks in large part to announcements such as "My thinking on cannabis has evolved," by former speaker of the House John Beohner and other "normal" professionals and leaders. And just this week the U.S. Senate approved legislation that will kickstart the American hemp economy. This is huge!
"Cannabis touches everybody's life in many different ways, particularly right now when we're watching the evolution of the creation of laws," I said on the podcast. "And with that we're creating businesses. And then we have to have standards by which these businesses operate and how we treat our employees."
In some ways it feels like the job is done, what's next? Advocate for senior citizens? Save the rainforests? Continue the fight for cannabis access and opportunity in a new state?
The job is not nearly done, actually. And that is as exciting as it is intimidating (and exhausting but you can do it!). As the incredible C3RN, MRCC, Commissioner Shaleen Title and Rutgers criminal justice doctoral candidate Sarah Trocchio explained in their webinar, "Data, Strategies and Tools for Local Level Cannabis Advocacy," there is much left to do here in Massachusetts. Click here to read more about the webinar and check out some helpful takeaways in the slides shared in this article from MassLive.
Keep up the fight, and please support the organizations still advocating and educating! And check out Blunt Talk's Ep5- The One about Stigma and How to Work in the Cannabis Industry below!