The connection between LGBTQ Pride and cannabis is one of mutual love and respect. During the height of the AIDS epidemic in the 1990’s in San Francisco, marijuana made its first official case for itself for patients suffering from Wasting Syndrome. Under the mighty name, The Compassionate Use Act, the first bill was passed on the legalization of medicinal marijuana on November 5, 1996. Learn more about the history of legalizing marijuanahere.
As a dispensary supporting Pride we are honored to have partnered with two stand-up LGBTQ cannabis brandsfor Gay Pride Month to create a premiumPride Ccollection of products that we feel reflect high-quality in both business and community.
Chris, the founder of Somatik, is a Bay Area native who is out and proud as both queer and a cannabis user. He laughed when he told us that coming out as a cannabis user to his family was as hard, if not harder for him to help his family understand than his sexuality. But for his healing, there was no other way. He had suffered a terrible back injury in which he ruptured two discs, and in addition to the excruciating pain he experienced physically, his mental wellness also took a toll. While in the throes of physical therapy, he began to use cannabis to support the mind+body connected he discovered as integral to the process, and it wasn’t long before he was using cannabis to treat the anxiety and depression he had develope,d as well. He says “I believe that cannabis supports mental health and that treating a mental illness is sometimes less effective than just treating the symptoms it may be causing.”
So, when an opportunity in the marketplace arose for Chris to develop a cannabis product, he was adamant that it needed to be something familiar to a new or returning user. Because shedding the stigma of cannabis use so more people could access its benefits was a core value in creating his products, he felt that edibles were an inclusive way to introduce cannabis.
He courted direct-trade Ritual Coffee Roasters in SF to create a product he could get behind. He appreciated that farming coffee gets approached with many of the same principles of growing marijuana; both are plants, and he liked the idea of the marriage between the medicinal and recreational properties they both carry. He says that together they make “a natural synergistic effect,” he also liked, of course, how well the flavors complemented one another. Naturally, he named his company, Somatik after the mind-body connection he holds so high.
Based in SF, Somatik is a queer owned and operated business, and they make an effort to focus on diversity when hiring. All products are handcrafted in SF.
Which brings us to Pride Wellness, the brand-child of BuckAngel and Leon Mostovoy.
Both trans men, Leon is, by any account, a well-known artist and activist in the Los Angeles LGBTQ community and at large. And, Buck, well Buck’s leadership and passion (and Leon’s for that matter, too) in maintaining medicinal marijuana access to marginalized communities, is a force of nature. Both drug and alcohol counselors who sincerely believe that the healing and therapeutic benefits of cannabis.
Similar to Chris of Somatik, Buck and Leon are fired up about shedding the stigma around cannabis use. Buck will be the first to buck any conflicting ideas around using cannabis interfering with one’s sobriety. They both come in first to stand up against the use of opioids for pain and have put CBD to the test as a way of remedying conditions from PTSD, anxiety, depression, and drug withdrawal.
Leon already had his cannabis delivery service, which focuses on serving members of their community suffering from medical and psychological ailments such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, common conditions from which many in the LGBTQ community are suffering.
Together they have created products that center around mental and physical wellness. Their Buck’s Balm is a topical remedy made with CBD as well as their vape. They actively work to create jobs in cannabis for their community, advocating for small business and work toward keeping an affordable market for marijuana alive, from licensing and jobs to consumption.
We are teaming up with Somatik and Pride Wellness to support the Los Angeles LGBT Center. For every purchase of the Pride Collection a donation of 10% of the purchase price will be donated to the Los Angeles LGBT Center for Senior Services.
So here we are at the start of summer, the season synonymous with fun in the sun. Punctuated by slow setting suns, fireworks, outdoor concerts, spontaneous BBQs and tan lines, we are honored to kick-off this favorite time of the year with a partnership we are proud to be in; we support our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and are excited to take our relationship to new heights!