To close out this PRIDE month, we're celebrating LGBTQ allies in the industry.
1. Dennis Peron
The late Dennis Peron was an early advocate for medical marijuana in San Francisco, pushing for legalization far before its time. On Instagram, "Father of the Legal Cannabis Industry," Steve DeAngelo remembered Peron in honor of PRIDE this month:
“Dennis Peron changed the history of cannabis when he started giving it away to AIDS patients in San Francisco at the height of that epidemic in the 1980s. His act of love and courage validated the medical use of cannabis, alleviated suffering, prevented weather and ushered in the modern cannabis freedom movement. Rest in Love, Respect and PRIDE old friend.”- Steve DeAngelo
2. Josh Drayton
Communications and Outreach Director at the California Cannabis Industry Association, Josh Drayton, helped the organization develop its Diversity and Inclusion program. In a 2018 interview he told FreedomLeaf.com:
"I started to get concerned about the lack of LGBT representation when I went to some of the Cannabis Cups...because of the extreme white male presence and advertising geared toward heterosexual men.”- Josh Drayton
3. Andrew Modlin
Though he recently stepped down from his position on MedMen’s Board of Directors, co-founder of California cannabis giant, MedMen, Andrew Modlin made a point to make LGBTQ initiatives a priority at his company.
In 2019 MedMen proudly showcased “Limited-Edition Pride Products” with 15% of proceeds going to the LGBTQ community. MedMen also paused to allow employees to walk in West Hollywood’s famed PRIDE parade in 2019.
4. Laganja Estranja
A former competitor on “RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laganja Estrangja is an avid supporter of all things PRIDE.
From a pioneer in the drag world to music and her own cannabis brand, Laganja Estranja has used her platform to push ahead LGBTQ rights in the cannabis world.
5. Isamarie Pérez
“Cannabis strategist, advisor and activist,” Isamarie Pérez is a visible advocate in the space. She’s worked with Meadow and Supernova Women. More recently, she started her own cannabis consulting firm, Perez Cannabis Consulting. This month she was a virtual speaker at Lesbians WHOtech #PRIDESummit.
In a recent interview with Advocate, Pérez cited painter Frida Kahlo as her PRIDE inspiration:
“I am committed to my craft and growing my cannabis business and those of other queer, Latinx, BIPOC, and women founders to make sure our legacies will not die.”