Smoke, dine, relax and celebrate with these LGBTQIA+ owned, founded, or operated cannabis companies.
Confession time: I didn’t attend my first Pride till I was 20 years old, way back in ye olde 2011. I had already been (mostly) out for two years and both my hometown and college town had Pride festivities. But I was, in ways I could not quite articulate then, afraid. But with THC rolling through my system, I made it out to celebrate.
Cannabis, for queer people, can be a big deal. It’s long been part of the ways we care for ourselves, as evidenced by the way AIDS patients helped jumpstart the movement for legal medical cannabis in America. It’s how we relax with trusted friends. A way we unwind from the internal and external struggles that can sometimes make just existing feel like a chore.
As a community, we have trillions in spending power . So why not, this month (and every month,) use that power to support the brands and businesses of our people?
Last year, we covered eight incredible LGBTQIA+ cannabis companies, and now we’re back with six more companies who demonstrate not only the diverse and innovative ways cannabis can be enjoyed, but the queer excellence within the cannabis community.
Founded in 2016 by queer co-founders Karina Primelles and partner Mennlay Golokeh Aggrey, Xula Herbs is a Latinx- and Black-owned hemp company based in Mexico City. Through a wide range of phenomenal CBD products, their mission is to “to dignify, amplify, and revive menopausal bodies, trans bodies, differently-abled bodies, nonbinary bodies, and all bodies left out of our society’s gaze.”
For Karina Primelles, their work in cannabis speaks to the core freedom of queerness.
“I see my queerness as a process of becoming, of finding greater freedom by being able to express myself authentically while letting go of societal norms and fear of judgement. Part of the medicine of cannabis is that it allows me to break from certain thinking patterns and expand the ways in which I relate to myself and others. In this way, I see cannabis as part of this journey of showing me and helping my process of becoming.”Karina Primelles
Xula’s unique products like their ah! blend for calm + clarity and their solo hemp relief blend featuring full spectrum CBD and CBG, are derived from certified organic hemp grown on their farm in Southern Oregon, giving Xula the power to ensure top quality every step of the way.
Xula’s dedication to intersectional queer community goes beyond the product-level. Through their marketing efforts, Xula aims to “amplify and provide genuine visibility and representation to our communities.” On the distribution side, they’ve also created a network of very intentional relationships with vendors, including Latinx, BIPOC, queer, and women-led businesses.
Founded by CEO Lex Corwin in 2016, Stone Road is a cannabis farm that’s working to make a difference through ethical growing practices, an employee-owned structure, and their signature product: breathtakingly beautiful joints.
Named after the place Corwin first started growing cannabis, Stone Road is a company built on fair wages, diverse hiring, and a people-over-profit model for cannabis you can feel good about smoking (instead of just high.)
“The easiest way for consumers to voice their support is with their dollars. If you support companies that have like-minded values to you, those companies will succeed and those companies will grow and continue to represent you in the marketplace.”Lex Corwin
One of the many things that set Stone Road apart is their widely followed, gorgeous Instagram, which seeks to show cannabis consumers as they authentically are. “Everyone talks about our Instagram first like ‘Oh it’s so diverse! It’s so inclusive!’ but that was literally just a reflection of the cannabis industry. Half our photos are just from consumers who DM us who want to be featured on our page. The fact is that the majority of them are BIPOC consumers and LGBTQ+ consumers, and those are the people who support Stone Road,” says Corwin.
With hand-trimmed reserve bud and stunning joints rolled with fine French paper, Stone Road products exemplify what it means to love cannabis.
“We’re trying to raise the standards of the industry. I really feel like we’re at this pivotal moment where so many people are interacting with the plant for the first time. If we can make them feel comfortable and like they’re indulging in something beautiful and natural, that’s going to be the difference between continuously fighting new restrictions against commercial cannabis activity and cannabis possession, and making them say, ‘Yes we want this industry, we want these jobs, we want this inclusivity.'”
With distribution across California, licensed products in Oklahoma, and plans for future expansion into New York, Stone Road products give queer consumers everywhere a glimpse into a more equitable future of cannabis. And for Corwin, there’s something special about the right now for queer cannabis consumers and entrepreneurs. “This is a once-in-a-generation time. It’s an extremely exciting time.”
CommCan Inc. is the locally-owned and operated brainchild of queer majority-owner Ellen Rosenfeld and her two brothers.
Founded in 2015 as part of the Massachusetts Medical Use Of Marijuana Program, CommCan has quickly grown to include multiple dispensaries, a cultivation facility, and some of the most exciting cannabis brands in the state.
Like many LGBTQ+ people, Rosenfeld has built her success through ingenuity, creative thinking, and turning the injustices around her into opportunities. When Massachusetts limited cannabis business zoning to low-traffic, tucked away areas on the outskirts of town, Rosenfield and her brothers took long-held family land in an industrial park and turned it into an ever-growing cannabis empire.
Her perseverance and resourcefulness have allowed CommCan to remain fiercely independent, delivering quality products with the highest standard of integrity.
“So many people are getting into this business and they have no idea what they’re doing. They either have a lot of money and don’t know what they’re doing, or they do know what they’re doing, but they don’t have any money. They have to partner with the people who do have a lot of money, and then the people who have a lot of money want to run the business. That’s a shame.”Ellen Rosenfeld
In addition to filling their shelves with high-quality bud and expertly rolled joints, CommCan produces several popular house brands like Sip carbonated beverages and DRiP vape products. CommCan is also the exclusive licensed grower and distributor of mega-popular Cookies brand cannabis in New England.
If Pride celebrations demonstrate one thing, it is that community and the experience of coming together are core to the joy that can be found in the LGBTQ+ community.
Enter Altered Plates: the brainchild of queer co-founder Rachel Burkons and her brother Chef Holden Jagger, Altered Plates is a “creative culinary collective that brings together cannabis, food, beverage and good old fashioned hospitality.”
By bringing together their shared experience in both the hospitality industry and the culinary world, Burkons and Jagger are changing the ways brands reach cannabis consumers. From their start of hosting private cannabis and food pairing events, Burkons and Jagger have quickly expanded their innovative company to include culinary education, product development and creating incredible on-site consumption experiences.
“I think cannabis is so important to the queer community because our legal cannabis industry is directly rooted in the gay rights movement and the AIDS epidemic. We owe much to the activists who stood on both sides of these battles – Dennis Peron and Brownie Mary, for example – and it’s so important that we honor these trailblazers’ contributions.
Furthermore, cannabis and queer culture have long been subversive counter-cultures, and although they’re both becoming more widely accepted and mainstreamed, I think there’s something to be said about how “outside” communities might overlap and interact with each other.”Rachel Burkons
Founded by CEO Kim Geraghty in 2014, Madame Munchie specializes in gourmet, delicious edibles that are rooted in the high attention to detail and unrivaled quality of French sweets, bringing a signature mix of Paris chic and Cali chill to any Pride celebration.
With high-end, tasty favorites like her award-winning minimacs and macarons, Geraghty has forged her own unique path through the world of cannabis. Her edibles are not only incredible and unique but also sustainable, created with locally sourced California ingredients and sun-grown cannabis.
Geraghty is doing more than changing the way we see edibles; she’s also helping to change the visibility of LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry.
“In my first jobs in finance, a traditionally conservative industry, I used to fear that my colleagues would find out that I am gay. Now, my rainbow flag, which I’ve owned since I was 16, sits proudly on the wall of the Madame Munchie break room. I love that people can know as soon as they walk in the room that this is a place of tolerance and acceptance for all.”Kim Geraghty
For Geraghty, Madame Munchie is also how she can show our community that cannabis is a place for all. “I want every LGBTQ+ person to know that they have a right to be safe and happy, and that those of us who are lucky to already experience this freedom are here for them,” she says.
You can find Madame Munchie’s delicious array of macaroons, gummies, dessert toppings, and other treats (as well as pre-rolls!) across California.
As the world of edibles expands in new and inventive ways, infused beverages have become one of my personal favorite ways to consume cannabis! Looking to try one for yourself? Take a sip of Cann!
Queer-founded Cann has been a leader in the infused-beverage space since their start in 2018, quickly amassing a following of dedicated fans who love the way Cann beverages leave them feeling bubbly and sociable without that pesky next-day hangover. In their marketing efforts, Cann’s queer roots are a source of pride, with the brand often collaborating with drag artists and queer musicians and issuing product releases like their limited edition Pride sweatshirt.
Formulated with high-quality cannabis and available in both all-THC and THC-CBD hybrid formulas, Cann beverages feature an approachable amount of cannabis that means your low-tolerance friends can enjoy them while high-tolerance enthusiasts can keep the Cann flowing all night long.
Give your social media a splash of Cann’s vibrant fun by checking them out on Instagram.
Calibueno is a Latinx and queer-owned wholesale business in California, founded and operated by visionary Claudia Mercado. The brand puts quality and ethics before profits, offering fair prices on unique, ethical cannabis products from local micro-businesses.
From the beginning, Calibueno has been about staying true to Oakland, opening shop blocks away from where Mercado grew up. Calibueno’s strength lies in its dedication to and passionate support from the community. “It feels good because we’re taking care of our community, and it’s a good business model because people here want to keep it local.”
By paying farmers fairly, investing in community education, and seeking out POC-owned businesses to partner with, Calibueno is giving opportunity and economic justice to the community. And that starts with Calibueno’s mission to be highly ethical in its supply chain.
“As a diverse founder, I am very conscious of every step in the supply chain. We find farmers who are value-aligned, who see me as a queer Latina. People have to understand if you find the right people to work with, all those values are aligned from the beginning.”Claudia Mercado
By supporting Calibueno, you are supporting a future in cannabis that is better and brighter for everyone.
What can a cannabis brand be? What would a lifestyle cannabis brand look like? Can a cannabis brand give you a high in ways that go beyond THC or CBD?
These are all questions we can find thrilling answers to with the queer-founded and operated brand Sundae School. Born in Seoul and raised in California, Sundae School draws rich inspiration from the flavors, art and style of Korea, creating original products that cut through the sea-of-sameness we often see in cannabis.
While specializing in artfully-made pre-rolls and edibles featuring flavors like Sour Yuzu and Lychee Dragon, Sundae School creates more than just absolutely excellent cannabis products. They’re also a full lifestyle brand, crafting their own “smokewear” which transcends and transforms the world of cannabis through quality, dynamic streetwear.
Plus, as part of Sundae School’s deep dedication to promoting inclusion and economic justice, a portion of sales are donated and the brand works closely with other minority-owned businesses, from cannabis farmers to garment vendors.
Discover the electrifying and eccentric world of Sundae School by following them at https://www.instagram.com/sundae.school/
Created in 2018 by married co-founders Faun Chapin and M. Paradise, Sonder is a queer- and women-owned cannabis company who makes cannabis dreams come true though inventive formats, pristine oil cartridges and cannabis quality you can trust.
All of Sonder’s products are formulated with 100% pesticide-free, sun-grown cannabis from second-generation cannabis farmers in Mendocino County. Mendocino County, located on the coast of Northern California (often referred to as the “Emerald Triangle”), has long been a legend in the cannabis scene for consistently producing some of the best cannabis in America.
Known for their acclaimed vape cartridges, Sonder recently launched their new Space Crystals edibles, featuring patented Sublingual Crystal TechnologyTM, which brings delightful fizz, a lively pop and quick-effects to the edible experience. Sounds like the perfect addition to any Pride celebration!
Dive into all things Sonder through their Instagram, https://www.instagram.com/sondertime/
Drew Martin Co.
Owned and operated by Drew Martin, his life partner Andrew Freeman, and their mutual friend Nicholas Pritzker, Drew Martin Co. is a 100% queer-owned cannabis brand that has created the first low-dose, botanical blend pre-rolls on the market.
Drew Martin Co.’s products use only hand-trimmed, whole bud cannabis that’s sun-grown on a small queer, women-owned farm in Mendocino County, choosing cannabis that’s high in terpenes and low in anxiety-related effects. The high-quality flower is then blended with smokable botanical ingredients for globally-inspired flavor and mind-opening joints that any level of cannabis smoker can enjoy.
With flavorful blends like Lavender & Passionflower and Rose Petal & Peppermint, Martin is creating unique pre-rolls that all smokers can enjoy, while continuing to expand on the legacy of queer people in cannabis.
“The path for California’s legalization of cannabis was blazed by queer activists. Harvey Milk passed one of the country’s first decriminalization bills in San Francisco before being assassinated. Dennis Peron dedicated his life to providing access to medicinal cannabis, especially to AIDS patients, and was beaten and arrested for doing so. We get to enjoy working with and consuming this plant freely today because of the sacrifices of our queer forebearers.”Drew Martin
You can find Drew Martin Co. pre-rolls in dispensaries across California.
MD Numbers Inc.
Co-founded by queer entrepreneur Marie Montmarquet, MD Numbers is a 100% Black-owned, vertically-integrated cannabis company that includes a world-class cultivation center, a delivery service, and a consulting agency that’s helping propel the cannabis industry towards a more equitable future.
MD Farms, the cultivation arm of MD Numbers, plans to roll out their own house brands in the coming year.
In the meantime, you can get your hands on a wide array of high-quality cannabis products via Marie’s Deliverables, Montmarquet’s delivery service founded in 2015. Additionally, through Legacy Coterie, Montmarquet is helping bring consulting, distribution, and sales services to other cannabis entrepreneurs and companies across the country.
“Visibility and representation are key. Every day we are proving that cannabis participation is not just for the 1%. The original culture creators should be an integral piece of modern-day cannabis nationwide,” she says.
As Montmarquet continues to spread her vision and influence through the world of cannabis, she’s doing so to bring representation, economic justice, and healing to BIPOC and queer cannabis consumers.
“As a queer minority female, it’s important for me to empower those that have gone through similar challenges as myself — each of those pieces have innate challenges. Every community deserves to be represented in cannabis. The plant represents empathy, healing, and wellness — all things historically brought to the forefront by the LGBTQ+ cannabis community. “Marie Montmarquet
You find MD Numbers in the Bay Area and follow their social media for more information on their upcoming house brands.
Founded and operated by two queer women, Katie Stem and Katie Black, Peak Extracts is exactly what it sounds like: an extract company creating both THC and CBD vapes, edibles, tinctures and topical solutions that help consumers “find their peak.”
Inspired by Stem’s degree in traditional Chinese herbal medicine, Peak Extracts seeks to create cannabis solutions for every cannabis consumer, whether you prefer consuming cannabis through a dab rig, a square of chocolate, or a relaxing massage with their popular hemp topical, Rescue Rub.
Their chocolate products are uniquely single-strain based, giving edible users more control over the effects they want to experience while using Peak Extract’s edibles.
Stem and Black are proud to keep alive cannabis’ healing legacy within the queer community, based on only in Stem’s personal history as a medical cannabis user, but also in the legacy of cannabis within the queer activist community.
“Beginning notably in the 80s with the AIDS epidemic, cannabis has been a valuable medicine in the queer community. When I first became a medical patient in 2004 to help with my Crohn’s disease, the cannabis community here was primarily cancer and AIDs patients, and there was a lot of overlap between those of us fighting for marriage equality and cannabis law reform.”
You can order Peak Extract CBD products across the United States and find their THC products in Oregon.
“As a femme-presenting queer woman, it’s critical for me to bring my gayness to the forefront of my identity of who I am as an entrepreneur and leader so that others in the LGBTQ+ community can see they have a place in the industry.”Andrea Brooks
Founded by queer cannabis trailblazer and CEO Andrea Brooks, Sava gives cannabis consumers more ways to support ethical and diverse brands while promoting LGBTQ+ visibility in the industry, something near and dear to Brooks’s heart.
Sava partners with a number of AAPI-owned and BIPOC-owned cannabis brands (like Polti, Mad Lilly, Mellows, The Congo Club and Moon Made Farms to name a few) in order to bring diverse voices in cannabis to the forefront, commiting to carrying 50% women-owned brands and at least 20% BIPOC brands at all times.
Through Sava’s ordering interface, buyers can even sort brands by “Values” (with options like BIPOC-, queer- or woman-owned, biodynamic, single origin, etc.), giving consumers more power to put their cannabis dollars towards brands that align with their values.
Created by queer entreprenuers Brandon Andrew and Ian Colon and run by a group of queer people, BIPOC, women and allies, Calexo is a cannabis beverage company and a community of creatives that believes in creating social experiences that are not centered on alcohol.
Calexo’s beverages are sparkling and formulated with fruit juice, botanicals and emulsified THC.
While their products are perfect for edible users looking to experience cannabis in a different way, as their site explains, “Calexo offers a cannabis experience more similar to inhalation than edibles through sublingual absorption. This means you get more of the uplifting, cerebral delta-9-THC cannabinoids, and fewer of the potent and body-high oriented 11-hydroxy-THC cannabinoids.”
In addition to their delightful cannabis beverages, Calexo also boasts an impressive line of apparel. Looking for a cute way to carry your Calexo can or your other gear and check out this Calexo fanny pack! How adorable is that?
Indulge in Calexo’s colorful, queer world by following them at https://www.instagram.com/drinkcalexo/
This is far from a complete list of the LGBTQ+ companies, trailblazers and entrepreneurs who continue to make their mark through cannabis! Have any other favorites? Drop them in the comments so they can get their shine, too!
No matter what you’re doing for Pride, know that you’re part of a community who loves you, sees you and roots for your happiness and success. Pride began as (and still is!) a protest, but it’s also a celebration of all the ways we uplift ourselves and our community, and that includes cannabis. Go forth and puff with Pride!
Article updated 6/6/2022