Before legalization, the San Francisco dispensary SPARC sold these cheeky, provocative shirts that said, “Legalize gay pot.”
Then, boom—we legalized it.
For decades, the cannabis and LGBTQ+ communities have organized, protested, educated, and advocated for their rights to exist and thrive. And often, their goals overlapped. Lest we forget: Dennis Peron opened the first medical cannabis dispensary in San Francisco, the Cannabis Buyers Club, to help service queer people coping with AIDS and other medical conditions. Brownie Mary Rathbun’s main clientele were AIDS patients. If not for the combined activism of these two communities, Prop 215 might not have existed, and set off the nation’s slow and ongoing journey towards safe and legal access to cannabis.
Today, both movements face unprecedented new challenges. So this June, Leafly wanted to highlight the fire from authentic torchbearers of this great gay movement.
As Amber Senter, the founder of Supernova Women and the MAKR House brand umbrella (not to mention recipient of the Emerald Cup’s 2023 Visionary Award) told Leafly, “Purchasing power is extremely important; it’s all about intentionality.” We’ve curated a list of products from queer cannabis lovers who have made the cannabis landscape a better, danker place.
Stone Road flower and concentrates
“Cannabis is an extremely tough business, between the excessive regulation and taxation,” writes Lex Corwin on the Stone Road Medium page. “I want to sell lots of things that bring joy to people and products that make their lives easier. We can use our voice to elevate the brands doing it right.”
Corwin, Stone Road’s founder, knows that Pride starts and ends well beyond the constraints of June. And that sometimes, you get lucky in recognizing who you are and what you want to do at a young age. “Stone Road” refers to the proverbial Eden in Connecticut where Corwin first started growing. Today, it’s his California farm where all the inaugural branch of the brand’s cannabis grows. It also means setting examples and never shying away from showing your true colors. Stone Road’s branding has always been, as the kids say, very aesthetic, with bold colors, golden text, and design that points to the care that goes into the greens inside. Stone Road has something for every smoker, from single joints to hash-infused preroll packs to eights to pre-ground ½ ounces to dabbables. As with life and love, there’s no wrong way to be. Available in California, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Massachusetts.
Peak Extracts strain-specific chocolate
There’s debate as to whether you can really create-strain specific cannabis edibles, but that hasn’t stopped Peak Extracts founder Katie Stem, herself a medical marijuana patient and Chinese herbalist, from trying. Peak Extracts makes tinctures and topicals, though most know them for their vape pens and strain-specific chocolates, extracted using an eco-friendly and proprietary CO2 process. Their chocolates have six categories that cycle through strains chosen for their terpene profiles and medicinal benefit. Available in Oregon.
Farnsworth Dispensary and prerolls
California still holds the crown for cannabis’ queer legacy, but every state has a part to play. Farnsworth dispensary in Great Barrington, MA, not only hosts a sprawling menu of cannabis goods, but they also produce their own smokers gear and bougie prerolls, designed to resemble cigarettes with none of the tobacco. They also founded the Queer Cannabis Club, a consortium of LGBTQ+ cannabis operators co-founded by Cann and magazine Different Leaf to cultivate intentional spaces for queer cannabis operators and lovers, and produce events that both educate and tantalize.
Ventoso Farms flower
When it comes to both cannabis and queer history, there is almost nothing more valuable than time. Time to learn ourselves, learn the plant, experiment and learn from each new day. Ventoso Farms technically began in the 1980s, when founder Linnet Lockhart moved to the Emerald Triangle and began growing cannabis, one of the area’s first queer women to do so—their tagline is “queer to table.” They grow sungrown cannabis in small, holistic batches, and sell it through dispensaries in Northern California.
Landrace Origins Coffee
For every person who says they can’t live without cannabis, there are 10 who decry they can’t live without coffee. Well, two-thirds of Americans drink coffee every day. And coffee tends to grow in the same places may heady sativa strains call home. Amber Senter and MAKR House developed Landrace Origins to provide ethical, quality coffee and cannabis, pairing landrace beans with landrace strains. You can, of course, buy the coffee separately, but what’s the fun in that? Their inaugural pairing is Congolese coffee with Durban Poison flower, both grown by women-led farms that prioritize equity.
Senter emphasizes that actively supporting queer-owned and BIPOC-owned companies at a time where tensions are rising is crucial to their longevity and the advancement of a robust, diverse industry.
“We’re heavily under attack,” she says, “being Black and queer. This is my advocacy, through my products—making sure that I’m creating space for my people in my community. It’s very important to vote with your dollar. Make sure you buy from people that resonate with you.”
If you’re in the Bay Area, Landrace Origins is hosting a “High on Flavor, A Unique Coffee and Cannabis Pairing Experience” event in Oakland on June 17. Use code “leafly” for $5 off your tickets.
Cann Lite beverages
By now, you probably know about Cann’s microdose cannabis beverages and their mission to reshape how Americans approach alcohol consumption and socialization. Their Pride campaigns have been epic for years now, buoyed by products that people love from California to New York. They also understand not everyone wants a sugared, fruit-forward libation all the time, but the law states cannabis and alcohol can’t mix. Enter their new Lite line of beverages, including the IPA-friendly Tangerine Hops. It’s the same 2 mg THC 4 mg CBD formula, with a little more astringency.
Madam Munchies Peanut Butter and Chocohaze
The macaron is a timeless pastry, and Madam Munchies established herself in the medical market by making them potent and delicious. Their macarons are definitely still on the menu, but sometimes you just need to tweak your treats. Enter their Peanut Butter and Chocohaze spreads, two infused versions of the best condiments to ever exist. Each container holds 100 mg total of THC and both are vegan, ready to eat as is or drizzle on your favorite snacks. Available in California.
New York does nothing by halves, and their cannabis approach is no different. In a cheeky reclaiming of a word that wasn’t always used kindly, the FLAMER team are making sure you know immediately that they’re an out and proud cannabis company. But cofounder Matías Alvial also knows queerness isn’t that simple, nor should anyone feel pressured to stay attached to a label. Alvial and his cofounders were drawn together through artist and activist circles, and strive to create opportunities for those that the broader industry doesn’t always keep in mind.
“With New York, it’s the people; it’s the people; it’s the people. I respect authenticity. And that’s what FLAMER is. Not to be cheesy, but we are the changes we want to see,” he says.
Their branding draws from the gritty glamor of New York nightlife; the city is, in Alvial’s words, “that trashy girl that we love” who can hold her own against the intellects and always knows where to have the best time. Their prerolls, both singles and 5-packs, are divided up by effects rather than strain, but all include terpene information for those who want to dig a little deeper. And there’s no blasé copy here—their sativa-dominant offering, for example, is called “Silly Goofy,” because that’s how smoking weed should feel. Available in New York.
Drew Martin prerolls
Disco Jays diamond-infused prerolls
OK, time for you to take the pre-roll and run with it. Remember, it’s not enough just to wave a flag during Pride or spark up on 4/20. Cannabis and Pride are yearlong causes; we hope this list makes that a little breezier.