Event alert! We’re clearing our calendars for Black Cannabis Week, coming up this September 20th-27th, 2020. With an aim to advance social justice in the cannabis industry, this can’t-miss virtual event includes a lineup of incredible speakers and experiences seeks to engage in policy that reinforces inclusion, equality, and accessibility.
Grab a ticket to reserve your spot for the week’s events here on Eventbrite (General Admission tickets are FREE with the option to donate to support this important initiative).
It was our pleasure to speak with Cherron Perry-Thomas, one of the organizers of Black Cannabis Week, to get the inside scoop.
Cherron, it’s so great to chat with you today. Let’s jump right in – what inspired you to co-found Black Cannabis Week?
The low levels of Black inclusion in the cannabis industry is less than 2% in the U.S. but, the arrest rates are disproportionately higher than whites. I was inspired to create Black Cannabis Week by old and new movements that demand Blacks are acknowledged and respected for our skills, innovations, culture and more. For the last two years, the Diaspora Alliance for Cannabis Opportunities hosted a 2- day conference in Philadelphia. Earlier in the year, it looked like we would still plan for the Cannabis Opportunities Conference. Once it was clear the pandemic was staying, the conference pivoted online. With this new choice of online and streaming, we could invite more participants from outside of our region to help celebrate, educate and elevate Blacks in cannabis.
The cannabis industry is considered to be a new industry. With years of probation there is now so much to learn. Black Cannabis Week was intended for the “aunties” of the world. In every community they are the ones who we see leading the calls to vote, get an education or a health check, knowledgeable of where to buy and who to buy from. We need them to lead the fight to destigmatize cannabis in our communities. Helping generations understand the cannabis industry and its benefits will be a great asset to the community.
Who should attend, and what can event attendees expect from the week?
Black Cannabis Week is for parents, patients, veterans, lawmakers, professionals, the canna curious and any community interested in learning more. The attendees can expect seven days of cannabis content, including 2 cannabis conferences, workshops, job fair, panels and speakers to listen to and amplify Black voices. Each day there is a different theme to highlight the day’s education and information.
Black Cannabis Week is for parents, patients, veterans, lawmakers, professionals, the canna curious and any community interested in learning more.
What has been the most exciting part of planning this event? The most challenging?
One of the exciting parts to planning Black Cannabis Week were the conversations with people who were totally behind the idea. I believe that subconsciously there are a lot of us thinking about the exact same time. This Black Cannabis Week is a collective though, I’m just the vessel to let it flow. The most challenging part to planning this event has been COVID 19. It’s been a challenge to do almost anything in the middle of a pandemic. The virus has taken lives that I have loved, caused financial stress, and limited everyday activities.
There’s an incredible lineup of speakers on the schedule this year. If you could choose one celebrity or influencer to make a keynote in next year’s 2021 event, who would you choose?
If I could choose a celebrity to be a keynote for 2021, it would be Mike Tyson. He is working on a cannabis report project. I think that is so dope! I’ve learned to really respect him for his growth and constant struggle to overcome his past to move forward. His podcast is one of the few I listen to these days, it’s so far from my experience but I appreciate the rawness in the interviews.
Are there still opportunities to get involved with BCW for sponsors, artists, speakers, etc? If so, how should they reach out?
Although the week is near there is still room for more voices, we want to make this event as inclusive as possible. There is so much to learn and so many experts to share. We are still inviting artists to participate in the “Adult Use Happenings” each day after the conference from 8 to 10, except that Wednesday and Friday. We plan to have a free movie watch party of the full length movie, C(Answer) (www.cancerfilm.com) on that Wednesday and a Friday nite bingo party hosted by Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM). And there is room left for employees, sponsors and exhibitors who will be able to engage attendees up to nine months after the conference has ended. There’s even opportunities to interact live on our Whova app. Please reach out for more details at 800-791-1845 or [email protected]
What’s one thing that every cannabis consumer can do to help make the industry more inclusive?
It’s so important that cannabis consumers seek Black companies and brands as they shop for products. They should demand that their federal lawmakers support the MORE Act which will create a fund to support communities impacted by the war on drugs, allow SBA loans and services, start the process of expungement and more.
Thanks for speaking with us, Cherron! Be sure to get your ticket for Black Cannabis Week here, and we’ll see you there.