What does equality in the Cannabis industry mean to you?
Equality means equal access to Cannabis for everyone. While you enjoy your easy access to this resource, the people in very rural areas are still unable to access it, even though it is fully legal. In these outer communities, it’s not Cannabis – it’s weed. It even gets confiscated when they find it on you. I am just here to point out the obvious.
Everything aside, I try to do my best to have passion for what I do. I have the love for what I do and my iluqs (Yup’ik translation: Male First Cousins) love it too. Just imagine sitting in a village out in the boonies smoking Triangle Mints #23.
What needs to change about the Cannabis industry as it relates to equality/equity?
I have lived here my entire life – I will probably live here until I’m gone. It is home. I have done everything to try to make it out, but have never even gotten close. I’m too far and have always been left out. I’m an outsider, in a system set up to only fail. I’m not complaining – all I’m saying is I have to surf on that shit because that’s the only way to make it happen.
What is the Cannabis industry getting right in terms of equality and equity?
I’ve seen Black entrepreneurs get some help through an equity system, and they were getting somewhere. It made me feel good for somebody to rise above. I just wish there was something like that here. I have also seen a lot of inequity – too much business crawling into somewhere it shouldn’t be.
Can you give us an example of something equitable you’ve seen happen in the Cannabis space?
They opened up a couple of shops here in town and I’ve seen people start to accept it more socially. I see it as more people that need access to this medicine, get access to it – as these people are indeed my people. I dream of growing someday and selling in those same shops.
What challenges are facing the Cannabis industry in terms of equality and equity?
Fully legalizing Cannabis – lifting the gates on this abomination of nature of outdated laws upon everyone in this country – and also everyone in the world. Once we accept and fully legalize it, the entire world will follow.
Mike McIntyre is the owner of Eskimo Fire based in Bethel, Alaska