Cannabis and Colour: Part 2

Published on July 2, 2020 by Curtis Woodcock

By Curtis Woodcock

Canopy Growth Corporation is a substantial name in the legal cannabis market. They were the first publicly traded cannabis company in Canada.

They have been working hard since 2014 to bring education, growing options, and quality products to the market as a legal offering. The companies mission statement is as follows:

“Our vision is to be the number 1 cannabis company in the world. From product and process innovation to market execution and everything in between, we are driven by a passion for leadership, a commitment to drive the industry forward, and above all else, providing medical and recreational cannabis consumers with the best possible experience.”

This quotation and the rest of their story can be found here.

   • Column: Cannabis and Colour Part 1

   • Column: Cannabis and Colour Part 3

This mission statement is quite bold, and as such, should include lifting those communities that made it possible for the cannabis industry to exist as a whole. Looking at Canopy’s social media pages, it is evident that they are standing behind their mission statement.

“We value our relationship with Social Justice organization Cage Free Cannabis and continue to support National Expungement Week, to expand access to record clearing legal services in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs, as well as bail resources for protestors.”

— Canopy Growth Corp.

They have taken a strong stance of support and solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement currently taking charge of their personal safety and right to have protection. No longer will any of us accept this unwarranted disparity in persecution. The continued and increasing violence towards black and Indigenous members of our community, even when the world is watching what the police and governments do at all times, is appalling. This quote pulled from Canopy’s Facebook page highlights the disparaging persecution of the black and Indigenous members of our cannabis community.

“The history of cannabis prohibition is also one that is inherently and systemically racist. It has disproportionately ruined millions of black and brown lives, torn families apart, incarcerated many, and created a cycle of recidivism in the criminal justice system – all while largely excluding people of colour from the opportunity to profit from the legal market.”

Reading further down in their statement and I am impressed to see them assisting with access to legal aid for these members of our cannabis community as well as supporting the protesters’ right to remain free to express their right to exist freely and safely. As of this article’s writing, I am unsure of the total amounts donated to assist these programs and protesters. I am working on accessing how exactly funds are being distributed to services and how impactful the funding has been. It’s a start, but we still need to free everyone incarcerated for cannabis-related offences.

It is entirely colonial and unfair to legalize an industry built on the backs of the black and brown communities and profit immensely. At the same time, families have been torn apart because of their skin colour and not the related industry; they are both involved. It will be essential to watch how this evolves over the existence of the cannabis legal market. We need to make sure it changes so that the destroyed lives are somehow supported now that the colonial governments are profiting immensely from the cannabis industry that destroyed their lives.

As this is an ever-evolving movement, I will look to continue to bring information into how the legal wealth created within the cannabis industry is being used to empower communities once destroyed by the very same industry, just pre-legalization.