On its face, many people may not see a connection between the marijuana or cannabis industry and Juneteenth, also known as “Freedom Day”, which falls on June 19th.
When we look beyond the surface, however, it becomes clear that there is a bigger connection than meets the eye.
These two important topics, and the issues that surround them, are related both in form and substance. They are related in a way that goes beyond obvious regulatory, social, or economic development issues that have historically obstructed what should be normal economic growth and opportunity for African Americans.
Freedom of opportunity suggested by Juneteenth has never existed for Black Americans. There have always been roadblocks placed in the way of African Americans or strings attached to progress. True economic freedom, including in the cannabis industry, has never been enjoyed since African Americans were forcibly brought as slaves to the North American continent. The question of how much progress has been made remains difficult to answer—but in the cannabis sector, progress is moving much more quickly than in other sectors.
So what is this connection? Let’s look a bit deeper…
First, What is Juneteenth, aka “Freedom Day”?
In 1862, under the terms of the federal government’s Emancipation Proclamation, African Americans were ordered by federal proclamation to be free, i.e. no longer enslaved or treated as chattel or property.
But in the state of Texas, African Americans were still not freed. The proclamation was simply ignored and blacks remained enslaved.
On June 19th, a full three years later, Texas declared slaves free under the terms of the then three-year-old-law. This “Freedom Day” became known as Juneteenth, a holiday first celebrated in Galveston, Texas, to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US.
In 2022, Juneteenth became a federal holiday and is also now a day where Americans of all ethnicities celebrate African American culture. The amount of learning that has taken place about the meaning and significance of Juneteenth by white folks nationally in the last 2 years likely exceeds that of all of the past years combined!
2. What's the Connection Between Cannabis and Juneteenth?
Juneteenth has a more than subtle connection in the mind of African Americans with financial independence and freedom.
a. Juneteenth Embodies the Connection Between African American Farmers and Hemp and a Lack of Fairness in Treatment
Despite their relatively small number, African American farmers have historically been leaders in the hemp sector, using innovative techniques and an ability to make more from less, at a higher yield and quality. Since they didn’t have access to funding or technology, they had to create and hustle.
We will save a full discussion of this topic for another day, but the game has been rigged against Black farmers in selling crops and getting fair value for hundreds of years due to institutional racism. There are more anecdotes than one can recall of African American farmers bringing crop yields to market and having weight scales rigged against them, or prices for wholesale suddenly changed when they brought crops to sell. Juneteenth represents a principle where the playing field in cannabis and hemp is level, a dream of African American farmers which goes back generations.
b. Juneteenth Ideals Suggest Generational Wealth Can Be Created for African American Families within the Lucrative Cannabis Sector
The concept of Juneteenth implies a nation in which African Americans are truly “free” to compete with white cannabis businesses. The result? They could create generational wealth for their families and diversify into other, capital-heavy sectors.
Cannabis has been grown by African Americans since time eternal. Black folks know plenty about the science of weed—from seeds and cultivation to cross pollination to the market and sale of the product. In the initial years of legalization, we have seen it is a sector in which African American owned businesses have thrived.
Unfortunately, as we see in access to business loans, banking, and infrastructure, this freedom still hasn’t be realized. If the freedoms embodied in Juneteenth could exist, there would be no looking back for African American owned-cannabis enterprises.
c.. If Juneteenth Freedoms were Realized, African Americans Would Not Be Imprisoned for Cannabis at Twice the Rate of their Caucasian Counterparts
The number of how African Americans have been imprisoned for cannabis versus their white cannabis users and sellers is startling. While there is racial disparity across the board for arrests nationwide in nearly every area, the racial disparity in marijuana arrests is just crazy. For example:
- From 2017-2019 African Americans comprised over 30% of marijuana possession arrests, yet they make up only 12% of the population
- In New York City’s 5 boroughs in 2021, marijuana arrest data shows people of color comprised 94% of all people arrested.
- Black folks in Wisconsin in 2021 were over 4 times more likely to be convicted of marijuana possession than whites. This is for conviction rates—what about the rate of those more likely to be arrested? Blacks in Wisconsin were 30+ times more likely to be arrested than whites.
Support Black Owned Cannabis Businesses is Social Action in Progress
Buying cannabis from African American owned businesses, hiring African Americans in this sector, and promoting and marketing these companies is a way to support African American cannabis businesses and reverse these stats. In a legal sector which is both complex and potentially profitable, supporting businesses like Trending Leafs DC weed delivery service is a route to reverse these horrific statistics in the exact place where they have caused so much suffering in the first place.
Shop Trending Leafs DC Weed Delivery Service by Shopping Online Today!
If you are a believer in supporting businesses which have traditionally been marginalized, destroyed, and sabotaged just due to fear and racism, and you happen like top quality cannabis flower, look no further.
Trending Leafs is your destination for top quality flower with a focus on 100% guaranteed customer service. As a cannabis delivery service in DC, Trending Leafs is successful and well-respected in a sector which may be one of the keys to realizing the promises of “freedom” of Juneteenth.
As our valued clients will tell you, Trending Leafs doesn’t care what color you are, and doesn’t want you to care what color we are; but it can be acknowledged that supporting this type of business is a very important way to make a difference in a world in which equity does not come without struggle.
Those that fought for emancipation and those who fight to this day can attest to a singularly important truth: supporting an African American-owned business in your community is a great place to start trying to live the principles embodied and celebrated on June 19th.
Order online today and let us bring some joy to your life!