This article originally appeared in October 28, 2016 issue of The Spokannabist.
While there are many things I could talk about when it comes to the cannabis industry…the politics that surrounds the industry, the various barriers the industry faces in normal business practices, the lack of access to research, or even the need for honest and accurate education…for the purpose of this first column, I would like to focus on why I think this industry is so important. It boils down to one word…HOPE.
There is so much going on in the world right now that it can make it hard to have hope; from our politics to our economics, from our crumbling infrastructure to rampant racial inequality, from the opiate addiction crisis to homelessness…it can look pretty bleak…and it can feel awfully hopeless.
But every day, when I get up and approach the work I do in the cannabis industry I have hope. Why is that?
It is because the people with whom I work are tireless pioneers with a vision and a desire to leave a lasting positive legacy for future generations.
Every day the conversations I have with people in the industry center around the belief that how this industry chooses to operate can have a major influence on how other industries choose to operate. If this new, multi-billion dollar industry can find ways to adequately and consistently pay a decent living wage, other industries can do it too; if this industry can find ways to make sustainable technologies part of every day business, other industries can do it too; if this industry can find ways to be conscientious of the planet and other people, well then, other industries can do it too. I have hope because we have in front of us a massive opportunity to change the paradigm of how business is done. WE CAN create local jobs and provide them to communities that need them, WE CAN make business sustainable for the earth as well as people, WE CAN find new ways of healing our bodies…that actually work.
A close friend of mine recently called herself an “idealist to a fault” and I can say that my colleagues and myself proudly join her in that title. We know that we have the responsibility to bring forth a future in which working together for COMMUNITY gain is the imperative. We know that only by working together will we be able to solve our problems and that, even if we have disagreements, in the end we are all in this together. It is because of the people involved in this industry and the passion that they give to their work that I have hope. I have hope because we are all idealists…to a fault.