We asked Lezli:
1. What do you love about the cannabis industry?
There are so many incredible things about the cannabis industry, it is difficult to name just one. Probably the thing I love the most though, is the opportunity the cannabis industry has provided me to have a positive impact on the lives of others. Done properly, with consistent standards, regulations, and enforcement to protect for health and safety, the cannabis industry has the capability to change the world.
- How can people (at the individual level and company level) get involved and help make a positive effect in growing the industry?
The number one thing anyone– individuals, companies, newbies, and veterans – in the cannabis industry can do to make a positive effect on the industry is to work to change the stigma. Negative stereotypes and the stigma surrounding cannabis have been around for decades. These attitudes will not change overnight, nor will they change through angry voices and blame.
Stigma is changed through awareness, education, conversation, and most importantly compassion.
This is can be done through many ways, but here are a few to get started:
- Know and communicate the facts – not the hype. Spreading generalized claims that cannot be backed up is irresponsible and tends to close, not open, minds.
- Seek first to understand – People come from all different backgrounds and experiences. Take time to listen to and understand when and why those opposing viewpoints were developed, and what helps perpetuates them.
- Recognize that fear and a lack of information is the driving force behind most behavior.
- Share meaningful stories about the positive effects cannabis has had in your or a loved one’s life. It means listening to understand, not to respond. Take stock in your behavior and choose the words and images you portray carefully. The way we speak affects the way other people think and speak.
- Include everyone. It is the minds of the 98% of the population that does not use or have experience with cannabis that will ultimately allow cannabis to become an acceptable part of mainstream society.
Spend your time and resources outside the industry to have the greatest impact.