This weekend was pivotal for humanity’s relationship to Earth, and for Indigenous people everywhere to raise their voices about our planet’s future. As the United Nations issued its most dire report on climate change yet, National CBD Day on Sunday August 8th and International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples on Monday August 9th bookended a celebration of the intersections between humans, health, and the land. Honeysuckle Magazine, the award-winning woman-owned media company, was at the heart of it all to honor the First Nations, Organics, and female-led plant medicine brands, the latest of several policy-changing Times Square billboard campaigns.
On National CBD Day, Honeysuckle and partners dazzled in their most expansive Times Square takeover to date, showing up on the iconic NASDAQ and Thomson Reuters billboards along with a host of other prominent spaces. Their initiative saluted women and Indigenous leaders in the cannabis and hemp industries, as well as organic and regenerative agriculture.
“By amplifying women, First Nations, and plant medicine together,” says Honeysuckle founder and publisher Ronit Pinto, “we are connecting larger issues at hand in our world. We want to usher in social change and climate awareness, with burgeoning industry. If we rely on the same capitalistic motives of the past, plant medicine won't save us. It's up to how we view and treat each other and the planet."
Campaign partners Legacy 420, Franny’s Farmacy, Core Roots and My Bud Vase are all history-makers in the sector and proponents of planetary wellness. Legacy 420, a First Nations cannabis retailer in Ontario’s Mohawk Territory, is one of the brands responsible for the first international Indigenous cannabis collaboration to take place in Times Square history (part of Honeysuckle’s all-women 420 tribute). Franny’s Farmacy, founded by the legendary Franny Tacy, is a vertically integrated CBD company that embodies Tacy’s history as one of the first female organic hemp farmers in the American South and imbues her values across each level of operations “seed to shell.” Core Roots, founded by a professional athlete, offers the best vegan CBD products in the business and dedicates itself to cultivating organically grown hemp that helps the body’s natural recovery process. And My Bud Vase, a pioneering female-led cannabis devices company, has been on the front lines with Honeysuckle since the beginning, front and center with its custom-made bongs from the first groundbreaking Times Square takeover in 2018 to now.
“At My Bud Vase, we strongly support the evolution of cannabis in all its iterations, variations, and manifestations!” says Doreen Sullivan, the brand’s founder and CEO.
The movement comes at a critical time for passionate environmentalists to speak up. In the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released Monday, the key takeaway is that humans are to blame. “It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” read the report’s opening line.
Hemp farmers and proponents of regenerative agriculture, practices that allow plants to rehabilitate the soil, have been shouting this warning for decades. By most studies, our planet has only 60 years of usable topsoil left before the available agricultural land is obliterated. Data from the IPCC report showed that aside from this, the ocean levels are picking up speed, the Arctic will likely lose its ice within 20 years, and we are running out of time to return our world to a habitable state unless all nations agree to a strict “carbon budget.”
Indigenous environmental leader Winona LaDuke, founder of the nonprofit Honor the Earth and a trusted voice in hemp cultivation, recently shared her anger at the United States’ lack of regard for the planet with the New York Times. “I do think that Americanization is about being insular,” she asserted. “I feel responsible for hundreds of people in [the Indigenous] community. Some people only take care of themselves. That’s sad, and it’s part of the reason we’re in the mess we’re in now.”
LaDuke went on to explain that she felt betrayed by the Biden administration’s continued push to complete the Enbridge Line 3, an oil pipeline project that runs directly through sacred Indigenous territory. In her view, most white Americans don’t have any empathy for First Nations people, or feel the need to help them protect the land, even though these decisions affect our country as a whole. “My strategy is, white people should work on white people’s racism... I’d rather just grow hemp than help those people sort out their [stuff]… I want them to let go of their white privilege and be good humans. We need to address these things, and some people are not going to get it. I’m hoping those people still get that they want to be able to drink the water.
The need for education in how to care for our planet, and each other, is critical to our survival. At Franny’s Farmacy, Tacy and her team operate an agricultural education center to inspire young conscientious people to learn organic and regenerative practices. Legacy 420 runs ongoing programs to raise awareness of Indigenous traditions, plant medicine, and to educate the public about issues such as the tragic numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Doreen Sullivan of My Bud Vase constantly speaks about the importance of cannabis in treating women’s physical and mental health, and creates vases and accessories to compliment women of all ethnicities and body types. By amplifying the vital messages these thought leaders carry, Honeysuckle is changing the world one story at a time.
From the lights of Times Square to the text you read or the videos you watch, let our message be crystal clear: Act now! Support brands that use proven regenerative and eco-friendly practices. Tell your government representatives to back legislation for carbon budgets. Petition to stop Line 3 and preserve tribal land. Join us in saving the Earth, our bodies, ourselves.