Honeysuckle is proud to present Trailblazers’ Authentic Voices: Pride ‘22 “Sweet Sixteen” series! Get to know sixteen LGBTQIA+ cannabis industry leaders who inspire us. Click here to find all their stories.
A Pride Month Message From Trailblazers Co-Founder Tyler Wakstein
Trailblazers is a curated community of cannabis and psychedelic business leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators who work together to advance the industry. We are unified by a shared ethos and vision of the future of plant medicine and other alternative healing modalities. We are a group of leaders and visionaries from across the entire ecosystem - from brands, to operators, to investment banks, MSOs, policy and law makers, scientists and researchers. We believe in creating a new paradigm of doing business - where collaboration, authentic connections and an abundance mindset drives the industry. We believe equality, social equity, and justice are not just something to pay lip service to, but rather the cost of entry into cannabis or hemp at large. We are honored to celebrate PRIDE Month with Honeysuckle Magazine and want to help empower the next generation of change-makers and emerging leaders in cannabis through access to the Trailblazers platform. Diversity drives innovation within a community like ours and we recommend applying to our fellowship program if anyone is interested in getting involved. trailblazerspresents.com/trailblazers-fellowship
Interested in finding out more about Trailblazers NYC, coming July 27, 2022? For details, click here.
Meet Andres Rigal And Taylor Bazley, Co-Founders Of Green Qween
Andres Rigal and Taylor Bazley are the co-founders of Green Qween, a queer and POC-led social equity licensed dispensary in Los Angeles that sells premium cannabis products. Green Qween focuses on supporting emerging LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC brands in a space that’s queer-all-year. The company also functions as an accelerator for these emerging brands and cultivators, and a portion of the retail proceeds directly benefits the local community.
TRAILBLAZERS: What is something unique that you bring to your work and the greater cannabis industry overall from your previous work or life experience?
ANDRES RIGAL AND TAYLOR BAZLEY: We believe that Green Qween is contributing to a new chapter in queer cannabis history with our products, people, and philanthropic efforts for the community. Green Qween gives emerging QTBIPOC startup brands a retail experience that allows them to have their products tested in the marketplace and to allow for customer discovery. In addition to being an equal opportunity employer, we recruit from the QTBIPOC community to provide job access to a diverse cross-section of individuals. Green Qween also provides an annual percentage of proceeds to a nonprofit that offers direct care to the QTBIPOC community. With the launch of our first store in DTLA, a portion of proceeds will be directed to the development of the DTLA Proud Community Center and its services.
Why are you passionate about being part of the cannabis industry?
The queer community rallied around plant medicine and ushered in the legal medicinal cannabis market in California. This advocacy was critical to both the queer community and to the cannabis industry. Now that we have a legal adult-use market, we don’t see much representation for the queer community, especially on the retail side. It’s time to change this and we see Green Qween being a leader among what we hope will be a wave of QTBIPOC cannabis retail in California.
What does Pride mean to you personally? How are you celebrating or championing Pride through your company, the communities you do business in, or the industry overall?
Green Qween is queer all year, so Pride to us means being of service to our community every month including June. We believe the industry benefits when the community benefits, which is why we support QTBIPOC brands and provide an annual percentage of proceeds to a non-profit that offers direct care to the QTBIPOC community.
What’s your favorite LGBTQIA+-produced cannabis product that isn’t from your brand?
We’re both low-dose cannabis consumers and we believe infused beverages represent the future of cannabis. The form factor is familiar, especially from a cultural perspective since we tend to socialize with a drink in hand. With this in mind, we love to drink our weed with both CANN and Calexo. CANN obviously has the notoriety and is delicious. Calexo is an emerging brand with compelling flavors that deserves the positive attention that it’s getting.
What advice would you give to others who wish to join the cannabis industry and follow in your footsteps?
Create a brand that is bigger than you if you want to make it to the other side. It will take tenacity, courage and conviction to endure what will likely be a challenging journey. Creating something larger than you will provide the motivation every day to keep going.
What are you most excited to see more of in cannabis next year?
QTBIPOC leadership and the creation of generational wealth.
Learn more about Trailblazers by visiting trailblazerspresents.com. You can find out more about Green Qween at thegreenqween.com. To learn how to support the DTLA Proud Community Center, visit DTLAProud.org.
Find Out More On Social
Featured image: Green Qween co-founders Andres Rigal (left) and Taylor Bazley (right) (C) Green Qween