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 Drew Martin, Founder Of Drew Martin
Drew Martin is the founder of his eponymous line of botanically blended pre-rolls—Drew Martin--conceived and created in Los Angeles. An herbalist, award-winning mixologist, and self-described wanderer, Martin has made it his mission to bring connections back to modern cannabis culture. In his own words, “For centuries, the ritual of rolling and smoking cannabis has created a strong connection between people all over the world. In a quest to make the most potent strains possible, modern cannabis culture seems to have thrown connection to the backseat. [The Drew Martin brand] changes that.” Leaning into his knowledge of herbalism and epicurean tastes, and a decade of world travel, Drew spent a year formulating a new kind of pre-roll. Blending cannabis with worldly botanicals, he curated complex aromas and flavors to evoke the good times he spent connecting with friends across the globe – from São Paulo to Seoul.
TRAILBLAZERS: What is something unique that you bring to your work and the greater cannabis industry overall from your previous work or life experience?
DREW MARTIN: There are several aspects of my former life that came together for me to develop this brand. A decade of living around the world, my own practice as a trained herbalist, and a refined palate from my time as an award-winning mixologist all influenced my mission to craft an intentional experience that prioritizes connection through cannabis.
Why are you passionate about being part of the cannabis industry?
I believe wholeheartedly in the power of plants, cannabis especially, to promote healing and drive connection. Being able to craft beautiful experiences for people is in my DNA and for me, cannabis is an essential part of that.
Cannabis is all about community. What partnership opportunities with other companies have allowed you to create something even better than imagined due to your combined efforts?
There’s nothing I love more than collaborating with others who share a similar vision and who can help us expand the conversation. We launched a really special project with Heretic Parfum, one of the leading voices in fine natural fragrance. Together, we created “The Herbalist,” the world’s first cannabis-infused fragrance. It features a gorgeous high-terpene extract of Jack Herer as its heart and is then layered with natural extracts of hinoki, lavender, frankincense and yuzu. It smells incredible!
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?
As a queer founder in the cannabis industry, Pride offers a moment of celebration amidst the ongoing fight for justice. Stonewall was a riot. We honor the trans women of color who stood up to police violence against the queer community back then, and we fight for them today as they continue to face an epidemic of violence. Cannabis legalization was led by a gay man. We honor the legacy of queer activists who fought for legal access to cannabis for a community being decimated by AIDS, and we fight to make sure no person is in jail for victimless cannabis crimes. We enjoy working with and consuming this plant freely today because of the sacrifices of our queer forebearers. Pride is a celebration—but also about continuing the fight for justice.
How are you supporting the advancement of LGBTQIA+ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts?
I believe that visibility is crucial, especially in an industry where queer voices are so massively underrepresented. Not only do we want to make sure that our community sees themselves authentically represented on dispensary shelves, but we’ve also had a lot of success leveraging our relationships with our retail partners to raise funds and awareness for LGBTQIA+ causes.
What is one of your favorite LGBTQIA+ organizations to support?
This Pride we’ve partnered with Urbody, a groundbreaking gender-affirming fashion line, to create a limited-edition pre-roll. It features some gorgeous flower sun-grown by The Bohemian Chemist—an LGBTQ-owned farm in Mendocino. All sales are supporting Urbody’s Fully Human Give Back Program, which supports trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming community members who create art as a way of reviving history, telling stories, healing trauma, and pursuing the things that make them feel fully human.
What’s your favorite LGBTQIA+-produced cannabis product that isn’t from your brand?
I couldn’t speak more highly of the wife duo behind SONDER and the incredibly fun Space Crystal pop-rocks they create. Be sure to check out the “Cheers Queers” flavor!
What advice would you give to others who wish to join the cannabis industry and follow in your footsteps?
I believe that creativity and patience are the two greatest virtues for working in this insanely regulated industry. Balancing the ability to authentically create something meaningful with the reality of meeting the market where it stands is, I believe, the key to success.
What are you most excited to see more of in cannabis next year?
I’m excited to see more community building outside the traditional cannabis user. Widening the audience and increasing awareness around conscious cannabis consumption is crucial—and I think we’re primed to do just that!
Learn more about Trailblazers by visiting trailblazerspresents.com. You can find out more about Drew Martin at drewmartin.co. To learn how to support the Urbody Fully Human Give Back Program, click here.
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Featured image: (C) Drew Martin