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 Lex Corwin, Founder And CEO Of Stone Road
Lex Corwin is the founder and CEO of Stone Road, a multi-state cannabis and lifestyle brand based in Venice Beach, California. Known for “the most beautiful joints in the world,” Stone Road highlights queer talent in its imagery, creating content that reflects the diverse spectrum of cannabis users in the LGBTQIA+ community. The team has collaborated with queer creatives such as Aaliyah Ei, Jalen XX (aka Dominique), and Amanda Picotte. In addition to their celebrated content, Stone Road is recognized for top-notch flower and products made with heart. A famous stunt in 2018 of the biggest and most expensive joint ever rolled was created with a gold-covered “elephant tusk” that sold at auction for $24,000, all donated to an effort to end the poaching of wildlife. Stone Road enjoys a devoted following because they truly operate from a genuine place of care.
TRAILBLAZERS: What is something unique that you bring to your work and the greater cannabis industry overall from your previous work or life experience?
LEX CORWIN: I’m a “lifer” in that I started growing cannabis when I was 16 in 2009 (on my neighbor’s property on ‘Stone Road’), so I’ve been in the business my entire adult life.
I understand consumers and the plant, and that connection to growing, selling, and more allows me to connect with our consumers on a deeper level. Stone Road isn’t like 80 percent of the brands out there that are co-packed or co-manufactured by the same super farms. Instead, we succeed and are supercharged because we tap into the culture, because we are part of the culture.
Why are you passionate about being part of the cannabis industry?
I’ve always been drawn to the plant and its magic. Some people are just born with an affinity towards it and understanding of the greater good it inspires. Cannabis is nature's great unifier–bringing people together from all walks of life. I’ve grown and cultivated it my entire adult life and now I have the amazing honor of bringing cannabis to millions of people across the U.S.
How are you supporting the advancement of LGBTQIA+ diversity, equity and inclusion efforts?
We hire lots of LGBTQIA+ creatives for our campaigns and help open doors for other queer entrepreneurs to find their place in this industry.
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?
Pride to me means being proud of what and who you are. To celebrate yourself in a time where so many people want to criticize and critique. Besides financial support, we make an effort to employ and hire a wide spectrum of people so we can support the community 365 days a year.
What is one of your favorite LGBTQIA+ organizations to support?
We have supported a number of different organizations throughout the life of Stone Road, but right now we are [donating] 10 percent of our June profits to New Alternatives NYC, which helps homeless or housing insecure youth find resources. New Alternatives is dedicated to reducing homelessness among LGBTQIA+ youth in NYC by addressing areas critical to their well-being, including housing, employment, education, and physical and mental health.
What’s your favorite LGBTQIA+-produced cannabis product that isn’t from your brand?
My fave product right now are the Sundae School gummies–they are another gay-owned company which caters to Asians in Cannabis. The founder, Dae Lim, is from South Korea and brings amazing Asian influences into his creations such as Milktea Boba or Dragonfruit Lychee.
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?
We have an upcoming collab with Sundae School where we will be using our hash to create a new line of hash-based vegan gummies. They had all these amazing flavors but were using distillate, so I convinced them to make the switch and I think consumers will be overjoyed with the results.
What advice would you give to others who wish to join the cannabis industry and follow in your footsteps?
The cannabis industry is super competitive and complex. Make sure you are joining for the right reasons–there is no such thing as a quick buck in cannabis.
What are you most excited to see more of in cannabis next year?
I’m looking forward to the THC craze to end –it’s getting a little ridiculous!
Overall, I’m just excited for the mainstreaming of cannabis. To be able to walk into a store in NYC, Boston, San Francisco and beyond, and buy a pack of Stone Road. There’s still so much stigma against cannabis and as soon as we normalize our relations to this plant –we will live in a fairer, more just society.
Learn more about Trailblazers by visiting trailblazerspresents.com. You can find out more about Stone Road at stoneroad.org. To learn how to support New Alternatives NYC, visit newalternativesnyc.org.
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Featured image: Lex Corwin, founder and CEO of Stone Road (C) Stone Road