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 Terrance Alan, Owner and CEO Of Flore Dispensary
Terrance Alan is the owner and CEO of Flore Dispensary, one of San Francisco’s leading dispensaries in the city’s famed Castro District. Alan is also Chair of the San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Taskforce and helped write the report that formed the basis of San Francisco’s legal cannabis regulations. With over 25 years of experience in helping businesses navigate government bureaucracy, he has created numerous small businesses, Political Action Committees, governmental commissions, trade associations, and has written and passed multiple pieces of legislation.
TRAILBLAZERS: What is something unique that you bring to your work and the greater cannabis industry overall from your previous work or life experience?
TERRANCE ALAN: I have been a grower in San Francisco for many decades. In the last 30 years, I was a founding board member of CHAMP; founding president or the San Francisco Entertainment Commission; owner of a gay social venue, now the Power Exchange; I’ve constructed and operated nightclubs and was one of the owner/producers of LoveFest, a dance music parade in San Francisco, all while co-producing a Trance Stage at Pride and main stage at the “old” Halloween in the Castro. Over the last five years I lobbied for and led the San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Taskforce and following the implementation of Prop 64 in San Francisco, I located and began the process to open a cannabis retail store.
Why are you passionate about being part of the cannabis industry?
Growing and distributing cannabis has been my life. Doing it in the regulated environment is challenging, but we can’t lose our roots, which were dying AIDS patients using cannabis to extend their lives. That crisis led us to this moment.
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 are deeply committed to the community in which we do business and so we are always dedicated to how we make immediate local impact that can be felt by our neighbors who are our consumers. As just one example, we partner with the local Castro Merchants Association to do fabulous street activations in front of the Flore and, in doing so, further efforts to mainstream cannabis by putting in the places and spaces that consumers are shopping for other great products and offerings.
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?
We are in the world’s most recognized capital of LGBTQIA+ history, The Castro. My store features all of the LGBTQIA+ products we can find in the emerging cannabis market. We welcome people of all colors and backgrounds to our staff. I am co-president of the Castro Merchants Association and provide hands-on direction to our production team who creates one-of-a-kind events on Noe Street at Market like FAMILY PRIDE on Saturday June 25th, which is a celebration of all ages of Pride in our neighborhood.
What’s your favorite LGBTQIA+-produced cannabis product that isn’t from your brand?
I don’t have a favorite one, yet! But that doesn’t mean we don’t see the greatness of our LGBTQIA+ community making their presence known in our industry across some truly wonderful products including Camillo Proud, CANN Social Tonic, Hugs, Sonder Space Crystals, and Stone Road to name a few.
What advice would you give to others who wish to join the cannabis industry and follow in your footsteps?
Be prepared for a long road to cannabis success. Cannabis historically has been welcoming to entrepreneurs and especially LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs. I fear those days are gone and cannabis is now big business, so challenges and requirements are significant. Do your homework, talk to ANYONE you can who is open and apprentice yourself to them until you are ready!
What are you most excited to see more of in cannabis next year?
Expanding cannabis consumption into places where people gather like roof top gardens and affiliated social spaces where cannabis is a logical addition.
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Featured image: Terrance Alan, owner and CEO of Flore Dispensary (C) Flore Dispensary