The Heylo Cannabis Blog

Building a More Equal and Empathetic America

Building a More Equal and Empathetic America

Published
June 19, 2020
The Heylo Mission is to help anyone get more out of life. And yet, when we consider the history of the cannabis plant through the lens of racial injustice, oppression, systemic inequities, “more out of life” rings hollow. What can we do to make change?

This Juneteenth, marking the end of slavery in America, comes amid a nationwide awakening to the continuing injustices black Americans confront on a daily basis. 

Cannabis is a microcosm of the struggle black Americans have faced since the early 1600’s in the United States. Even in places labeled as progressive like Washington State, where legalization was passed in 2012, the history goes something like:

This unequal footing is visible in countless other parts of life, even when accounting for other variables - credit approval for real estate, educational access and opportunity, and, what is now obvious to most Americans, brute force policing.

The Heylo Mission is to help anyone get more out of life. And yet, when we consider the history of the cannabis plant through the lens of racial injustice, oppression, and systemic inequities, “more out of life” rings hollow. 

Inequity of opportunity has caused centuries of pain and mistreatment on black Americans, and the nation is now waking up to this verifiable truth. We dream of living in a post-racial America, but we are not yet there. If we do not discuss, act, and demand change we will continue living in a shell of what America can be. To help people get more out of life, we must help our fellow black Americans with the voices and resources we have.

Heylo’s Plan for a More Equal Tomorrow 

As a young company without third-party investors in a hyper-competitive marketplace, we are financially handicapped in certain respects. But we are not without a voice, and we are motivated to take what action we can.

Taking action to date: 

  • We ordered dozens of books on racial injustice and history in America from black-owned bookstores across the country (Semicolon Bookstore & Gallery and OneKIn). We are distributing these in majority-white neighborhoods via “Little Libraries”. 
  • We donated $1000 to Got Green, a Seattle organization fighting inequality from the lens of the environment, while creating opportunities for people of color to grow careers in green industries, as well as $100 to the Cannabis Colored Collective of Seattle.
  • We are amplifying the voices of those on the front-lines and sharing the stories of black entrepreneurs in the cannabis industry via our Instagram
Heylo is purchasing books on the history of systemic racism in America, distributing them to local "Little Libraries" in the Greater Seattle Area.

And we certainly believe there is so much room to do more. Change does not happen overnight, or even in the course of a single year or election-cycle. Change happens when the truth is made clear to the overwhelming majority, and we collectively embrace values that more closely align with the ideal.

Change happens when the truth is made clear to the overwhelming majority, and we collectively embrace values that more closely align with the ideal.

Every American has a role to play. Whether you join a march, author a poem, donate food, or read a book, you are capable of pushing this movement forward. The best time to take action was yesterday. The next best time is now. 

Join us for the Juneteenth Freedom March through Seattle

The Cannabis Colored Collective (CCC) is hosting a Juneteenth Freedom March through the heart of Seattle. This event is made possible by the support of our friends at Hashtag Cannabis and ZoZ Cannabis.

juneteenth march


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Authored by

Lo Friesen

Lo is the founder and CEO of Heylo Cannabis. She is an environmental chemist with passions including gastroenterology, golf, and cannabis science.

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