Kassia Graham has two decades of experience working with diverse organizations including Fortune 500 companies, boutique agencies, non-profits, and lifestyle blogs. A two-time cancer survivor, Kassia understands the importance of cannabis as a physical and mental healing aid. As National Project Lead Kassia works with Cannaclusive’s co-founders on a variety of initiatives including content creation, special events, marketing, branding, social media, and advocacy.
She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where she majored in Film and Television, and minored in Art and Culture.
Kassia Graham is dedicated to Cannaclusive’s mission to celebrate the cultures of this thriving community through curated experiences, groundbreaking insights, thoughtful content and dynamic visuals. We make it easier for brands to communicate with diverse audiences and ensure that minority consumers are not an afterthought, but a valued ally in the fight for legalization and destigmatization.
We caught up with her to ask her the whys and hows of cannabis inclusivity. Pay attention.
What motivates you to work with Cannaclusive?
I’ve always had my foot in social justice—particularly health, diversity, and inclusion—so it was only logical to inquire about joining the collective. What started out as helping friends turned into much more. On top of that my previous experiences with cannabis made me more adamant about destigmatizing this plant-based medicine.
What is it like being a woman in the cannabis space?
Womxn in cannabis stick together, and that’s been really powerful to take part in, and witness. Whether plant touching or ancillary we help each other with resources, pull each other into spaces, and act as soundboards for each other. As adult use becomes legal in more states we have to keep that collaborative energy.
What is your advice to those in cannabis?
Show up if you want your voice heard. Equity doesn’t happen in a bubble. You have to demand it with your physical presence. No one expects you to make every meeting or call, but you can mobilize others.
If you’re a straight, White, cis man in cannabis be an ally to marginalized groups; especially Black and Latinx people. They’ve been grossly criminalized for something you typically get to walk away from without years of being incarcerated. Make space for womxn, people of color, and others. Genuinely invite marginalized folks into your spaces. Build and collaborate with them. This applies to White womxn too.
Build a genuine community!
Cannaclusive is focused on inclusion. How do you feel about inclusion in cannabis currently and what are you doing to work toward that?
There is so much work to be done. We have walked into many rooms and seen how homogenized the industry is; chic White women in skinny jeans and booties, to older White men wearing suits and tasseled leather shoes. However, our audience is wide so you’ll see everyone at our events, and it brings us such joy.
Cannaclusive has been instrumental in demanding equity. Mary has been doing a tremendous amount of work in Albany, New York. On the social media and relationship front Mary and I are pushing the #equitydayone action initiative in New York along with Humble Bloom, Mary’s List, The People’s Dispensary, and other allies.
Our team works to ensure diversity and inclusion is at the core of what we do. So, our stock photos aren’t just about POC, it’s about body positivity, transgender folks, queerness, being differently abled, and celebrating melanated people in their multitudes.
Again, be a good ally. Bring marginalized folks into the fold. Amplify our voices. Cannabis is about community. Is your cannabis inclusive?
Photo via Instagram