Name: Mary Pryor
Location: New York-Los Angeles
How We Know Her: As the co-founder of Cannaclusive, an agency that offers professional opportunities to people of color in the legal cannabis industry, Mary is the ultimate weed connect.
Why We Chose Her: Mary isn’t just about business, she’s focused on advocacy and education.
What’s Next: The ultimate high: Creating more opportunities of people of color.
Cannabis, we have a problem. And Cannaclusive co-founder and CEO Mary Pryor is determined to solve it. There are many levels to this, in no particular order. First, there’s the rate at which black and brown folks have been arrested and incarcerated for possession. Second, the limitations to legal marijuana-based on geographic availability, coupled with the mounting evidence supporting its medicinal benefits, creates a situation that inhibits access to those who demonstrate medical necessity (to date, there are 33 legal medical marijuana states and D.C., and 11 legal recreational states and D.C.) Third, there’s a certain community (read: white and male) who are reaping financial rewards from this very lucrative cannabis effort, while melanated folks may be either unaware of such opportunities or unsure how to get their foot in the door.
Mary wants to steer the conversation in a new direction. She wants POCs to understand that there can be economic and professional potential in launching a career in the legal cannabis industry. So, yeah, it’s a bigger deal than Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night joke that Colorado’s new state slogan is “Come for the legal marijuana, stay because you forgot to leave.” Mary, who smokes Mary Jane to manage her Crohn’s disease (and stay off prescription medication), advocates for marijuana legalization and destigmatization. Since her health is her top priority, Mary bounced from the Big Apple to La La Land to access medical marijuana to treat her recurring pain associated with the autoimmune illness.
The bi-coastal media pro strives for inclusivity on the consumer side, by connecting brands with Black and Brown cannabis lovers. She and the few POCs in the space are often the only ones at cannabis events. Cannaclusive, founded in 2017, celebrates this often-ignored community, and it facilitates inclusion via education (read: find cannabis on the stock market and invest in it), wellness, guidance, advocacy and marketing too. Because: representation matters!
By the way, Cannaclusive’s glorious Flickr photos show tons of diverse images of women and men toking, vaping, rolling and more. While there’s no fee to use these images, it’s important to give the Cannaclusive team proper credit.