Gay flags flutter less, but LGBTQ+ community still plays a vital role in the cannabis industry

Now that gay pride flags are no longer fluttering in the wind or removed from shop windows, we kindly remind everyone that the cannabis industry as we know it today – a thriving multi-million dollar business – wouldn’t exist if it were not for the work of advocates of LGBTQ+ compassionate care.

Still, the fledgling sector, like most, still has a lot of work ahead of it if it hopes to build a truly inclusive culture. Using a recent report from Vangst, the cannabis industry’s leading recruiting platform, we want to share some insights into how the industry can create a more inclusive workplace and why it should.

“Issues around diversity, equality and inclusion are important throughout the year, but we hope that using our unique insights into cannabis during Pride Month will give the industry something to be proud of and work towards,” Karson Humison, founder and CEO of Vangst told Benzinga. “The strong LGBTQ+ representation shown in our analysis is just another unique feature of an unprecedented industry and another reason I am proud to work in cannabis.”

Let’s take a look at the statistics:

Nearly 14% of respondents to Vangst’s 2021 Salary Guide Survey reported that they identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Compared to the company’s total workforce, LGBTQ+ workers have a greater presence in the cannabis sector. 100% of companies surveyed by Vangst now offer some form of benefits to their full-time staff since the study began.

Here’s what cannabis companies can do to make their workplaces and benefits more inclusive for their LGBTQ+ employees:

Work with health insurance companies that provide benefits to domestic partners, including providing family, medical and bereavement leave for domestic partners and their children. Provide at least one health plan to all employees that affirmatively and explicitly covers medically necessary transgender health services, including gender transition-related treatments. Publish written gender transition guidelines that document supportive policies/practices related to issues relevant to gender transition in the workplace. Make sure your DEI initiative, diversity council, or working group specifically includes LGBTQ+ diversity in its mission statement and ensure inclusive recruiting practices at all levels of the organization.

Humison assured Bengzinga that Vangst is tracking these important stats, i.e. the direction of the cannabis industry and how it is developing as an inclusive, fair and equitable space for all concerned. “Expect more report-style resources to be released to the cannabis community on a regular basis as we provide insights into hiring trends, industry activity and the future of the cannabis workforce,” said Humison.

Photo by Margaux Bellott on Unsplash

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