Today we’d like to introduce you to Buck Angel.
Buck, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my cannabis company with my great friend and business partner Leon Mostovoy. We are both transgender men who transitioned 20 plus years ago. We both have had major substance abuse problems as well as dealing with our gender. Both of us have been LGBTQ activists for 30 years. When cannabis became legal five years ago, we decided to start our own cannabis company that would focus on our community. Because we have had so much activism in this community we knew that there is a lot of struggle with anxiety, depression and substance abuse. Myself being sober 30 years I started using cannabis about five years ago for all my anxiety and insomnia. It was a game-changer and knew my community could possibly benefit as well. Not only by using it but Leon and I knew we could eventually start to create jobs and encourage others from our community as well. We have been giving back to our LA Gay and Lesbian center with an emphasis on the seniors. This is a big part of our mission. Giving back. And here we are five years later still in the game. We are the first all trans owned California cannabis company.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it has not been smooth at all. Very difficult to stay afloat in cannabis unless you have major investment. We do not, but what we do have is a great distribution and manufacturer that has taken us under their wings. Greenstone. They have helped keep us alive. They see the importance of our small LGBTQ focused mission. This is why we are here because people like them see us. We struggle but here we are. The bigger operations are coming in now and they have a lot of money to push the little guys around like in any business.
Please tell us about Pride Wellness.
Pride Wellness is an LGBTQ focused cannabis company. We started to help our community in many ways. Education about cannabis. Jobs. Giving back to the center. Many people do not know that cannabis was legalized 30 years wagon because of the AIDS movement and Dennis Peron, Calif Prop 215. And marinol was the first pharmaceutical cannabis used for AIDS patients. So clearly there should be LGBTQ companies in cannabis and that was always our mission. To keep LGBTQ people aware of our cannabis history. This focus separates us from most of the other cannabis companies. We have a direct mission statement that reflects the voices this community and cannabis. We are very proud of our giveback program to the LA gay and lesbian senior center. These are our elders and some are homeless and no food. We are so humbled to be able to help the people who helped us be free today.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Probably found more investment money. But being a very small and marginalized cannabis company, I think investors did not see our future as we did. Here we are though and not going anywhere. Other than investment, I think we feel very proud of what we have accomplished.
- Website: PrideWellness.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pridewellnessla/