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Monday, May 29, 2023

Melissa Etheridge: The Voice

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Right after the pandemic hit the US in March 2020, it happened via a Facebook post with a link to live music legend and cannabis activist/entrepreneur Melissa Etheridge singing some of her biggest hits — including “Come ToMy Window” — from her home. As it happened, I was then sitting by a window looking from the outside at the frightening and uncertain future everyone on this planet faces due to COVID-19. But I felt better because Melissa Etheridge was in a fight with me. And as everyone knows, a woman never loses a fight. Somehow, I knew that in the end, everything would be fine.

After a couple of years of soul-enriching home music gigs on social media, I decided to check in on Etheridge, asking about the industry she’s been known for for so long. Its popular brand is hemp, Etheridge plantsoffering premade flowers and wraps, has also now created a CBD sister company, Etheridge Organics.

I have discovered Multiple Grammy winner at her home in Los Angeles shortly after the release of Etheridge’s latest album, One way out. She was, as always, ready to go.

Melissa Etheridge has used her platform to highlight the legalization of cannabis.

Hemp Now: For a lot of people, your cannabis use is a conduit for the entire debate about legalizing marijuana. Do you consider yourself a pioneer, and with so many people finally on board to legalize cannabis, do you feel vindicated that you were, in fact, right all along?

Melissa Etheridge: Oh, wow, I’m definitely not looking for an excuse. I think for a large number of people, I’ve been able to give a voice to the legalization of cannabis, and I’ve been able to shed more light on the issue. But, make no mistake, there are a lot of people who have been in this field for decades, who have given their lives for this cause – and who have served time in prison – who really understand this issue and want to bring full federal legitimacy to this. But, yeah, I clearly think we still have a long way to go.

Specifically, how can cannabis go so far?

The cannabis industry as a whole is in the middle of trying to figure it all out, and with no federal legalization and no easy path to full access to banking in the cannabis industry, our hands are tied in the industry. Look, Canadians are way ahead of us, and they keep coming to the US and buying everything in the cannabis industry.

It’s a tricky situation because people of color seem to be — once again — out of the money-making circle. It’s just the same group of people who always seem to be making money in every industry.

exactly! Yeah, it’s just, like, Let’s go! Where is the justice?

Tell me how has Etheridge Botanicals evolved from offering exclusive cannabis offerings to now having a CBD brand with the launch of Etheridge Organics?

Well 15 years ago I started getting into the cannabis industry by joining the fight to legalize cannabis and it all went deep into the community, especially in Northern California, Santa Cruz and Humboldt County and getting to know these beautiful people. After seeing how the industry started doing extractions, other colleagues and I realized that, basically, we could actually grow something that was high quality both hemp and CBD, and that’s a very good thing because there are so many parts of a plant that can be used in very beneficial ways. . This is exactly what we did.

This story was originally published in Issue 44 printed edition of hemp now.

Grow guide for marijuana beginners.
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