Our magazine won Publication of the Year for the third time in a row at the Cannabis Business Awards in Las Vegas last month. It?s a testament to the people?from the publishers to the writers?who believe in this magazine and who continue to work every month to bring you the whimsy and the insight of the publication you hold in your hands. It?s a testament, too, to the dedication of CEO Ron Kolb and editor in chief Stephanie Wilson, who met in a coffee shop with an idea four years ago and have seen their passion blossom into magazines in 13 different markets across the country.
Sensi has grown and gained respect at the same time that cannabis has shucked off old stigmas. States continue to legalize and the national political will is moving toward decriminalization across the country. CBD is in everything from soda to shampoo. Entrepreneurs continue to find new ways to use cannabis and extracts to make life better for people in chronic pain or those simply seeking relief from a hectic life. At Sensi Xchange, a gathering of thought leaders that took place in Vegas the day before the awards, 19-year-old Coltyn Turner (coltynscrue.com) spoke about how cannabis helped get him out of a wheelchair as he battled Crohn?s disease. And 14-year-old Rylie Maedler (ryliessmilefoundation.org) explained how she used cannabis to beat a rare bone disease. She?s now an outspoken activist.
There is still work to do and the industry must be sure to engage in meaningful self-reflection. At the awards ceremony, long-time medical cannabis advocate and founder of The Last Prisoner Project (thelastprisonerproject.org), Steve DeAngelo received a lifetime achievement award. He implored the industry to get those out of prison who are still serving time (some life sentences) for possession of a substance that many now profit from. And there is a disturbing lack of Black and Brown faces in the industry, especially considering the ethnic demographics of those in prison as opposed to those profiting from cannabis. But this industry and the people in it have proven that they can grow and evolve. Let?s hope the awards continue to praise meaningful change on these crucial issues.