An Open Letter to Marijuana Business Magazine

To the editor of Marijuana Business Magazine,

We read your feature on gender bias in the cannabis industry with interest; we hold many of the women you spoke to in high esteem. We salute their work as employees, executives and owners of marijuana dispensaries, gardens and cannabis businesses. And as female compatriots in the marijuana industry, we feel the need to respond to comments made in the article.

High Times is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and we are doing so as a stronger, bigger, better team than ever, with 13 women as full-time employees, and many more working with us as freelancers. Women make up almost half our staff. Our publisher, managing editor, director of digital media, director of digital marketing and event designer, our lifestyle editor, our licensing manager—all are women, in positions of power at a magazine celebrating 40 years in print, and still growing. We are proud of what we have accomplished, and while we don’t deny that there is always work to be done to combat sexism, and ensure equality for men and women, we take issue with Dr. Lakisha Jenkins’ comment in the article:

…She was incensed after she attended the Medical Cannabis Cup in Los Angeles sponsored by High Times magazine. One of the events at the Cup was a wet T-shirt contest, which obviously has nothing to do with medicine.
Dr. Jenkins is mistaken about where she was when she witnessed this. There has never been, nor will there ever be, a wet T-shirt contest at one of our Cups, though they certainly do occur at other cannabis events. Cannabis Cups are held to celebrate the gift of cannabis, the growing cannabis industry, and the march towards legalizing marijuana for all responsible adults. High Times is not in the business of censoring our advertisers. Our vendors, who purchase booths at Cannabis Cups and ads in the magazine, are free to promote their product any way they like. However, although High Times gives people the means to promote their products, our editorial and event staff is not responsible for vendors’ actions. A controversial Benetton ad in Vanity Fair does not justify accusing the magazine of racism; the issue is with the ad itself, created by Benetton. Do not use an advertiser’s actions to depict High Times as sexist. We are a proud team of strong women and men, working together for a great cause. Forty years at the forefront of that fight has given us great strength, and we draw on that to carry on with our heads held high. Untrue and unfair accusations will not stop us. Fair journalism practices require you to investigate Dr. Jenkins’ allegation and print a retraction.
Respectfully yours,
The women of High Times
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