June is the month when retail brands let their customers know they support LGBTQ+ rights and inclusivity, although many of them go quiet once Gay Pride is over.
When retailers put away their rainbow flags and Pride marketing materials, some consumers are left feeling that the effort is more for a summer sales boost than a true expression of inclusivity.
Though from a business perspective, the targeting makes sense. In 2019, the community had an estimated annual buying power of $917 billion, according to the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce.
But does it make sense as an ally?
A 2018 Grindr survey showed that a little over 15% of community members felt "very positively" towards brands using Pride month marketing. Favorability upticked to 40% for brands using LGBTQ marketing year-round.
The demand for more substance is here, and a growing number of companies are taking part as inclusivity trends upward to a certain degree.
Where Does LGBTQ+ Inclusion Stand in the Industry Today?
The cannabis struggles with inclusivity. Like other minorities, the lack of LGBTQ+ inclusion has been a concern for years, with momentum gaining traction in recent years.
The lack of representation can be glaring when considering history.
The gay rights movement, as it was known in the 1970s, served as a central community in the advancement of medical marijuana. San Francisco's Mary Jane Rathbun, better known as Brownie Mary, helped scores of local citizens with her famous pot brownies and that included people suffering with HIV/AIDS.
Operators tell Benzinga that LGBTQ+ representation falls short in cannabis representation in various ways.
Kyle Porter, CEO of cannabis PR and marketing firm CMW Media says he can think of just a few LGBT-focused cannabis brands. Porter, who is gay, said that is the outcome of a …