2 women cannabis experts aim to destigmatize weed among AAPI with their ‘Conscious Consumption’ guide

2 women cannabis experts aim to destigmatize weed among AAPI with their ‘Conscious Consumption’ guide2 women cannabis experts aim to destigmatize weed among AAPI with their ‘Conscious Consumption’ guide
Michelle De Pacina
May 18, 2022
A project led by Asian Americans aims to destigmatize cannabis in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community with their beginner’s guide to the “conscious consumption” of weed.
Modern Cannabis, an education-anchored project launched by Eunice Kim and Sysamone Phaphon, features the booklet “Modern Cannabis: A Beginner’s Guide to Conscious Consumption.” It was originally written in English and then translated into 11 Asian languages, including Bahasa, Cambodian, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Lao, Malay, Mandarin, Tagalog, Thai and Urdu.
The guide introduces the history of cannabis and tackles the ways in which it is consumed. It teaches different terminologies and how to read product labels. The goal is to make cannabis more inclusive and accessible to the AAPI community.
“Only 4% of the entire cannabis industry is Asian-owned; the percentage trickles down to a negligible number when talking about AAPI women,” Kim told NextShark. “Aside from the industry being highly inequitable, the cannabis stigma runs so deep in the Asian community. Unfortunately, cannabis has long been associated with laziness, criminality, and mental illness.”
“What may be accepted and normalized within majority groups of white Americans isn’t always the case for non-white cannabis users, as we as AAPI must also contend with stigma forces within our community, including being the model minority, the concept of shame and guilt.”
Kim, 35, is the founder and chief executive of HiVi, an online cannabis education platform. Phaphon, 37, is the founder and chief executive of KhuenPhu, a CBD wellness brand built to modernize Asian healing tradition.
Their project includes a social media campaign that spotlights AAPI women leaders in the field. They are also organizing community events throughout California and New York on behalf of Modern Cannabis. Kim and Phaphon hope to educate the community, especially older generations and non-English speakers, ​​about the wellness benefits of cannabis.
“We know this is not going to be received with open arms the way we — in an ideal world — would love to see it,” Kim told the Los Angeles Times. “But we want to see that shift and we want to hear stories from younger generations in our community coming back and saying, ‘Hey, look. We shared the book and [its] content with our parents, our grandparents. And we’re starting to have more of that candid conversation’ or ‘They’re trying products instead of leaning on their prescriptions.’ We’re excited to see that shift happen — even if it’s a slow one.”
“I’d like to remind the community that Asians have been consuming cannabis for thousands of years,” Kim added. “It’s been a healing plant for generations — since ancient history. The Chinese have the first recorded use of this plant. So whatever convoluted journey it’s been on since, let’s remember that and go back to our roots.”
Featured Image via CRYSTALWEED cannabis
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