Thursday, March 28, 2024

Blanche, The Original Calloway

One more Women's History Month post: 

I was surprised to learn of late that Cab "Reefer Man" Calloway had an older sister Blanche, who was also a musician and a big influence on him. 

"Before swing-era singer, actor, and bandleader Cab Calloway was a household name, he wasn’t even the biggest name in his household. That distinction went to Blanche Calloway, his vocalist older sister and the first woman to lead an all-male jazz orchestra," begins a 2022 article Harvard Magazine

"Blanche was known to be an incredible, charismatic performer, with a big personality. Her style and flair onstage was a huge inspiration for her younger brother, Cab Calloway, and she paved the way in show business for Cab," says an article in Opera Baltimore about the Baltimore-raised performer.  

Friday, March 1, 2024

Women's Herstory Month: Equity and Inclusion

This year, both Women's History Month and International Women's Day (March 8) have chosen equity, diversity and inclusion as their themes. It's a good time to look at equity in the cannabis industry, and honor those women who are a part of it. 

Kim Cargile of A Therapeutic Alternative in Sacramento, who is a leader in empowering women to run cannabis businesses, recently posted a list on Facebook of, "Women who have gone to great lengths to push this industry forward, who have sacrificed everything while working on the front lines of the War on Cannabis. Women that are often overlooked by the corporate takeover of our industry and we should all know there names and if we know them, thank them."

PHOTO: Larry Utley
Inviting others to add names to the list, Cargile included on her list Elvy Musikka, a Columbian-American who was the first woman in the federal IND medical marijuana program, which sends monthly tins of 300 joints to participants. Musikka stumped for our rights (in both English and Spanish) for over a decade with the Cannabis Action Network, which toured the country raising awareness. 

Another inclusion is Yamileth Bolanos, who hails from Costa Rica and founded the Los Angeles cannabis dispensary Pure Life Alternative Wellness Center. Bolanos was instrumental in the passage of California's law protecting organ transplant patients from discrimination over their use of medical marijuana.