Based in sunny Los Angeles, Besito isn’t your average cannabis company. With a limited niche menu of three cannabis flavors—grapefruit, blackberry and mint—this vape company is quickly growing in popularity. Besito’s website and Instagram page feature a plethora of aesthetically pleasing images of diverse young people smoking pot. From models of color to queer couples, inclusivity is at the forefront of this company’s image. But that progressive energy doesn’t end with hiring diverse models for marketing shoots—that’s just where it starts. It isn’t uncommon for companies to preach that they value diversity and inclusivity but not actually reflect that mission in their work environment and efforts. Besito, on the other hand, doesn’t bullshit.
Recently, the company partnered with Equity First Alliance to create A Record Shouldn’t Last a Lifetime. The campaign is a call to action advocating for widespread implementation of automated expungement and expanded eligibility for expungement. Featuring advocates, formerly incarcerated individuals, their family members and amplifying the voices of those impacted by the War on Drugs, the project is more than a campaign, it’s a movement. The personal stories of those who have been harmed by unfair and disproportionate treatment by authority will hopefully drive people to sign their petition advocating for more access to automated expungement.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, white and black people use weed at the same rate, yet there is a huge difference in the number of arrests made between the two groups. Black people are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. Additionally, despite black and brown people only making up 31.5 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 46.9% of the people arrested for drug law violations. The data is clear that the War on Drugs is only affecting some groups, while others are profiting from starting businesses. We spoke with founder Maggie Connors about the importance of cannabis companies working toward decriminalization and making efforts to add color to the legal cannabis industry.