For those of us working in the cannabis industry with kids, the realization that talking to our kids about what we do is a little trickier a topic than it has been in the past. Between heavy stigma and the infantile nature of the industry, answers can be a little harder to shoot straight from the hip. As such, getting ahead of the question and preparing for these questions and creating a constructive and productive foundation for these questions is a must. But where do we start?
I.B. Sekandi’s book, Kids of Cannabis: My mom & dad work in cannabis; this is our story, allows a helpful resource to help parents lay a foundation for these kinds of conversations. Amidst the stigma surrounding the cannabis industry, the book makes a great step towards allowing a less judgmental view of the work. In essence, the book allows children the leg up in understanding exactly the things that their parents do not only allows preparation for questions from parents and other children, but gives the children a basis for their own questions towards understanding the industry.
Indeed, one of the more notable strengths of the book lies in its scope of the industry. Rather than focusing on one or a few of the more obvious positions in the industry, such as grower or dispensary positions, but goes further to include elements of the industry overlooked by those less aware of the industry. The inclusion of these positions, such as those in supply chain management or information technology & media, allows the book to speak in more abundant and meaningful ways. The variety of jobs included in the book allow the book to reach a wider audience, offering a solid foundation for kids of industry parents across the board, retailers and office jockeys alike.
The depth of the specifics of the industry, detailing the different points of contact, also allow a way to defend against the stigma against the cannabis industry by showing the full, robust business practices that go into the process. Familiarizing our kids with the complex and genuine business practices can help to shed light on the industry from a base level, allowing kids to feel comfortable and able to talk about what their parents do. Previous to the industry, perceptions cannabis sales had been nothing but off-the-record transactions and illegal dealings. Allowing the kind of perception Sekandi’s book constructs creates a positive juxtaposition to the cannabis industry’s predecessor, framing the current state of the cannabis industry in a more positive light.
Pleasant illustrations and easy reading make the book accessible for children, not just easy to focus on, but to engage with. Simple, clear pictures let the young readers understand the industry ,while also giving a solid, coherent backdrop for their own questions. Regardless of the cannabis industry focus, the book successfully walks a line of simplicity and complexity, giving a relatively in-depth understanding of the industry while not overwhelming the kids with too much information.
If a parent in the cannabis industry is worried, concerned or anxious about beginning a talk with their children about the nature of their work, I would suggest this book as a great jumping off point. While, admittedly, the book might not address the stigma surrounding the cannabis industry, it instead focuses on a constructive, positive view of the jobs in an emerging field. Obviously, more talks about cannabis and its industry are sure to follow, but using this book as a foundation for that conversation is a great place to start.