BOULDER, Colo. — Colorado cannabis aficionados have a unique opportunity to support diversity and equity in the industry while bidding on a one-of-a-kind digital art NFT (non-fungible token) created by Denver-based digital artist Ciara Bourne as part of an exclusive collaboration with Native Roots Cannabis Co. and Wana Brands. The auction kicks off June 14 and runs through Juneteenth (Saturday, June 19), the oldest national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US. It is hosted on OpenSea, the world’s largest NFT marketplace at https://opensea.io/collection/native-roots-wana-nft.
The auction winner will score Bourne’s exclusive digital art NFT, “Joint Venture.”
“In a very light-hearted way, I wanted this piece to convey a sense of pride, success and prosperity despite being constrained by the challenges that minorities face in the industry,” Bourne said. The auction package also includes up to $100/month in Native Roots and Wana Brands products, a value of at least $1,200.** “I’m excited to work with Native Roots and Wana Brands on this project because it perfectly aligns with my passion for social justice and equity. As a Person of Color, I am thrilled to be able to use my art as a tool to spread awareness for this issue and work toward improving the racial inequalities present in the cannabis industry,” Bourne continued.
This innovative fundraising venture benefits the Cannabis Impact Fund’s work advancing racial justice in the cannabis industry. The Cannabis Impact Fund’s grantees include Color of Change, The Bail Project, Black Futures Lab, Hood Incubator and M4MM (Minorities for Medical Marijuana). “We are delighted that Native Roots and Wana decided to dedicate this innovative NFT fundraising project to recognizing Emancipation Day and promoting racial justice in our communities,” said Melanie Rose Rodgers, Executive Director of the Cannabis Impact Fund. “These companies share our belief that the cannabis industry can and should do its part to make a change in the racial disparities persisting in this country, and these contributions will go to support organizations across the country that promote racial justice both within and outside of the cannabis industry.”
Native Roots recognizes its responsibility and unique opportunity to create a positive impact and set the standard for civic engagement and corporate citizenship.
“At Native Roots, we are keenly aware of the disproportionate impact that the war on drugs has had on communities of color. We’re thrilled Wana is joining us to support Ciara’s creation of an NFT to uplift social equity through this auction,” said Buck Dutton, Vice President of Marketing, Native Roots. “We thought Juneteenth would be the perfect time to bring this auction to life, celebrating Ciara’s talents and contributions to our local Denver community, and to dedicate the funds to CIF’s racial equity grantees.”
Wana’s collaboration with Native Roots and Bourne represents the brand’s latest step in building a more equitable cannabis industry. Wana also launched CannabisforJustice.com, a web-based industry resource for companies looking to integrate anti-racist policies and practices into their operations.
“The NFT collab perfectly captures the synchronicity between cannabis, art, social change and innovation. Across both the art world and in cannabis, people of color have long fought for equitable access,” said Joe Hodas, Chief Marketing Officer, Wana Brands. “Through the NFT auction, we hope to raise awareness and support while also offering consumers a truly unique opportunity to own a piece of digital art that represents cannabis’s role in bringing about positive change.”
NFTs launched in 2017 on the Ethereum blockchain. Since then, NFTs quickly caught on in the rapidly growing digital art world with buyers eager to support emerging artists while also securing an exclusive ownership stake via a unique digital token. These digital tokens can be collected, sold or traded, and have exploded in popularity in recent years, with the NFT market growing by nearly 300% in 2020 and sales of NFTs topping $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
**Auction participants must be 21+ and a resident of Colorado.**
About Native Roots Cannabis Co.
Native Roots Cannabis Co. is one of Colorado’s most successful vertically integrated medical and adult-use cannabis operators. Native Roots has 20 dispensary locations across Colorado, serving thousands of customers every day and the state’s largest number of registered patient members. With over a decade of experience in providing cannabis to patients and adult customers, Native Roots has won national recognition for its sustainable business practices, retail design, high quality products, and employment practices.
Since 2010, Coloradans have turned to Native Roots as their trusted leader in cannabis for wellness and recreation. Native Roots offers a vast assortment of affordable products and a welcoming environment for cannabis beginners and experts alike. Rooted in the community, we are Colorado’s Happy Place. www.nativerootscannabis.com
Wana Brands: Enhance Your Life.
Included in the 2020 Inc. 5000 list at #2,074 and boasting a three-year growth rate of 203%, Wana Brands is the No. 1 edibles brand in North America. Wana leads the industry in quality, consistency and potency, providing a range of different options that enable customers to select the specific cannabis experience they want. Wana products offer diverse product forms, a wide range of CBD/THC ratios as well as a variety of different dosages, onset times and duration of effects. Wana’s best-selling quick onset products were the first to offer a Delta-9 “smoker’s high” experience in addition to 5-15 minute onset. Wana products are available in 11 US and 9 Canadian markets, among others imminently coming online. Wana Brands is available internationally in Canada. For more information or to subscribe to Wana’s e-newsletter, visit www.wanabrands.com.
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