A 'Wake-Up Call' For The Cannabis Industry - Q&A With Mimi Lam of Superette
"I am proud to be a person of colour in cannabis, but this is an industry that is far from equal or just," says Mimi Lam of Superette.
I grew up in Toronto, Canada, my formative years shaped by the acceptance and encouragement of our unique cultures became the foundation of how I live my life and interact with the community. When I immigrated to the U.S., I was at first struck at how it was “speak English” or the accepted Americanization of diverse cultures.
An example is how the choices of food were presented, it was a homogenized form of multiple cultures into one checkbox. As we move forward in this historic time of change internationally, my hope is that we see our own uniqueness and celebrate and honor multi-ethnic communities.
This leads us today to this wonderful interview with Mimi Lam, founder of Superette, a chic cannabis storefront in Ottawa, Canada. I am so proud of this young Asian Canadian female entrepreneur, she embodies the future of the blending and honoring of cultures and cannabis.
Superette dispensary in Ottowa, Canada.
Advice from Superette founder Mimi Lam, in her own words:
Mimi Lam: I am proud to be a person of colour in cannabis, but this is an industry that is far from equal or just. I am proud that we, at Superette, have the platform and the voice to make a difference through ongoing actions and dollars, not just words or one-time initiatives.
We are not a big wealthy corporation, but we are doing our best and working to be the change we want to see in the cannabis industry. As a company and a brand, we are committed to playing an active role in repairing the damage done to communities harmed most by cannabis’ history. Black and Indigenous people have disproportionately been victims of cannabis-related arrests. We are helping to fight for the expungement of cannabis convictions from individuals’ criminal records, which began with a donation to Cannabis Amnesty. Separately, from now until forever, we are donating a part of our sales of a selected Superette product to organizations that supports marginalized communities (for example right now, $5 from every Superette grinder sold will go towards the Urban Alliance on Race Relations, a non-profit organization that works to address racism in society).
"Separating the profound from the performative is always challenging when trying to do the right thing, but we are committed to using our voice for equity and justice and to continuously look for ways to do better."
- Mimi Lam, Superette
Beyond that, we are establishing a mentorship program to be an ally to underrepresented voices in cannabis. I am fortunate enough to have gained experiences that have allowed me to leapfrog mistakes common for entrepreneurs and for those in cannabis. I want to make sure that we can help to empower others, especially those who do not have equal access to opportunities and resources.
And lastly, looking in the mirror, we acknowledge that our team is not nearly as diverse as it could or should be, and we know that change starts from within. As a company, we will be providing ongoing anti-racism workshops and bias training to our team members from BIPOC thought-leaders; we will actively hire, retain, and promote BIPOC and other minority groups; and we are building a toolkit of resources for our team and our community.
What, at this time, maybe a wake-up call for some is a systemic reality that has been woven into the fabric of our society. Separating the profound from the performative is always challenging when trying to do the right thing, but we are committed to using our voice for equity and justice and to continuously look for ways to do better. We know that we will make mistakes, but we will learn and expand from them.