It’s a funny thing when inspiration strikes at Kush Queen, it often comes from the most unexpected places.
Back in 2019, the LA Times featured a spotlight article on me and the work we've done to grow Kush Queen. This was a bucket list moment and a proud achievement for the team!
And as it happens with success and spotlight, your great moments trigger the haters. After the article was published, a nasty DM arrived in my inbox from an angry hater. We’ll spare the details, but this is where the story of our 2021 Halloween Collection, Swamp Queen, begins!
The gist of the message was that our family was trash from Louisiana and our brand should be called Swamp Queen not Kush Queen. What was wholly intended to be a slur, to hurt us, and to make us feel ashamed of where we come from turned into beautiful inspiration.
We were instantly empowered and inspired by the idea. We are Swamp Queen, and the idea of our 2021 Halloween collection was born.
What we didn’t plan on with creating this collection was the self-exploration of our heritage, healing, and digging into why we started a wellness-focused company.
And just a few short weeks ago, Hurricane Ida hit our home and many of the places we visited in preparation for this collection. Our hearts extend to everyone recovering from the disastrous aftermath of Hurricane Ida. To support the relief efforts post Hurricane Ida, Kush Queen will be donating 10% of all Spirit of the Bayou product sales to support the native and local bayou communities affected.
Welcome to Swamp Queen and the Spirit of the Bayou collection.
Ultimately, being from Louisiana specifically “down the bayou” as the locals describe it is a significant part of our story at Kush Queen. Sure we have lived in California for the last 20 years, but we will always be Louisiana people.
We eat jambalaya at KQ HQ and take great pride in being those people from a small town in Louisiana making a difference in the world of plant-based wellness.
Our experiences living in a place called, “Cancer Alley,” has undoubtedly influenced our passion for plant-based wellness and medicine. Our small-town roots are why we dared to start this company in the first place.
And even surprising to us, when you dive into the deep origins of the history of cannabis you find the unsung mother of cannabis culture: New Orleans.
New Orleans: The Unsung Mother of Cannabis Culture
When it comes to cannabis history the narrative is often centered around the last 50 years from the war on drugs, Humboldt county, proposition 215, and now legalization. But long before these more known historical periods was reefer madness and the beginnings of cannabis being used as a tool for racial oppression.
The more you research the more you see the significant and overlooked role New Orleans has played in the history of cannabis in North America. Of course, New Orleans is one of the birthplaces of jazz but did you know that wrapped up in that same time, the use of cannabis was being cultivated in subculture as a tool to enrich consciousness in the community?
Emerald Magazine reports, “this much is certain; it was musicians of the 1920s New Orleans jazz scene who created the first American subculture to be identified with cannabis use.”
Researcher Peter Webster, writing for the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics described the original jazz-cannabis scene as a kind of extended family that: “constantly practiced together, brainstormed together, performed together, and smoked marijuana together.”
Now queue the oppression, using cannabis for racism, creating the false narrative of cannabis users, and losing the historic relevance of New Orleans and this amazing plant.
Even though we now have 38 states with some form of legalization or decriminalization, that same stigma created around the New Orleans subculture of jazz in the 1920s and using cannabis is still alive.
Just as cannabis inspired the first jazz musicians to play notes from the heart that weren’t written on the page, it also inspires our action to learn the real histories, explore our own stories, and understand why we are so compelled to share cannabis as a conscious wellness tool.
Now let’s get into the products!
The Spirit of the Bayou, An Exploration of Self and Wellness
The poetry of embracing who you are, combined with the historical significance of cannabis and New Orleans is not lost on us. The love and passion for where we come from and now what we do is a powerful force behind Swamp Queen and the Spirit of the Bayou.
We hope it inspires you to connect with where you are, who you are, and your wellness.
The Spirit of the Bayou Cannabinoid Collection Includes:
- The Spirit of the Bayou Cannabinoid Elixir, 20mg ∆8 THC
- The Spirit of the Bayou CBD Bath Bomb, 200mg Full Spectrum
The products in this collection ask you to make time to seek yourself, to stimulate your mind and body, allowing you to be both present and lost simultaneously.
Indulge with us and the Spirit of the Bayou to explore and connect with your “other” selves, learn from your origins, and seek ultimate wellness and healing as we welcome the fall season.
Shop the pre-order for Spirit of the Bayou here!