Tess Melody Taylor, a queer Black woman born and raised in Texas, founded and self-funded the CBD skincare line, TAYLOR + tess, after seeing her military veteran parents struggle with joint and body aches.
Seeking a more holistic solution beyond the opioids doctors had prescribed, Taylor also launched her own business, Dose of Saucy, a company that sells cannabis-infused condiments like BBQ and hot sauces. Its mission is to make cannabis inclusive and accessible to all.
"My intersectional team is comprised of women, minorities, and LGBTQIA+ folks because the table always has more to offer when the people to the left and the right look and think differently than you. 100% of my supply chain is BIPOC and/or woman-owned. I hire diverse creatives, consultants, and chefs for every project. Supporting Saucy supports an entire ecosystem of marginalized folks," Taylor said. "We set out to be the Heinz of cannabis."
BIPOC, Cannabis Entrepreneurs And Social Equity
After recreational marijuana was legalized in California in 2016, Taylor found the opportunity to apply to Our Academy - an accelerator program for BIPOC entrepreneurs looking to enter the cannabis market. Finally, she was able to launch Dose of Saucy in April 2020.
Now, Taylor is a private educator and board member at Our Academy. "Social equity programs like Our Academy are especially important in the face of large, mostly white-owned corporations that are looking to cash in on the increasing legalization of cannabis," she said.
"It makes it harder for mom-and-pop shops who are the ones doing the work, telling their stories, and educating consumers to introduce them to cannabis," Taylor added. "But then consumers turn around and get the cheapest weed they can find from mass producers."
According to Taylor, the key to ensuring diversity is to have effective government regulation that protects legacy operators in the cannabis market.
"Dose of Saucy works with BIPOC and women-owned or led operators in their supply chain," she added.
Food And Cannabis: Improving Quality Of Life
When Taylor noticed the way her parents began to openly communicate with each other after they began using low-dose cannabis, she got inspired to make Dose of Saucy a brand that uses food and inclusivity to bring people together.
"Cannabis goes beyond just mitigating physical pain. It's also improving their quality of life all around," Taylor concluded. "It's healing."
Photo: Courtesy Of Dose Of Saucy
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