Everest Celebrates Juneteenth with a Discussion about Diversity

Juneteenth has always been recognized as an important day, but recently it has taken on a newfound (and overdue) notoriety. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger issued an order,

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.” 

When he issued this order, he was unaware that this date would be the most popular celebration of emancipation from slavery in the United States. Although this is the most popular day to celebrate, this wasn’t the end of slavery. In fact, this proclamation was issued after President Lincoln was assassinated, while the 13th amendment was already well on its way to being established and the Confederate capital (in Richmond) had already fallen. In short, slavery was supposed to have ended two and a half years before this announcement. 

At Everest, we have spent the last few weeks educating ourselves, supporting our team, and discussing how we can contribute to a future we will be proud of. We want everyone reading this to know that we stand behind the people. We believe black lives matter, we hear those who have been speaking out, and we are listening. 

We recently sat down with our COO, Trishelle Kirk to have an open discussion about diversity at Everest.

photo of Trishelle Kirk, COO of Everest apothecary
Trishelle Kirk, COO of Everest Apothecary

Do you think diversity is important?

“I firmly believe that diversity is a requirement for great business. With diversity comes better culture, decision-making, and problem-solving. I think the best way to ensure you have a diverse organization is to focus on the diversity of thought.”

How does having a diverse team support a stronger business?

“When we’re hiring or promoting, we always talk about the value of adding a new perspective into the team. We also encourage people within the organization to speak up if they have a different opinion or a new idea. As a management team, we recognize that we don’t know everything and the best idea wins. Having people that think differently than you in the organization is always an asset. The act of having to examine your own beliefs and opinions, whether you end up sticking with them or not, will ensure better decision-making in the future.”

Let’s talk about what happens when there is a lack of diversity in the workplace…

“Groupthink is incredibly dangerous for an organization that wants to stay cutting edge. Collective bias is very toxic for an organization that wants to grow and retain employees. If you want your business to thrive and remain relevant, you cannot afford to run your organization from the perspective of “we do things this way because we’ve always done things this way.” It is easier in the short-term but rarely results in longevity.”

Groupthink is bad. So, how do you promote diversity during the hiring process?

At Everest, we agree that diversity of thought is the only way we will be able to continue our mission of providing high-quality cannabis to qualified medical patients in a rapidly changing and growing industry. When the diversity of thought is a core value, diversity in individuals is an easy goal to achieve. 

We have to consider experience and qualifications for any candidate, but I find that giving consideration to the unique or different perspective a candidate would bring to their team or to the organization is an incredibly effective way to promote diversity. Every employee that joins Everest is responsible for helping us make the organization better. It’s not a stretch to make your criteria for “better” include different. 

This graphic is a diversity breakdown of the employees and leadership at Everest Apothecary.

How does having a more diverse group of leaders trickle down to a more diverse team?

“As leaders and hiring managers, we have to be honest with ourselves about our hiring process. As much as we wish we could rely on a well-written resume, strong references, and our interviewing skills alone to bring in the perfect candidate, the ultimate decision is a very gut-based one.

If your gut is uncomfortable because a candidate looks or sounds different than you, because you don’t have others of their race, gender or sexual orientation in the organization, because you don’t have a similar background, it is easy for your “gut” to take you toward another candidate that feels more comfortable but may not be any more qualified.”

Is there anything else you would like to add, that can potentially limit diversity in a company?

“One of the things I love about Everest is that very few of our jobs require a college degree. Without that requirement, we can instead recruit for work ethic, passion, problem-solving, experience, and drive. We have a responsibility to do just that. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the value of college education, I hold a master’s degree myself. I also believe it’s important to recognize that many jobs simply don’t require that level of education for an individual to excel.

When you dismiss the inherent bias of an unnecessary educational requirement and instead use it as a way of perpetuating bias against individuals from lower-income backgrounds coming into your organization, you are refusing to take responsibility for using your power and privilege to close the opportunity gap in America.”

Truer words have not been spoken! Any suggestions out there for businesses looking to become more diverse, but that don’t know where to start?

“Business leaders must recognize that education itself is not an equal playing field and using it as one of the biggest criteria for an opportunity in the business world is inherently biased. A gap in opportunity starts nearly at birth and becomes more and more difficult to close as a child grows. A child isn’t responsible for the circumstances of their birth but in business, we often hold them accountable for their entire life.”

We at Everest would like it to be known that we stand with those pushing for reform. Everyone can do better, educate themselves more, and listen. We have made a start, but we understand that there is still work to be done at Everest and around the world. We believe no one is free until everyone is free. 

We stand in solidarity. Black Lives Matter. 


How To Get Your Cannabis During COVID-19

We understand that there are limitations being put into place every day to help keep our peers safe. There is no higher priority to our team at Everest Apothecary than the safety of our patients and those around them. We have always been focused on our patient’s health and safety, but we have been going above and beyond to meticulously clean our dispensaries. 

We have also enacted a new measure of safety:

Get In: We want you to get seen quickly (our average wait time is only seven minutes!) to avoid contact with other patients. 

Get Out: We are prepared to fill your order as quickly as possible. Want to speed up the process? You can order online here.

Get Home: Our goal is to get home home as quickly, efficiently, and as safely as possible. 

We understand that this epidemic is really affecting those who suffer from anxiety and PTSD. There are a lot of people that rely on our cannabis as a way to relax and stay focused through a day, so we are doing everything in our power to keep you healthy and safe.

Given the new regulations, please note that our exceptional customer service might be a little bit different than you have come to expect. Our stores will remain a safe place for those looking to feel better, in all aspects. 

Check out our online menus and nearest location to you HERE

We look forward to seeing you soon. 

Sincerely, 

The Everest Apothecary Team


Is Cannabis Going to be Legalized in New Mexico?

Ever since New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham took office, she has been a major advocate of legalizing marijuana. You may have read one of the articles discussing the details of the bill or heard the media buzz around the bill and the current legislative session. Regardless of where you stand, it is essential to be informed. 

We wanted to break down (or grind down 😉 ) precisely what has been going on, what the next steps look like, and what you need to know. 

Let’s start with the Basics.

The governor has pushed to legalize recreational cannabis. Currently, New Mexico has legalized medical cannabis, which means only those with a medical card can access it. New Mexico is one of 33 states with legalized medical marijuana and could potentially be the 12th to legalize it recreationally. 

So What?

If this passes, it would mean that anyone above the age of 21 would be able to purchase and use cannabis without any legal repercussions. If this bill passes, we would be looking at the start date of July 2021. 

The taxes on recreational pot would be around 17-19% and taxes for medical patients and low-income patients would vary. That means that qualifying patients would be able to have access to medical-grade marijuana without intensive financial barriers. Having medical marijuana in a different tax bracket for low-income patients and medical cardholders is an incredible addition to the bill, not mentioned in previous bill proposals. This allows everyone an equal opportunity to explore the benefits of marijuana. 

The plan calls for a ban on using characters and minors in advertising (along with the establishment of your prevention and education programs), and food-grade testing of marijuana products. 

In other states, there is an option for local government to opt-out of legal weed. This plan will prohibit any local New Mexican government from banning the sale of recreational cannabis (although local zoning rules can still interfere)  

The plan suggests that the revenue from recreational cannabis goes towards housing, local business, and education for marginalized communities in New Mexico. The bill points out that this would be an excellent opportunity for local tribes, nations, and pueblos. 

And What About the Little Guys?

Great question! We have often seen industries that have massive barriers to entry (licensing fees, insurance, etc.), which only allow big players to enter the market. The governor’s plan focuses on keeping licensing fees low (to about $500 per month), so that small businesses and start-ups have easy entry into the industry. 

That means you will have the ability to support local. Remember to always vote with your wallet!

What Happens During These Next 30 Days?

There are a few steps in between where we are now and the legalization of recreational marijuana. We wanted to break down the process, so you can understand where we are and where has to happen for this bill to pass:

  1. A bill is filed.

*This can happen either before or at the beginning of a legislative session

  1. Once the bill is filed, the proper committee looks through it and can either make any changes necessary to get the votes needed to pass or vetoes the bill.
  2. The committee then votes to send it to the main floor.
  3. If the bill passes on the main floor, it is voted on by the house of representatives.
  4. If it passes through the house of representatives, then it goes to the Senate. 
  5. If the Senate passes the bill, it goes to the governor, and she decides to either sign or veto the bill. 

Currently, three out of every four New Mexicans are in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.

Can I Do Anything?

You can! Getting involved during the legislative session is a great way to have your voice heard. This article will walk you through finding your representative, helping you figure out what to say, and how to make an impact while doing it. 

Trishelle Kirk, Everest’s Director of Operations, has been passionate about this movement from the get-go, “There is a stigma to cannabis that, like many stigmas, is built from a lack of information. Legislators and detractors get caught on the “cannabis” part of the business and forget the economic impact from the opportunity of doubling or tripling the size of the industry. 

This issue isn’t a question of cannabis being part of our community, cannabis has been part of our society for decades. This is a question of whether or not the New Mexico legislature wants to see exponential growth in this industry. 

New Mexico needs growing industries. Studies have shown that moving from a medical cannabis program to an adult-use program will create 11,000 jobs. 11,000 opportunities. 11,000 careers. Cannabis companies are also required to have majority local ownership, which means profits will be reinvested back into our community.

We all agree that for years, our New Mexico law enforcement has needed more training and more resources, adult-use cannabis revenue would be a fantastic financial tool. We all agree that better drug and alcohol education in our K-12 schools is long overdue, tax dollars from cannabis can facilitate such programs financially.

The question isn’t IF we have the opportunity to grow, it’s WHEN will we decide to take it?”.

Everest is proud to deliver the highest quality experiences cannabis can offer. Each product is cultivated, grown, and produced with a desire to help the end-user in the most organic, pure, and efficient way possible. 

We’re here because you deserve the best: the purest cannabis and high-quality information to go alongside it. 

Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on everything cannabis-related. 

UPDATE: January 28, 2020 – The bill has passed the Senate Public Affairs Committee. The next still for the bill is to move to the Senate Finance Committee. Now is the time to call your representative and tell them that you are in favor of this bill passing! We will continue updating this blog. 

UPDATE: February 12, 2020 – The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 on Wednesday to table the bill. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is still dedicated to legalizing marijuana and has a task force working on continuing the push for legalization.



Select Mailing List

Subscribe to our Mailing list




Subscribe to our Mailing list