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What 420 Means to Me

May 22, 2024 3 min read

Hello Polite friends - old and new.

It's Sue Tan here, co-founder of Polite. I know it's not popular to write old fashioned letters in the age of short attention spans, but the stubborn romantic in me felt compelled to share some heartfelt thoughts with you all.

Today is a special day for the cannabis and hemp community. In pop culture, 4/20 is celebrated as a “stoner holiday”, but I find this not inclusive enough to encompass the diversity of all who love and utilize this plant. Commercially, you will see many businesses promoting sales, and socially, today is cause for partying, consuming, and protesting. In the midst of all these festivities, I wanted to take a moment to share what 420 means to me.

I’m an “old millennial” who grew up in the D.A.R.E. era. I never got around to consuming when most of my teenage peers were, but my “moment of truth” came later in life as I watched my dad battle terminal stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He was fortunate to be treated in Washington, where cannabis was medically legal at that time, and was even more privileged to have access to trustworthy medical-grade products through my brother’s close friend that later became a co-founder of Polite. These whole plant, high-CBD, low-THC extracts significantly eased the debilitating side effects of chemo and the cocktail of prescribed opioids, which wreak their own kind of havoc on your mind and body. I witnessed the undeniable efficacy, safety, and positive impact that cannabis had on his quality of life. Forget the growing list of potential miracle cures - in these hardest last months and weeks of life, it was the little things… The cessation of pain just long enough to allow him to join us at the dinner table, the appetite to actually enjoy bites of food, and the calm to sleep more soundly was worth more than anything. All this without feeling any harmful side-effects mind you. I saw that cannabis helped restore the most basic things that make us feel human.

We would not found Polite until several years after my father's passing, but this profound experience remains at the heart of my personal “why” and what drives our mission and vision. After the past 4 years of learning how to be an entrepreneur in this industry, I am reminded that cannabis and hemp are first and foremost a community (btw don’t let legal distinctions fool you, hemp and cannabis = same plant!). 4/20 is a time to reflect and renew my vows to keep up the good fight, despite the discriminatory laws, regulations, and stigma we face, and the ongoing criminalization that unjustly and disproportionately harms BIPOC communities.

I am deeply grateful for the village of people that have helped build and continue to give Polite wings. Most importantly, I want to thank YOU (yes you reading this!) for your support, for spending your hard earned money on our products, bothering to follow and subscribe, generously spreading the word amongst your friends and family, and sharing honest feedback with us. I personally read every single message and even make my eleven year old daughter read them so she understands why mama is so busy! Your words are sincerely what gets our team through those tough days of trying to grow a small, self-funded business in this tough industry.

Let us honor this amazing plant and do justice to its power to restore our personal and collective sense of humanity.

And so our mantra goes… Polite: Plant powered goodness for the people.

In gratitude,

Sue Tan

Co-Founder | sue@staypolitehemp.com

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