The evolution of children’s books
As a parent who enjoyed reading books in grade school such as, Anne of Green Gables, The Judy Blume series and now as a parent of teen who reads the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, I think we just found the next book to sit beside the Chicken Soup for Your Teenage Soul series, Kids of Cannabis by I.B. Sekandi.
The arrival of this book could not be more in line with 2021, and the conversation we can’t avoid as more states adopt marijuana legalization for adult use and foster a fruitful employment forecast for generations to come.
When I expressed to Mr. Sekandi why I needed his book (along with The Root Family’s Very Special Garden authored by MsKindness B. Ramirez) it was apparent that the onset of adult use marijuana legalization was ushering in innovative authors that can NOT be found at traditional publishing houses. These authors are building a never seen before new “book” section online and at local bookstores dedicated to helping children understand cannabis.
The impact of their oath to their own children and loved ones are paving the way and changing the evolution of parenting, learning, and gifting that will drive sales to this new book genre as it serves as a practical contribution in pediatric healthcare, public education, and future family law cases.
Let’s welcome I.B. Sekandi to Hopegrown!
What inspired you to write Kids of Cannabis?
One of the problems we kept hearing from parents was what to tell their kids about working in the cannabis industry. This was a significant obstacle that every parent would need to face in the industry.
As we started the book focused on this problem around stigma, we started to discover kids being impacted by the stigma of their parents in the industry. All of sudden it became very personal. I'm somebody who's faced stigma and I can't imagine that stigma being put onto children by adults.
Do you think “the cannabis stigma” is evolving into acceptance in urban communities? And why.
Unfortunately, there's still a lot of resistance and stigma in urban communities, especially among the professional class within these communities.
The stigma around cannabis is causing urban communities to be cautious about the industry because of the legacy of discrimination and racism towards black, brown, and Latino people when associated with cannabis.
These communities can't wait for things to be given to them. They have to go out and get them. We need these communities to stand up, raise their hands, and put their talents to work for their communities.
Do you see “Kids of Cannabis” being placed on the public education mandated reading curriculum in grade schools nationwide? if not, why?
I do see the potential for Kids of Cannabis books to be placed in educational systems. We created a children’s book addressing stigma while educating about the legal cannabis industry. This combined with an easy-to-digest children’s book format, makes this an absolutely great primer for anybody at any age to understand the cannabis industry.
Do you see yourself having a line of cannabis-themed children books similar to “soup for your soul”?
Yes, we have two more books planned in the Kids of Cannabis series for 2021. Each book will have its own focus and message. The first book introduces us to Jack, Charlotte, and Bruce, and the other books give us their personal back story.
What is the best book pitch you would give Oprah to read your book?
Oprah should read this book because every parent in America should read this book. Every parent will eventually have to have a conversation about cannabis with their kids. That conversation will make a massive difference in the education of their child and their child’s safety.
This book will start that conversation between parents and their children about cannabis, where the goal is education and not fear.
This type of cultural change around an uncomfortable subject is something that Oprah has built a career around. This is a book that brings families into cannabis. There is no better person in America to do that than Oprah Winfrey.
I.B. ‘Brian’ Sekandi was born in Kampala, Uganda, and spent his early childhood in Uganda and Zimbabwe before immigrating to Canada.
For the past decade and a half, I.B. has helped the world's largest brands in recruitment and talent acquisition strategies for North America's top talent in technology, consumer packaged goods, food & beverage, retail, media & entertainment, and cannabis.
I.B. has worked in Shanghai, Dubai, Kampala, London, New York, Los Angeles, is based in Toronto, Canada, and is the Co-Founder of Careers Cannabis, a leading job search engine platform.