Unveiling the History of Rastafari Culture & Cannabis 

With a profound meaning and significance to cannabis, the Rastafari culture offers a rich tapestry on the history and spirituality of the plant. Exploring the symbolic role of spiritual enlightenment and community will help to deepen your connection with the plant and be an overall more conscious consumer. 

Read on to explore the origins and significant upbringing of cannabis in Rastafari culture, as well as in the roots of our very own dispensary in Downtown Boston!

A Look Inside the History of Cannabis & Rastafari Culture

Rooted deeply in the spiritual and social liberation of its followers, Rastafarian culture holds cannabis in high regard. 

As early as the 1930s, this Jamaican culture has viewed cannabis as a sacred herb with a profound significance. This connection traces back to the early 20th century when Rastafarianism emerged in Jamaica as a movement seeking to reclaim African identity and resist colonial oppression. 

Cannabis, often referred to as “ganja” in Rastafarian circles, became integral to the religion, symbolizing a natural, divine means to connect with the spiritual realm and attain higher consciousness.

The Ceremonial Use of Cannabis 

The use of cannabis in Rastafarian rituals is both ceremonial and meditative. The act of smoking cannabis is seen not merely as a recreational activity but as a sacrament that brings one closer to Jah, the Rastafarian name for God.

It’s also commonly consumed in Rastafarian culture during “reasoning sessions,” where members gather to discuss philosophical ideas, scripture, and community issues. These sacred sessions are enveloped in a haze of ganja smoke and foster a sense of unity, peace, and introspection among the group. 

Through this sacred practice with cannabis, Rastafarians believe they can achieve a deeper understanding of the self, the universe, and the divine, making cannabis an indispensable element of their spiritual journey.

Continuing the Rastafarian Roots of Cannabis

Meet Fern Bent-Mullings, owner and founder of Rasta Rootz dispensary in Boston. As a first-generation Jamaican American from his mother’s side, Fern grew up with the Rasta culture and beliefs around him. Since his childhood upbringing, he found a lot of similarities in the moral compass, feelings, and practices of the Rastafarian culture. He found the culture’s deep beliefs of living in harmony and unity with nature was an important way to view the world. 

In the Rastafarian culture, they believe in treating one’s body as a temple – keeping it clean and strong as possible to fight off illnesses or unwanted energies. When it comes to cannabis, not only can it help the mind with anxiety and anxiousness, but it also can help heal the body with pain. This Jamaican culture also believes in the importance of having a strong, positive community around oneself. 

Fern was inspired to open a Boston dispensary that resembled these beliefs and practices he grew up learning through the Rastafarian culture. He wanted to create not just another Massachusetts dispensary, but an environment that welcomes the culture and the benefits of cannabis – all while respecting the various uses of the plant. Too often, many customers find themselves in Massachusetts dispensaries that feel stale and bland, and have little appreciation or knowledge for cannabis or the people who consume it. Fern and the Rasta Rootz team wanted to have a place where culture and people came first in Boston’s cannabis space.

What to Expect at Rasta Rootz: Boston’s Newest Cannabis Dispensary Coming Soon! 

Our recreational cannabis dispensary is opening soon and we can’t wait for you to see what’s in store for the Boston cannabis community! 

The process of building out and preparing our new dispensary in Boston has been quite a feat, especially when it comes to reconstructing an over 250-year-old downtown building.  There are numerous boards and committees the Rasta Rootz team has had to go in front of. However, it’s made all the hard work and challenges worth it for what’s ahead! 

Rasta Rootz cannabis dispensary is hopeful of building a welcoming environment and space for every customer who walks through our doors. We believe our approach is a little different than most dispensaries, at least the dispensaries in Boston. Rasta Rootz is on a mission to embrace the customer experience wholeheartedly, building great customer relationships with like-minded consumers and brands who are passionate about leading the cannabis industry.

We believe in the importance of exceptional customer service, cannabis education, and fulfilling our customer’s needs with each visit. Like the core beliefs of the Rastafarian culture, these are core principles that our staff has ingrained into their DNA. 

Stay tuned on our blog page and website to learn more about Rasta Rootz dispensary and our upcoming grand opening in Downtown Boston!

Here is owner, Fern in Jamaica a couple of years ago in a Rastafarian village