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Pagoda Founder Eric Huang on Asian American Cannabis Culture

New York is poised to lead the way in the legal action of cannabis parlors, which is a big deal.

Many previous legal markets in the United States stipulated that people must consume cannabis at home.

Not only is it an obstacle for cannabis tourism, but it goes against a lot of what this plant has to teach us around community, coming together, getting curious, exchanging ideas and learning from each other. others.

The story of Eric Huang and the Pagoda is a perfect example.

Part cannabis lounge, part Asian/American Pacific Island (API) restaurant, part music venue – the plan is to eventually create a chain of Pagoda lounges in every legal state.

“We present a crossroads of stories for many Asian Americans, people who love food, music and cannabis,” Huang said.

This vision has been simmering in Huang’s mind since he was in college.

“I was looking to see how I could better present myself in this world and make an impact,” he says. “And I wanted to tell this story of being an Asian American stoner, who always had ambition and drive and wanted to do great things.”

Pagoda is about showcasing our story and using it to help others, Huang says, adding that the team is currently looking to align with like-minded investors.

While Pagoda aims to be a celebration of cannabis and API culture, there’s a lot more at play here.

Pagoda is about community, focusing on two values-driven missions and aiming to make a major impact.

The first of these missions is to support the communities most affected by the war on drugs.

“By creating a platform where people can truly succeed through our business, whether it’s working with us, franchising with us, or other opportunities, we’re really looking to help move these communities forward. and put them in the spotlight,” Huang said.

“One of the things that we at Pagoda have to recognize is our privilege in the whole cannabis situation, especially as Asian Americans, where many of our communities have not been affected. negatively by the war on drugs.”

As the founder of the Pagoda platform, Huang considers it his responsibility to help in any way possible. It’s a learning process, he says, where all sorts of opportunities are possible.

Pagoda’s second community mission, Huang notes, is to educate the API community about the benefits of cannabis.

“Many of our parents, and my grandparents in particular, are unfamiliar with cannabis. What they’ve been told about cannabis is largely negative,” Huang says.

“We’re really looking to help leverage our platform to educate them on the medicinal aspects of cannabis and help them see alternatives – kind of a throwback to history if you will about cannabis and its use in the Asian culture.”

Huang grew up outside of Philadelphia with parents who weren’t very familiar with cannabis.

When her mother discovered marijuana in her room one day, it turned out for the best. “I’m lucky that I was able to accompany my parents in these conversations, and they ended up getting along,” he says, adding that cannabis has been a big part of his life.

As with most cannabis lounges, Huang says, Pagoda will provide that comfortable and safe space for people to enjoy weed, but it’s also about breaking that stay-at-home stoner stereotype.

“It’s about creating this social space for people to come in and really participate in something that’s kind of been hidden for a very long time.”

On March 26, 2022, Pagoda is hosting a two-part event, starting with a three-hour dinner hosted by 420 Chief Wendy Zengfollowed by an after-party.

You can sign up to receive an invitation for tickets at

“This is for anyone interested in the cannabis space, or anyone wanting to get into the space, or anyone wanting to have a good time, a fun night out,” Huang said.

“We all want to create an elevated experience with cannabis, break the stigma, show a different story, bring people together. Cannabis has the power to do this, and more and more people are realizing it.

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