Fort Chronic: Challenging Social Stigma Surrounding Marijuana

Fort Chronic: Challenging Social Stigma Surrounding Marijuana

By Emily Clingman

There’s a new movement growing in town, and it started with a clothing idea.

Fort Chronic Clothing Company opened its online doors in October, selling apparel featuring marijuana leaves in its designs. The business name is a play on words: “Chronic” is often used to describe high-grade marijuana. Fort Collins has a reputation for producing some of the finest bud around; hence, Fort Chronic.

The business name represents more than a logo on its clothing, however. It embodies a collection of ideas and community collaborations.

“The marijuana leaf means something different to everyone,” said CEO Joey Simental. “For some, it’s a recreational pleasure. For others, it’s much needed relief from physical pain. And then there are those who associate a [negative] stigma to the plant – saying that people who use marijuana are just stoners, slackers or drug abusers.”

Simental and his team of employees and interns aim to shed a positive light on marijuana use. They acknowledge that Fort Chronic fans come from all walks of life –they may use marijuana, but they also have noble endeavors going on in their lives like jobs, or school. They are artists, parents, or business owners. They volunteer in the community, own their homes or bike to work.

“What we’re saying is that marijuana use is just one piece of a person’s entire character,” Simental said, further explaining that the word chronic may describe good weed, but it also means persistent and habitual. “Even if you don’t partake in marijuana use, you can incorporate a positive ‘chronic’ mentality into your daily lives.”

FCC not only sells hip clothing; it has also created an online network for people to interact about how they are living chronically in a positive way. In its Online Community Center, FCC enthusiasts can advertise their businesses or share inspirational videos and websites, for example. Also available is its cloud product (an online desktop) for a small fee of $3.50 a month, which offers secure email and storage space. The idea behind the online network is to encourage people to take their opportunities, advantages, responsibilities and talents seriously and to inspire others to do the same.

“Essentially, helping our community to be a chronically better place,” Simental said.

To check out FCC’s cool clothes and to learn more about its online services, visit fortchronic.com.