Today, the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) announced the formation of a task force centered on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the cannabis industry. The task force, which includes some of the most significant civil rights leaders in the nation along with a diverse group of cannabis industry professionals, will work with members of the CTF board to develop and implement a strategy to diversify the cannabis industry and ensure that those communities that bore the brunt of cannabis prohibition reap the benefits of legalization.
“We are delighted that some of the most experienced leaders in the nation are giving of themselves to ensure the industry of tomorrow reflects the true diversity of this nation,” said Neal Levine, CEO of CTF.
The DEI Task Force will work in conjunction with CTF leadership to develop an industry-wide diversity, equity and inclusion policy to be adopted by the full CTF board. Upon adoption, CTF member companies will have to agree to CTF’s DEI policy as a requirement of membership. The DEI Task Force will also be charged with developing benchmarks and goals to measure the industry’s progress and crafting policy proposals that could be incorporated into future legislation.
“As a dispensary and small business owner, I am excited to get to the serious work of making sure more women and people of color like me are at the table, in the boardroom, and employed in the industry,” said Linda Mercado Greene, the task force chair, who owns a dispensary in the District of Columbia.
The DEI Task Force is comprised of a diverse and experienced collection of leaders, who bring a combination of industry, political, policy, and operational experience to the organization. The 26-member group includes NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson; National Urban League CEO Marc Morial; former U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo; former director of the Washington DC ACLU office Laura Murphy; and Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair of the NAACP.