How This Anti-Racism Guide Can Help Diversify the Cannabis Industry

A must-read for any leader and entrepreneur.

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This story originally appeared on Benzinga

The social justice awakening that followed George Floyd’s murder has spurred a similar movement among cannabis businesses, many of which are now investigating how they can implement anti-racist policies and principles. The problem is, recognizing systems of oppression and identifying how to address them in your organization is proving to be a difficult task for many business leaders.

In an industry that is 81% White-owned, even those companies that are dedicated to creating change are challenged by the complexity and a misunderstanding of the issues involved.

RELATED: Team of BIPOC Women Launch $50M Fund For Social Equity in Cannabis

Cannabis doing good

In order to help businesses navigate their anti-racism efforts, Cannabis Doing Good has teamed with the Cannabis Creative Movement to create a free, downloadable “Anti-Racism Guide” that provides an overview of the issues involved, as well as concrete steps businesses can take to implement positive changes in their company. 

“There is no shame in admitting you don’t know how to address systemic racism in your business. In fact, we must be shame resilient,” said Courtney Mathis, co-CEO of Cannabis Doing Good, which promotes the efforts of purpose-driven cannabis companies. “As cannabis professionals, it is both our opportunity and our obligation to be actively anti-racist. This industry has emerged among anti-racist policies that continue to oppress Black and brown people while still allowing white individuals to benefit immensely. Our hope is that this guide provides a quick, but impactful resource for businesses to begin their anti-racism journey.”

With data from a wide variety of informed sources and links to additional resources, the Anti-racism Guide serves as an introduction to this complex issue and can provide a “starting point” for businesses, according to Mathis.

Created in partnership with the Cannabis Creative Movement, the guide encourages businesses and individuals to contribute to Cannabis Doing Good’s nonprofit arm Cannabis Impact Fund, which promotes racial justice and supports BIPOC communities.

Javier Hasse

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Javier Hasse is a cannabis, hemp, CBD and psychedelics-focused reporter, currently serving as Managing Director for Benzinga Cannabis, and CEO of Spanish language news site El Planteo, a company he co-founded.

El Planteo is an online media outlet focused on cannabis, hemp, psychedelics, ecology and other green topics, with a frequent financial and cultural angle. On ElPlanteo.com you will find all the key news regarding the cannabis industry in Latin America and the world, the advances in legalization policies and the cultural events that make up the world of marijuana and other emerging industries.

His book, “Start Your Own Cannabis Business,” was published by Entrepreneur Media in 2018 and hit the #1 Best-Seller spot on Amazon.

As an award-winning reporter and editor, Javier's had roughly 5,000 unique articles published across numerous mass media outlets including CNN, Forbes, MSN, Chicago Tribune, CNBC, Yahoo Finance, Entrepreneur Magazine, MarketWatch, Houston Chronicle, The Street, Nasdaq, Morningstar, Playboy, Benzinga, MERRY JANE, High Times, and many others.

Beyond cannabis, Javier is a published photographer and Billboard-charting rapper, featured on hip-hop albums that also included Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Inspectah Deck, Twista, Lil Windex, Riff Raff, Cyhi The Prynce, Yung Bleu, DJ Whoo Kid, Jonathan Hay, and others.