2020 has been an intense year. We began the year with Australian Fires, the death of Kobe and Gigi Bryant, historic floods in Indonesia, Murder Hornets, the COVID pandemic and shutdown. Lastly, George Floyd's death ignited the most massive protest in the name of racial justice. We have been here before, but there is something different about this protest for #BlackLivesMatter.
The coalition supporting the movement is diverse, energized, and demanding answers. At Plant Inspired Future, PIF, we fully support the social justice agenda, and it is time to hold our elected officials accountable. As a 100% Black and Latino owned cannabis company, we have been on the wrong side of police brutality and racial profiling. This race disparity is evident in prisons across America where people of color account for more than 85% of all those imprisoned for marijuana related cases. The gap between people of color and white America widens further given 95% of the corporate cannabis industry is controlled by white America.
Additionally, there are horrendous accounts of the challenges people of color encounter when starting cannabis companies. The paradox in this industry penalizes those with prior marijuana cases, mostly people of color, who likely have the most experience in running cannabis companies. So to avoid giving those formerly incarcerated an opportunity, laws are in place to prevent them from participating in the multi-billion dollar cannabis industry.
Currently, we are working with a coalition of cannabis workers to help stop discrimination in the legal cannabis industry. We are working on setting recommendations for adaptation and implementation by corporate cannabis companies. We want to ensure people of color have a fair opportunity to participate in the cannabis industry, especially given we were the early pioneers of cannabis. Just as we hold politicians accountable for their legislation, we have to hold the cannabis industry accountable for the injustices happening in the boardroom. PIF wants to ensure it’s a fair and just industry for all to participate in.
PIF Demands to Evolve the Cannabis Industry:
Diversity on Corporate Boards
Diversity in C-Suite meaningful positions
Invest in cannabis industry training programs for those formerly incarcerated
Invest in Historical Black Colleges to teach cannabis majors
Support strong and impactful social equity programs
Create impactful investment funds for minority cannabis companies
Financially support Criminal Justice Reform and Black Lives Matter issues