Cannabusiness Leaders of Color Are Already Breaking Barriers in the Industry, Their Communities

February 8, 2018

This year, I was eager to kick-off Black History Month at a conference that brought together three essential elements for me: business networking, social justice, and weed. I know, right? It was LIT! (Pun intended.)

Echoing Ida, a writing collective of Black women and nonbinary writers, sponsored me to attend the 2018 Women Grow Leadership Summit, held February 1-2 in Denver, Colorado. My task was to report back on how this national professional cannabis networking corporation, Women Grow, and its members addressed the intersections of race, gender, and class.

This is a timely topic considering that the cannabis sector is embroiled in the landmark federal case, Washington v. Sessions, which effectively would legalize marijuana and formally define it as medicine, by removing it from the category of Schedule 1 drugs, like heroin and ecstasy, that have no accepted medical use under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act. Advocates and legal experts have linked the marijuana movement to other social justice fights for civil rights, reproductive rights, and marriage equality, arguing that they are all tied to a person’s dignity, the autonomy of the choices we make for our bodies, and the level of humanity in which our lives are protected and defended. In fact, Lauren Rudick, lead attorney in the Washington v. Sessions case and practicing attorney with Hiller, PC’s cannabis law practice, said of that case, “Cannabis is a human rights issue that is hard fought in the same ways that federal protection of abortion rights and marriage equality” have been.

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