Experts say cannabis multistate operators lag on social equity leadership

  • The U.S. cannabis industry’s record on social equity is patchy at best, and it is the large multistate operators who have generally failed so far to take significant leadership on the issue, according to social equity advocates.
  • For example, just as Washington state is enacting a new law giving social equity applicants exclusive rights to revoked cannabis licenses, Phoenix-based Harvest Health & Recreation was fined $500,000 by Ohio regulators who charged the MSO falsely claimed minority ownership in a company subsidiary to boost its chances of gaining licenses in the state.
  • The company’s new chief marketing officer, Jason White, who joined the company through the acquisition of Oregon-based Cura Partners’ Select cannabis brand , is also behind efforts to improve the company’s social equity record.
  • It is possible to be a big cannabis player and a good cannabis player, Tribble at Curaleaf said.
  • People of color and socially conscious millennials, for example, will respond to a greater emphasis on social equity and that likely can improve a company’s bottom line, Penny at Budding Solutions said.

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