CEO Colton Griffin shares his insight on expanding the conversation about supplier diversity in a recent article in Green Entrepreneur. He discusses how there should be an intentional effort to buy products and services from businesses that are owned by individuals from traditionally underrepresented or underserved groups of people. “This concept has long been part of corporate efforts to make a positive impact on society, but the scale of the current growth in our industry provides a unique opportunity for economic empowerment for vendors and suppliers who partner with cannabis companies,” explains Griffin.
The article outlines cannabis’ unique role in supplier diversity. “Many states that have legalized or decriminalized cannabis products have also implemented social equity and justice programs that help individuals disproportionately impacted by arrest and incarceration from the ‘war on drugs,’ “said Griffin. “The programs offer technical assistance and training in skills to work in the cannabis industry, from entry-level jobs to owning a business.”
Take it from one of our clients, James Jackson, III, senior director of social equity at Parallel, shared that as a commitment to create opportunities for equal access and economic empowerment throughout the cannabis industry, the company recently started purchasing materials and partnering with three Black-owned social equity operators in Massachusetts. In that state, people of Black, African American, Hispanic or Latino descent, among others, are eligible to participate in the social equity program.
“Social equity is one of the many things we are currently focusing on, especially when it comes to building our supplier and vendor portfolio with diverse companies. We are looking for ways to partner with diverse vendors in all aspects of our business, not just within the plant-touching aspect of the cannabis space. For example, we have a large number of capital projects in the works, and we are working to find diverse construction, engineering, etc. firms to partner with,” said Jackson.
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