Editors Note: This story is part of a month-long series for Black History Month featuring leaders in the cannabis industry.
With marijuana becoming more legalized over the years, those who have played a large part in the cannabis industry must be given a seat at the table. And that means there is a need for experts in diversity and inclusion to intervene on the issue. That is where Khadijah Tribble comes into play with her expertise in both the cannabis industry and diversity and inclusion.
Khadijah Tribble serves as the Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Curaleaf (OTC: CURLF), the largest cannabis company in the United States. Tribble has been an advocate for various human rights initiatives, focusing on women’s rights, the LGBTQ community, veterans, and minorities. Her advocacy has led to her extensive career in diversity and inclusion, including her position at Curaleaf and founder of Marijuana Matters. The mission of Marijuana Matters is to educate the public about policies surrounding the cannabis industry and how they can impact marginalized communities. Tribble has proven herself to be a strong force in the journey to the diversification of the cannabis industry.
The Green Market Report interviewed Tribble to get insight on her position at Curaleaf and her thoughts on diversity and inclusion in the cannabis industry.
1) How did you get involved with Curaleaf?
Prior to joining Curaleaf, I founded Marijuana Matters (M2), a cannabis education and advocacy incubator, along with the Marijuana Policy Trust (MPT), a think tank focused on building an inclusive and diverse cannabis industry. I joined Curaleaf in March 2020, and I saw it as an opportunity to impact and shape an industry on the brink of its next phase of growth. I believe the cannabis industry can be a force for good. I’m proud to be a part of Curaleaf’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, particularly as regulation, policies, and opinions are still evolving.
2) What are Curaleaf’s corporate social responsibility initiatives?
Curaleaf’s “Rooted In Good” initiative focuses on three core pillars: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I), Social Equity, and Sustainability. To be Rooted in Good is to consider the holistic health of the entire community. This initiative includes patients, employees, and neighbors, and the environments we impact, both locally and globally.
Our (DE&I) program is already underway, an internally focused approach with the critical goal of ensuring that Curaleaf reflects through its actions and decisions that it values diversity and inclusion across intersections between race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability status, veteran status, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The focus of our social equity initiative is on activating programs that foster repairing social harms and removing systematic barriers for people from communities most harmed by the War on Drugs and institutional oppression.
By 2025, Curaleaf aims to do business with 420 new cannabis brands, ancillary suppliers, and advocacy organizations from underrepresented communities in the cannabis ecosystem. To ensure the development of an inclusive industry, we are reaching out to populations of people touched by cannabis-related offenses. We will employ at least 10% of all 2021 new hires from this directly impacted community. This year, we are committed to contributing at least $1 million in community investment to programs that address collateral consequences associated with marijuana-related offenses.
3) What do diversity and inclusion mean to you in terms of the cannabis industry?
It means making sure that at our company that we create policies and practices that extend a wide net to include underrepresented communities. Whether it’s African American, LatinX, veterans, people with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ community, diversity equity and inclusion means creating practices, policies, and systems inclusive of individuals from all of the underrepresented populations inside of cannabis.
4) How do Black history month and the cannabis industry intersect?
I believe it’s quite obvious that the way that cannabis has been criminalized and the impact of marijuana’s prohibition has hurt people of color, specifically black people. So, when we talk about Black History Month and the intersection of cannabis, we have to talk about the lingering negative impact of the collateral consequences associated with cannabis’s criminalization. And at Curaleaf, we believe that the most important role that we can play during Black history month is to elevate individuals from the black community in the cannabis space and amplify the voices of thought leaders in the cannabis space. It is not our role as a company to supplant individuals who are doing this work at the intersection of cannabis and black history. It is our primary responsibility to make space. We’re doing that by amplifying voices and elevating entrepreneurs that are in the space.
As the cannabis industry grows, it is essential to represent people of underrepresented or marginalized communities. Companies like Curaleaf are taking the best steps forward by hiring experts in diversity and inclusion.