Cannabis companies have the responsibility of supporting black communities beyond just writing a check once a year.
Black history is American history. Black history is also cannabis history. According to the Herb, hemp was a staple cash crop in early colonial America. The cannabis plant proliferated society’s ranks through recreational consumption and hemp weaving. Even the Constitution was written on hemp paper. Cannabis also entered the United States through Caribbean sailors and immigrants who traded and consumed the plant recreationally, according to Cannabis Creative.
Today, the cannabis industry continues to affect Black lives. The ACLU reports that Black community members are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for cannabis. Furthermore, minorities consist of only 17% of executive positions in the cannabis industry, which will be a $73.6 billion industry by 2027. As a group historically marginalized and incarcerated due to cannabis, it is the cannabis industry’s responsibility to lend a helping hand to black people who have been segregated from cannabis’s recent success.
We know change doesn’t happen through an annual check or empty pithy statements. We know growth means a constant push towards better.
At Terrapin, we support communities, especially the communities we’re in year ‘round through long-term growth opportunities. One of our primary missions includes righting the wrongs of a failed war on drugs. Justice Initiatives and Political Advocacy are two of five core pillars of our corporate social responsibility efforts. We work with several organizations within the communities we’re in to increase equity. These ongoing efforts include:
- We support restorative justice efforts with the Longmont Community Justice Partnership and The Reentry Initiative.
- We donate to Out Boulder’s safety grant program that engages community members and the police.
- We offer in-kind support to The Color of Cannabis and Entrepreneurship for All by sharing directors’ expertise to marginalized communities seeking employment in the cannabis industry.
- We partner with The Help KC, who works with formerly incarcerated women to ensure that they have the tools necessary to live comfortably after incarceration.
- Terrapin is a founding member of Michigan’s Black and Brown Cannabis Guild, which assists Michigan residents seeking to expunge their records and find employment after expungement.
- We teamed up with >JARS Cannabis to fund Michigan’s> first licensed vocational and technical school for cannabis, called the Cannabis Community Social Equity Scholarship (CCSE).This educational program offers a yearlong professional development program for minority entrepreneurs and professionals.
- We contribute to Medical Marijuana Market Facilitation Education for Underrepresented Students (MMMFEUS), an educational program designed to introduce black and marginalized students to the state of Pennsylvania’s growing medical marijuana industry.
- We are a founding member of the Cannabis Impact Fund, whose mission is to promote racial justice, heal the planet and support communities in need by leveraging a conscious cannabis sector. With the Cannabis Impact Fund, Terrapin leadership completed anti-racism training which helps leadership learn how to encourage equity in the workplace.