Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion as a sustainable business growth strategy are as essential to the success of the cannabis industry is as oxygen is to life!
These concepts are essential to rectify the damage done over the years to the people of color and minorities through the war on drugs that have created inequality and social injustice meted out to the Minorities and people of color in the United States.
Now that the doors to own and run legalized cannabis businesses have been thrown open to entrepreneurs in most states in the United States. It's still notably sad that Minorities are not yet fully represented in owning and running cannabis businesses.
Consequently, the cannabis industry must embrace the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion to bring about social justice and fully utilize the human resources available to the industry, thereby speeding up its growth beyond the level it is now.
It refers to the differences among people operating within the cannabis industry. These differences include but are not limited to race, ethnicity, ideas, experiences, gender, sexuality, national and geographical backgrounds, disability/ability, age, religion, and so on. All these attributes will impact how any cannabis business is run and will determine its success too.
Equity has to do with the treatment of all with the same measure of respect they deserve. And give all people every opportunity and benefits that are available, including equal rights to own and run cannabis businesses without any form of favoritism or rejection based on their identities or differences.
Inclusion entails putting in place an atmosphere of involvement and interactions among the diversities existing in the industry such that every individual has a sense of belonging, being respected, and appreciated while being fully supported to contribute their quota to the success of the cannabis businesses. Inclusion is what makes diversity meaningful and useful. Otherwise, it will create an unhealthy environment.
How Do We Get It?
In other words, how do you promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in cannabis businesses?
1. It begins with open recognition and appreciation of the diversity existing within every cannabis business and the industry in general.
a. Then create awareness and educate people about the importance of all differences while promoting collaboration, interaction, and respect to all across the board.
b. It's great news to know that leaders in the cannabis industry are already working toward this direction by setting up task forces and committees who are given the responsibility of implementing the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the industry.
2. There should be transparency in cannabis business licensing, employee recruitment, training, and promotion processes. Also, managerial favoritism within any cannabis business must not be tolerated.
3. Leadership and management structure in cannabis businesses must cut across all the strata of the company and must reflect the diversity and differences existing within its organization.
4. Create an environment within every business that supports all people with the freedom to express him or herself without fear or the need to hide who they are from others.
In conclusion, no doubt investing and committing to fully implementing the values of DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) will help cannabis organizations attract and retain diverse groups of highly talented individuals to work, run and own cannabis businesses.
If the cannabis industry is serious about correcting the adverse effects of the war on drugs in the industry, promote equality and social justice, then now is the time to invest in the concepts of diversity, equity, and inclusion.