The Importance of Having a Diverse Board of Directors in the Cannabis Industry

by Feb 10, 2021Cannabis Industry

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Deemed essential in 2020, the cannabis industry continues to grow steadily despite the pandemic, chipping away at the marijuana stigma with each product sold. However, people of color (POC) and women rarely occupy cannabis leadership roles, including board of director positions. Although minorities have been most affected by the war on drugs, board of director positions and leadership roles are typically filled by white males. 

Cannabis companies have the opportunity to counteract racial inequality with diverse cannabis industry hiring for their board of director positions. And by doing so, they can give POC and women seats at the decision-making table. By having a diverse board of directors, not only will you support the fight for social justice and equality, but you will also help your company evolve. Check out some of the benefits you’ll experience by assembling a diverse board of directors. 

What is a Board of Directors?

A board of directors is a group of seasoned professionals that are elected as representatives of your organization. They oversee organizational strategies, corporate governance, and establish capital investments. They help steer the overall strategic direction of your cannabis company and ensure major decisions are ethical and sensible. All public companies need a board of directors. The cannabis industry recruiters at our cannabis staffing agency specialize in helping companies assemble a diverse board of directors.

Fighting For Social Equity and Equality

According to the Last Prisoner Project, over 40,000 people are sitting behind bars for cannabis offenses that are no longer crimes. It’s a complex task to get non-violent cannabis offenders out of prison. And it’s another obstacle to help them find cannabis jobs after their release. It’s no secret that the U.S. judicial system has disproportionately prosecuted POC with cannabis-related offenses. There are many POC arrested for non-violent cannabis crimes who should be considered pioneers of the industry. By creating a diverse board of directors for your cannabis company, you’ll be helping the fight for social equity and equality. Additionally, there’s a shortage of women with leadership positions in cannabis. Looking at over a dozen board of directors and leadership teams in the cannabis space, we found that only 17% of the members are women. Bringing women and POC to the decision-making table contributes to our nation’s progress. 

Tap into a Variety of Perspectives

If everyone on your board of directors team has similar backgrounds and experiences, there’s not much room for growth and making strong connections. Building connections with businesses and your target audience is easier when your cannabis board of directors has members with a variety of genders, races, and social backgrounds. Your cannabis company needs a range of perspectives to grow along with the cannabis space, which is evolving every day. With a diverse board of directors in the cannabis industry, your team will see the big picture. And they’ll build stronger connections with each other, as well as the community. A comprehensive view of the cannabis industry is essential, and that can only be achieved by seeing various perspectives.

Discover Unmet Needs and New Opportunities

By assembling a diverse board of directors for your cannabis company, your team will be more likely to come up with innovative solutions. Gathering a group of non-executive leaders with dissimilar narratives and backgrounds means you’ll have varied intellectual capital. What are the unmet needs of the cannabis industry? How can we create new opportunities? A diverse board of directors, along with diverse cannabis executives, will likely come up with novel answers to these pivotal questions. With different viewpoints and experiences from your cannabis board members, you’ll nurture cognitive flexibility and thinking outside of the box. The identification of unmet needs will then turn into opportunities, helping you stand apart from your competitors. Of course, you also need diverse employees who work well as a unit to achieve your company goals.

Mirror a Diverse Target Audience

With a diverse cannabis board of directors, it will be easier to connect with the full cannabis audience. It’s no secret that people from all walks of life use cannabis and CBD products. According to NieslenIQ, 40% of the U.S. population are African Americans, Asian Americans, and Hispanics. Moreover, multicultural consumers have an incredible spending power of $3.2 trillion. By assembling a diverse board of directors for your cannabis company, you have more potential to reach a wider cannabis audience. A board that mirrors the wide array of cannabis consumers means there will be more potential for making genuine connections. Also, you’ll build more relative narratives for your brand. 

Help Improve the Cannabis Industry’s Sustainable Growth

Inclusion is a measurement of success in the cannabis industry and beyond. By creating a diverse board of directors for your cannabis company, you’ll grow your company the right way. True diversity in your business gives you the power to change communities and form partnerships for sustainable growth. Also, your cannabis company will be able to survive any obstacles and hardships with a diverse board. Placing women and underrepresented groups in leadership positions is crucial to sustainable growth and success.  According to Mercer, a premier management consulting organization, diversity and inclusion are “a lever for sustainable growth in a time of crisis.” Not only should women and POC take up board of director positions in cannabis, but they should also be hired for cannabis executive jobs as well. 

The cannabis industry recruiters at our cannabis staffing agency are ready to help you build a diverse board of directors. Without a doubt, it’s long-overdue for women and minorities to have more cannabis careers with no ceilings. 

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