SXSW 2020

Cannabis as a Catalyst for Change


The harms of cannabis prohibition have been devastating, particularly for black and brown people who have suffered dramatic rates of arrest, mass criminalization, and heavy-handed policing, and worse. Given this history, those investing and operating in the cannabis sector have some responsibility to support repairing the harms of that prohibition. While it is primarily the responsibility of the government to right wrongs, the cannabis sector can take a principled stand in shaping how cannabis is regulated and how the tax revenues from that regulation are used to invest directly in communities harmed. In this session, speakers will present basic guidelines for ethical consumption, investing, and entrepreneurship in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

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  1. To inform the intended audience of policy positions they can support to ensure the cannabis industry is operating in a socially responsible manner.
  2. To inform the intended audience of best practices around ensuring diversity in employees and other internal practices in the cannabis industry.
  3. To inform the intended audience of ways they can invest in communities most harmed by the war on drugs.



Stephanie Polito, Director, Grants & Partnerships, Drug Policy Alliance

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Cannabusiness
  • Track 2
  • Level: Intermediate

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