Update from NCIA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program
By Bethany Moore
February 27, 2023
/ Community
/ Education

Update from NCIA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Program

by Mike Lomuto, NCIA’s DEI Manager

Our DEI Program has a lot to share and celebrate as we gear up for Spring, when we hope to hit the road with our Equity Workshop Tour.

Keep reading for all the highlights and wins to start 2023.

But first, I want to remind you that today is the LAST DAY to throw down sponsorship dollars as part of our Lobby Days DEI Delegation.

ALL Lobby Days sponsorship dollars raised during the month of February directly fund our DEI Delegation

This allows us to provide travel stipends as part of our commitment to DEI at NCIA. Our delegation consists of some of our organization’s most engaged and knowledgeable social equity policy advocates.

This is one of NCIA’s most important functions. It’s imperative we get it in the win column so that our report back in May/June’s newsletter is one of success for our DEI efforts. 

Reach out NOW to MikeLomuto@thecannabisindustry.org to help us reach our goal.

February Highlights of our DEI Program:

NCIA’s Global Majority Caucus Launches

February marked the momentous launch of NCIA’s Global Majority Caucus

Made up of Global Majority leaders from across the organization – Board Members, Committee Leadership, Equity Members serving on committees, and leaders of DEI Program initiatives.

The purpose of the GMC is to galvanize our Global Majority voices and impact at the nation’s oldest and most established cannabis trade association. 

I am humbled by the voices that were present last week and completely inspired by what we will continue to accomplish together.

Together, we will continue to advocate for greater Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in our industry as we push toward federal legalization, and the more equitable rollout of the myriad of state cannabis programs.

Season 4 of The Cannabis Minority Report podcast kicks off.

Bringing minority (aka Global Majority) perspectives to the forefront of the industry

Join us for the live recordings every Monday at 1 pm ET on LinkedIn Live

Subscribe on your favorite podcast platforms, and catch up on the first few episodes of the new season, featuring NCIA Board Vice Chair Chris Jackson, NCIA Board Member Rebecca Colett of Calyxeum, and Dr Mila Marshall (Vice Chair of the Education Committee)

Upcoming guests include:

  • NCIA Board Member Ben Larson of Vertosa, Chris Jensen and Tiffany Watkins (DEIC Chair and Vice Chair), Kay Villamin (SRC Chair), Keyston Franklin (BFSC Chair), and Michael Webster (host of the Power Hour)

February featured TWO Catalyst Conversations (our DEI-focused webinar series)

Catalyst Conversation: Gain an Edge & Impact – Community Benefit Agreements

Featuring Gary Little and Doug Kelly, who are blazing trails in Chicago, alongside NCIA committee members Ace Castillo and Shannon Vetto

For cannabusinesses looking for how to “crack the code” of doing well AND good. We discuss how to create positive community impact AND excel as a business as a result

Catalyst Conversations: What’s Hot for 2023?

Featuring NCIA Committee members Vanessa Valdovinos, Keyston Franklin, and Jim Makoso, as well as new Board Member Amy Larson

Especially relevant for newer leaders in the cannabis space, seeking insights into how to succeed and gain lasting power, based on the opportunities 2023 presents.

New York Social Equity Roundtable Submits Public Comments, co-signed by a dozen partnered organizations

Since Spring of last year, we have been building coalition through conducting an ongoing roundtable discussion, consisting of multiple National and New York based cannabis social equity and industry organizations to assess and provide feedback regarding rules and regulations. Big thank you to the participating orgs, including: Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), Social Equity Committee Co-Chairs of NYC/Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association (NYCCIA/HVCIA), NYC NORML, Black and Brown Economic Power in Cannabis (BB EPIC), JustUS Foundation, Unified Legacy Operators Council (UNLOC), Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA), Social Equity Empowerment Network (SEEN), The Hood Incubator,The People’s Ecosystem (TPE), Etain, legacy operators, and social equity cannabis business owners. 

On February 13th, we submitted our latest round of public comments, in a common effort to assist the New York Office of Cannabis Management in its mission to create an equitable and inclusive cannabis industry for New York State.

DEI Committee leader Raina Jackson served as Lead Author, with support from fellow NCIA committee members Mark Slaugh, Adrian Adams, Stephanie Keeffe, and Osbert Orduna.

Get a glimpse into the impact our Equity Scholarship Program is having

The first Equity Member Spotlight blog of the year is up! 

“it isn’t hard for me to find a BIPOC leader within NCIA who shares experiences similar to mine. That has made this a motivating and pleasurable experience.” 

– Michael Diaz-Rivera, Owner of Better Days Delivery; Colorado State Rep of M4MM

The Equity Workshop Tour is tentatively (based on sponsorship) set for stops in New York, Chicago, and Detroit, synced up with our Industry Socials. More to come. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

To join NCIA through our Equity Scholarship Program, apply here:

New NCIA Member Benefit – Save Money On Credit Processing

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