Cannabis Leaders Forging New Paths in Corporate Social Responsibility, Innovation, Social Justice and More as the Industry Enters a Pivotal New Year

After an unprecedented two years amid the pandemic, cannabis leaders are putting their best foot forward to enact real progress and further legitimize the industry. From investing in minority-led companies and introducing cannabis legislation to entering the European market and addressing inequities from the War on Drugs, executives, founders and advocates in the space are blazing new trails and setting higher standards for the benefit of all.

While many inspirational leaders come from a variety of cannabis sectors, others not directly involved in the industry are also taking the initiative to support cannabis. In an industry so closely tied to social justice movements, leaders like Christine de la Rosa from the People’s Group are working to draw attention to disparities in cannabis opportunities and make cannabis a more equitable space by investing in BIPOC and women-led cannabis companies. Nancy Mace, a Republican Congresswoman, made waves when she introduced a widely appealing cannabis reform act with the goal of bringing together both sides of the aisle. Meanwhile, CEOs such as Kim Rivers at Trulieve have brought their multistate operators to new heights, positioning their companies to expand into even more markets in the coming years.

“The cannabis industry is unique in that everyone involved has a responsibility to correct historical injustices–even as the space continues to boom and transform into a CPG industry,” said Kathee Brewer, editorial director at Inc Media, parent company to mg Magazine. “From the C-suite at top MSOs to representatives in the halls of Congress, the next few years will require strong and passionate voices to bring cannabis to its full potential. This list recognizes just a handful of the powerhouse leaders poised to drive cannabis in the new year, and I look forward to watching them enact real progress and change in 2022.”

The past two years were marked not only by the emergence of leaders with foresight, but also by a “great migration” of workers into the burgeoning cannabis industry. In 2020 alone, cannabis employers added nearly 80,000 jobs, bringing the number of individuals employed throughout cannabis to over 321,000. Cannabis employers widely offer competitive entry-level pay, flexibility in schedules and paid time off—the type of benefits employees seek. While other industries lost employees in droves, cannabis welcomed more.

The “People to Watch” section will be a recurring section in mg Magazine throughout the year. Read mg Magazine‘s January issue here. Print copies are available by subscription.

About mg Magazine:
Founded in 2015, mg Magazine is the multi-platform media resource retail executives, buyers, investors, manufacturers, marketers, and agencies in the U.S. cannabis industry turn to for the expert insight and analysis they need to drive revenue and growth. By providing actionable intelligence about emerging trends, best practices, and innovation, mg‘s principled, unbiased, factual journalism helps the industry navigate the present while preparing for the future. Visit mgretailer.com.