Michigan company aims to make cannabis industry fairer for everyone

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Cannabis has grown into a multi-million dollar business in Michigan, but there is still a double standard for social fairness in the industry.

Michigan-based company Pleasantrees is known for its cannabis products, but it also works to make the marijuana industry fairer for everyone.

“Social equity has basically become an art term in the cannabis industry,” said Jerome Crawford of Pleasantrees.

The Michigan company is hiring more minorities like Crawford, a lawyer who now oversees legal operations and social equity for Pleasantrees. Crawford says, to his knowledge, that he is the first black in-house lawyer in Michigan’s marijuana manufacturing industry.

Now the lawyer is working with the company to remove the historical cultural stigma surrounding marijuana.

“At Pleasantrees, our position is that cannabis shouldn’t have been illegal in the first place,” Crawford said.

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The company is also trying to address racial disparities related to the marijuana police. According to the ACLU, blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.

“We’re trying to level the playing field,” Crawford said. “When you have this industry that was criminalized with a ban (but) is now legal, it’s really about balancing those scales and trying to balance it.”

To help address these racial disparities, the company introduced its Pleasantree Social Equity Plan which focuses on four key areas to “help create equitable access across the legal cannabis industry value chain,” including: access to the value chain, education, a good neighbor and in favor of legislation based on equity.

“(We) support peace and legislation, and support the real elected officials (who) are about to change, (who) want to do different things,” Crawford said.

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You can find out more about Pleasantrees Social Equity Plan on their website here.


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