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How Diverse is Canada’s Legal Cannabis Industry? Examining Race and Gender of its Executives and Directors

This policy brief by the CDPE and the University of Toronto offers a first-of-its-kind comprehensive and systematic look at the race and gender of those with the greatest influence and financial stake in the legal cannabis industry in Canada. Given the disproportionate negative effects experienced by Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour due to cannabis prohibition, many heralded the promise of this newly legal industry as an opportunity to rectify the injustices experienced under prohibition. This research examines the race and gender of c-suite level executives and boards of directors of all licensed cannabis producers and their parent companies operating in Canada to assess whether the promise of an equitable legal cannabis market has been achieved, and finds that Black and Indigenous people, and women, are underrepresented in leadership positions in the Canadian cannabis industry.

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