When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important?
Having gender parity is important in any industry; it is not specific to the cannabis sector. Gender, as well as cultural and background diversity, in any team, leads to better business decisions.
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?
My firm New New Frontier Data’s mission is to elevate discussion on the cannabis industry via unbiased and accurate intelligence reporting, promoting transparency and fact-based decision-making across policy matters including social justice and criminal justice reform. As such, what we would hope for, and expect, is policy and lawmakers who ask questions and make educated decisions based on all the facts. For instance, when it comes to criminal offenders, personally, I question lawmakers who have determined that the socio-economic impact of a ‘pot-dealer’ is the same as that of a murderer – tragically, in many states, those two types of offenses lead to very similar sentences. I am not an attorney, but it sure seems questionable based on the data I have seen.
Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?
Cannabis is one of the most energy-intensive agricultural commodities in our economy today, due to the significant energy costs associated with indoor cannabis cultivation including high intensity lights and humidity management systems. The transition to greenhouse and outdoor production can lower energy use by as much as 90% by replacing artificial light with sunlight and by reducing the need for climate control systems. In addition, our recent report, Cannabis H2O: Water Use and Sustainability in Cultivation, provides in-depth analysis of water usage in the regulated cannabis industry and determined that annual water use for cultivation varies widely, depending on the type and scale of a given facility. Developing regulations that allow for the most flexible and energy efficient cultivation techniques, including outdoor cultivation, will be critical to the long-term sustainability of cannabis production.
How do you incorporate gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability into your work and the growth of your business/organization?
By providing authoritative data, analytics and targeted solutions, New Frontier Data enables decision makers and operators in the cannabis industry to assess the quantifiable risks associated with the lack of parity, social justice, and environmental awareness to not only their businesses, but to the industry and the entire nation. New Frontier Data maintains a rigorously neutral and objective position to ensure the most factual reporting to the market, and while we cannot force decisions, we do our part in providing decision makers with the brutal, and sometimes, unpopular truth – case in point, our Energy report, Illuminating Cannabis, was received with quite a bit of pushback for doing just that.