Our Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge

In 2019, all member company CEOs of the National Cannabis Roundtable (NCR) pledged to steward an inclusive industry with each member contributing in a unique and positive way to address the harms of the failed, decades-long War on Drugs. Member companies range in size from a few employees to nearly 2,000. They include law firms, cannabis cultivators, investment firms and more. Although the NCR member companies represent a wide range of firms that participate in the cannabis industry in myriad ways, they are brought together by shared goals and values. These values include a commitment to the ideals set forth by the Board of Directors:

  1. An industry that actively supports social justice reforms, and an end to the criminalization of cannabis;
  2. An industry comprised of, and supported by a diverse group of owners, investors, professional services providers, suppliers, and vendors; and
  3. An industry that invests in an inclusive workforce, especially seeking to engage those who have been adversely impacted by the failed War on Drugs.
  4. An industry that promotes access for people who have historically suffered from disparities in access to healthcare.

Our commitment to these values today, and in the future, is why acceptance of, and accountability to, NCR’s Corporate Social Responsibility pledge is a prerequisite for all new NCR members.

NCR is proud to report a 100% participation rate in the first phase of the program’s implementation, the goal of which was to create a benchmark against which future program goals can be measured. Results of the member survey were organized according to the four pillars of the CSR pledge:

Criminal Justice Reform
Goal: Reduce the size of the population that has a criminal record related to cannabis offenses.
Outcomes: NCR members reported: providing resources for expungement and record-sealing initiatives; providing employment opportunities for those with prior cannabis convictions or arrests; and providing scholarship funding to expungement clinics in the past year.

Equity in Business Opportunity
Goal: Ensure the cannabis industry is being served by a broad group of interests by creating partnerships for goods, services and employment talent from a diverse set of providers.
Outcomes: NCR members reported: providing ownership opportunities to women, minorities and those adversely impacted by the War on Drugs; ensuring supplier diversity, including MWBE, veteran-owned (including service disabled) and LGBTQ+; forming partnerships with institutions of higher learning or other organizations to develop pathways to employment in the cannabis industry; and creating community incubators that provide the capital and training needed to ramp-up operations for minority owned cultivators, dispensaries and retailers.

Workforce Utilization
Goal: Diversify the workforce within the cannabis industry itself.
Outcomes: NCR members reported: supporting small business development and community workforce programs for MWBE, as well as veteran and LGBTQ+ owned enterprises; partnering with colleges and universities to develop cannabis-focused curriculum; participation in company-wide workplace diversity and inclusion training; and creating workforce training programs to ensure a diverse talent pool is prepared to enter the cannabis industry.

Health Disparities
Goal: Increase access to cannabis for health reasons for populations disproportionately affected by certain conditions.
Outcomes: NCR members reported: providing resources for community health clinics and education programs for physicians on how medical cannabis can be used as a tool in treating conditions that adversely and disproportionately affect minorities; and advocating for policies and programs expanding research on health issues, diseases and conditions that adversely and disproportionately affect minority populations.

NCR’s Corporate Social Responsibility Pledge can be viewed here.

Corporate Social Responsibility Taskforce

Drew Carter, Chair

Andrew “Drew” Carter is the General Counsel and Chief Compliance and Regulatory Officer at National Holistic Healing Center (NHHC), a patient-based alternative medical cannabis company in Washington, D.C. As an attorney, Drew is responsible advising and strategizing for the company’s executives on complex and novel legal industry matters. Drew also leads the company’s compliance department where he is responsible for a broad range of compliance and ethics matters involving industry regulatory agencies. Prior to his work with NHHC, Drew proudly and dutifully served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD). As an AFPD, Drew fought vigorously to assure that each of his indigent clients faced with serious criminal prosecutions were provided every right guaranteed to them under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Drew received his Juris Doctorate degree from Northeastern University School of Law in 2001 and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree–focusing on philosophy and theology from Xavier University of New Orleans in 1995. Drew also has a Master's of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School.

Kim Rivers

Kim Rivers currently serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trulieve Cannabis Corp., a vertically-integrated "seed-to-sale" operation based in Florida. Rivers joined Trulieve at its inception and has been the key driver for the Company’s customer-centric vision, strong growth, strategic expansion, and industry-leading profitability. Ms. Rivers oversees every activity involved with the cannabis process from seed to sale to ensure quality, operational integrity and financial success. Prior to Trulieve, Ms. Rivers spent several years in private practice as a lawyer where she specialized in mergers, acquisitions, and securities for multi-million dollar companies and has run a number of successful businesses from real estate to finance. Her experience has been instrumental in building Trulieve’s market leading position in its home state of Florida and provides the solid foundation on which to execute on growth and expansion initiatives as a multi-state operator. Kim also serves as Second Vice Chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable.

Ms. Rivers also plays an active role in her community in addition to serving on numerous charitable boards. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Multinational Business and Political Science from Florida State University, where she also served as FSU’s student body President, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida.

Barrington Rutherford

Barrington Rutherford serves as Cresco Labs' Senior Vice President of Real Estate and Community Integration, and his work on real estate and community integration has allowed the company to grow operations from one state to 12. In a highly regulated industry where each state’s cannabis program has a different and precise requirement for operation, Mr. Rutherford ensures that all the company’s locations are compliant with local and state regulations. Mr. Rutherford’s work has been a critical component to Cresco Labs’ growth strategy to be one of the largest vertically integrated US-based cannabis companies.

In addition to overseeing the company’s real estate strategy, Mr. Rutherford oversees Cresco Labs social justice initiatives. Under his leadership, the SEED (social, equity, educational development) program ensures that all communities have the skills, knowledge and opportunity to work in and/or own a business in the cannabis industry. Mr. Rutherford’s community-first strategy has his team focusing on three main areas: social equity, workforce development and education, and a community incubator program. Through Mr. Rutherford’s leadership, the SEED program is helping provide opportunities for individuals in communities most negatively impacted by the excessive enforcement of cannabis during the war on drugs.

Christopher Jensen

Christopher Jensen – known to most as “CJ” – is a passionate entrepreneur with a successful track record of driving revenue and building companies in both publicly and privately-held environments. In 2008, at the height of the Great Recession, CJ founded TrustPoint International, a legal technology services firm. Under his leadership - and despite the challenging economic conditions - the company would grow to $60M in revenue in less than four years with 13 US locations and clients from around the world. As President of TrustPoint, CJ oversaw several mergers and acquisitions which lead the company to a $100M revenue run rate prior to exiting and selling his interest in 2013.

The following year, CJ co-founded Mana Supply Co, a medical cannabis company based in Maryland. After opening the doors of its first retail operation in the Annapolis area in 2018, Mana has quickly become one of the top revenue-producing dispensaries in the state.

Cannabis is one of the most exciting and promising industries of our generation and provides us with a real chance to create economic mobility for many individuals. The National Cannabis Roundtable’s launch of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program is the first real step to a meaningful commitment by the leading companies throughout our country. I applaud this effort and look forward to watching the impact it will have for deserving communities.

Larry Ivory, Chairman of the Board, National Black Chamber of Commerce

Every day I meet people whose lives have been destroyed due to punitive systems and massive incarceration caused by the criminalization of cannabis. It is time to “right some of the wrongs” and bring health and healing to some of these communities that have been disproportionately affected by cannabis criminalization and allow for opportunities of those members to participate in the significant opportunities and wealth that the industry is sure to allow. I commend the National Cannabis Roundtable and its members in its efforts to understand the challenges still being faced by these communities and offering pathways for employment, ownership, and restoration through its social impact investments.

In my lifetime, I will never see a multi-billion-dollar industry like cannabis which offers a real promise of equity and inclusion from the ground up. I’m excited and encouraged to see NCR and its members lead the charge by implementing a performance driven corporate social responsibility program aimed at advancing social justice, social equity, and diversity and inclusion.

Roz McCarthy, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Minorities for Medical Marijuana