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