Canadian cannabis producer Canopy hires diversity and inclusion leader

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Canadian cannabis producer Canopy Growth appointed Sumayyah Emeh-Edu as its first vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Emeh-Edu previously worked as the director of diversity and inclusion strategy at financial services firm Charles Schwab.

“While cannabis and CBD industries have flourished, the history of racial inequities surrounding cannabis prohibition and the resulting disproportionate social justice consequences create a responsibility and necessity for Canopy to lead in diversity, equity, and inclusion for the global industry,” Canopy said in a Wednesday news release.

“This commitment will be further realized through Emeh-Edu’s role, as she will be focused on ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities are reflected and measured throughout Canopy, with a priority on implementing talent-driven practices fundamental to an open and inclusive environment.”

Canopy announced its search for a diversity, equity and inclusion leader in September 2020. The move was part of a series of diversity-focused initiatives that included a review of human-resources policies and hiring practices and an inaugural diversity, equity and inclusion report.

Diversity is an increasingly important issue for both Canadian and U.S. cannabis businesses.

Most leadership roles at regulated Canadian marijuana companies are held by white men, according to an October 2020 analysis from researchers with the University of Toronto’s Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation.

Marijuana Business Daily previously reported that only 4% of Canadian cannabis licensees are Indigenous-affiliated and men hold 93% of Canadian cannabis boardroom positions.