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Cannabis Industry Wants To Prove It’s ‘Socially Responsible’

LOS ANGELES (AP) — An alliance of large marijuana businesses had a message for the public Tuesday: We’re good corporate citizens.

The 45-member Global Cannabis Partnership, which includes Canopy Growth Corp. and other companies operating in the sector, issued guidelines aimed at minimizing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting ethical conduct and responsible pot use.

The emerging legal industry is “in a unique position to set a new bar for socially responsible practices,” the group’s executive director, Kim Wilson, said in a statement.

As the once-illegal marijuana economy evolves into a multibillion-dollar industry backed by a flood of investment dollars, the guidelines appeared aimed at assuring consumers that those companies are operating with public interests in mind, not just the bottom line.

The cannabis marketplace “is Wall Street now,” said Adlai Wertman, a professor of social entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business.

The group is “saying that even though we are Wall Street, we are still aligned with the values our customers have.”

And it could have other payoffs, including potentially luring a broader range of investors for pot companies.

“Anything the industry does to show responsibility — both as an operator and to their community — is in their benefit,” said Adam Spiker, executive director of the Southern California Coalition, a cannabis industry group.

“Things like this can narrow the gap of trust between industry, community and policymakers. With more trust should come less of a perceived need to overregulate and overtax,” Spiker added.

The goal of the five-page “social responsibility framework” is for the industry to be recognized for practices in good corporate citizenship. It outlines guiding principles that include transparency and responsibility, such as prohibiting illicit sales to minors.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Michael R. Blood on Associated Press

Published: June 19, 2019

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