Improving Social Equity, Inclusion in Cannabis: Q&A With Tahir Johnson


<![CDATA[After graduating with a marking degree from Howard University, Tahir Johnson spent several years working as a financial adviser for firms such as PNC, SunTrust Banks and Morgan Stanley. But for the past three years, Tahir Johnson has turned his focus to cannabis business and policy, working in a variety of roles, including as business development and diversity and inclusion manager at the National Cannabis Industry Association. In April, the U.S. Cannabis Council, a coalition of industry businesses, advocacy organizations and associations, announced Johnson’s appointment as director of social equity and inclusion, where he will lead social equity initiatives at the state and federal level, as well as working to improve diversity at cannabis businesses across the country. Johnson will also continue to host his Cannabis Diversity Report podcast, featuring interviews with people of color who work in a various industry roles. Johnson spoke with Cannabis Business Times about his priorities in his new role and how he plans to help and hold companies with social equity goals accountable. Editor’s Note: This is an extended version of an interview that was published in the August 2021 issue of Cannabis Business Times. Michelle Simakis: What is one of the most important aspects of your role and your priority at the U.S. Cannabis Council (USCC)? Tahir Johnson: One of the great parts about my role is that I’m also dually employed with the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and it really allows me to have that grassroots approach because MPP is really actively involved in cannabis state policy and a number of things. So what that does is give me the opportunity to work together with our policy teams and have a great impact across a number of areas and to make sure that social equity is always at the forefront of our…

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