Cannabis Noire Corporate Social Responsibility Fund
Sheena M. Roberson, founder
Hello, my name is Sheena Roberson and I am the founder of Cannabis Noire a platform dedicated to creating a space for minorities within the cannabis industry and community. We help minorities and other underrepresented groups access education, training, registration opportunities and cannabis business support. Our goal is to help create a more inclusive and diverse cannabis industry and community while destigmatizing cannabis patients through strategic re-branding initiatives.
Businesses often invest in creating and supporting their brand, as well as in monitoring the perceptions held by their customers, employees and the general public. A company’s social responsibility efforts typically factor heavily into these perceptions. Corporate social responsibility is a commitment to do more than just serve the needs and expectations of customers and shareholders it means investing in the communities and people they affect directly or indirectly. Through corporate social responsibility programs, including responsible business practices, philanthropy, and volunteer efforts, cannabis businesses can benefit society while boosting their brand. The Cannabis Noire CSRP is aimed at encouraging companies to be more aware of the impact of their business on the rest of society, including their own stakeholders and the newly emerging landscapes. Cannabis Noire’s corporate social responsibility is a business approach that contributes to sustainable development by delivering economic, social, and environmental benefits for all.
What the cannabis industry has presented as an area of economic opportunity for most has unfortunately in many cases contributed to the marginalization of some of Philadelphia’s most low income and minority residents. In addition to higher rates of overcriminalization, cannabis arrest of minorities and little to no diversity within the cannabis business landscape opportunities for specific demographics to successfully enter the cannabis space become limited. Our focus is to create and support partnerships between communities, nonprofits, coalitions, and cannabis businesses. We aim to foster these relationships between industry and community through a strategic combination of health and wealth-based equity frameworks, creating and supporting partnerships between communities, nonprofits, coalitions, and cannabis businesses. Our vision is that through establishing mutually beneficial relationships we will not only expand on the cannabis businesses’ social license to operate but change the narrative of how the industry has and will impact our neighborhoods.
The Cannabis Noire Corporate Social Responsibility program invests directly into communities and individuals negatively impacted by the war on drugs, underserved demographics and minority business startups in need of funding, training, and education. These services are to not just positively impact communities that have been systemically underserved and oppressed but to also help shape the cannabis industry’s narrative in our city. We believe that the Cannabis Noire Corporate Social Responsibility framework, when applied with consideration and strategy, can create and cultivate, mutually beneficial relationships between adversely affected neighborhoods and cannabis businesses. Our corporate giving efforts are focused on people experiencing homelessness, hunger relief, minorities, LGBT groups, seniors and veterans. Prioritizing formerly incarcerated individuals convicted of cannabis-related offenses, as well as their family members and people who live or have lived in communities that were subject to severely higher arrest rates particularly minorities.