Cannabis Trade Federation Launches Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force

Top officials from civil rights organizations will collaborate with a diverse group of cannabis industry professionals.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — PRESS RELEASE — Today, the Cannabis Trade Federation (CTF) announced the formation of a task force centered on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the cannabis industry. The task force, which includes some of the most significant civil rights leaders in the nation along with a diverse group of cannabis industry professionals, will work with members of the CTF board to develop and implement a strategy to diversify the cannabis industry and ensure that those communities that bore the brunt of cannabis prohibition reap the benefits of legalization. 

“We are delighted that some of the most experienced leaders in the nation are giving of themselves to ensure the industry of tomorrow reflects the true diversity of this nation,” said Neal Levine, CEO of CTF.

The DEI Task Force will work in conjunction with CTF leadership to develop an industry-wide diversity, equity and inclusion policy to be adopted by the full CTF board. Upon adoption, CTF member companies will have to agree to CTF’s DEI policy as a requirement of membership. The DEI Task Force will also be charged with developing benchmarks and goals to measure the industry’s progress and crafting policy proposals that could be incorporated into future legislation. 

“As a dispensary and small business owner, I am excited to get to the serious work of making sure more women and people of color like me are at the table, in the boardroom, and employed in the industry,” said Linda Mercado Greene, the task force chair, who owns a dispensary in the District of Columbia. 

The DEI Task Force is comprised of a diverse and experienced collection of leaders, who bring a combination of industry, political, policy, and operational experience to the organization. The 26-member group includes NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson; National Urban League CEO Marc Morial; former U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo; former director of the Washington DC ACLU office Laura Murphy; and Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair of the NAACP.

Members of the CTF DEI Task Force include:

  • DEI Task Force Chair Linda Mercado Greene, Executive Team, Cannabis Trade Federation and Owner/CEO, Anacostia Organics
  • Peter Barsoom, CEO, Nuka Enterprises
  • Vince Canales, President, CLG & Associates
  • Yolanda Caraway, President and CEO, The Caraway Group
  • Rev. Delman Coates, Ph.D., Founder & President, New Abolitionism Campaign and the Black Church Center for Justice and Equality
  • Former U.S. Congressman Carlos Curbelo
  • Dr. Patricia Frye, Founder and Medical Director, Takoma Park Medical Care
  • Judge Shelli Hayes (Retired), Co-Founder, Tetrasol Holdings, LLC
  • Wade Henderson, Former President, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • Derrick Johnson, President and CEO, NAACP
  • Dakeana Jones-Bishop, Vice President, Human Resources, LivWell Enlightened Health
  • Lindsay Jones, CBD leader at Curaleaf
  • Tony Lee, Managing Partner, Dickerson Insurance Services
  • Eugene Monroe, Medical Cannabis advocate and retired National Football League player
  • Mercy Morganfield, CEO and President, Foxwise Enterprises
  • Marc Morial, CEO, National Urban League
  • Laura Murphy, former director of the Washington, D.C. office of the ACLU and President, Laura Murphy & Associates
  • Kim Napoli, Esq. - Director of Diversity Programs at NETA, and Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board Member
  • Akele Parnell, Corporate Counsel, Green Thumb Industries
  • Caroline Phillips, CEO, National Cannabis Festival
  • Tracy Syphax, President, Phax Group Consulting Design and Co-Founder, Reentry Ventures
  • Karen Boykin-Towns, Vice Chair, NAACP
  • Khadijah Tribble, Founder, MPT, LLC
  • Nick Turner, President and Director, Vera Institute of Justice
  • Herb Wilkins, Jr., Managing Director, SCI Ventures
  • Ivan Zapien, Partner, Hogan Lovells

For more background and a full list of CTF DEI Task Force members, visit