This Cannabis Company Says It Strives For Diversity From Top To Bottom

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Jesus Quintero says he never thought he’d be CEO of a cannabis company, but when Marijuana Company of America’s MCOA board asked him to fill that role, he jumped at the opportunity. 

A native of the Dominican Republic, Quintero said being Latino hasn’t prevented him from doing anything he’s wanted to do. Over the years, he’s worked in finance positions at companies like Avnet Inc. AVT and GlobeTel Communications Corp. GTE.

“I’ve always believed this is an equal opportunity country,” he said.

And he states that he’s committed to making sure minorities have the opportunity to work at Marijuana Company of America (MCOA) and participate in the cannabis industry as a whole.

MCOA, which owns and operates businesses involved in cultivation, distribution and consumer products, reports that Minorities make up more than half of its staff.

“There are a lot of minorities out there, but the way life has been in the past, everything has been driven by stereotypes,” Quintero said. “That stereotype is starting to be diminished. We’re seeing minorities reaching up the ladder and getting into more leadership roles. It’s very enlightening and great to see that.”

Improving Social Equity?

Some provisions in the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA) are geared toward improving social equity — the participation of minorities — in the cannabis industry. 

The bill is among the first federal attempts to establish a framework for regulating the legal cannabis industry nationally. It includes measures to expunge federal nonviolent marijuana crimes and permits people serving time in prison for nonviolent crimes to petition a court for resentencing.

It also creates an Opportunity Trust Fund funded by federal cannabis tax revenue with the stated goal of reinvesting in communities most impacted by the failed War on Drugs and helping to level the playing field for entrepreneurs of color who face barriers getting into the cannabis industry. 

Most analysts think CAOA, which is a draft and not a final bill, will be killed in the Senate, where Republicans and some Democrats are hesitant to legalize cannabis.

However, MCOA says that whatever happens with the CAOA bill, it will stick to its core mission — to leverage its experience and access to capital to identify and invest in acquisitions with unique growth potential in the cannabis and CBD marketplace. 

When MCOA considers companies for acquisition, it’s not focused on the minority representation of its staff, but if there’s very little participation, it does raise questions, Quintero said. 

“It’s not the first factor — we look at the nature of the business itself and the business model,” he said. “But if we see there’s not a lot of minority participation, it will have an influence as we consider going forward with that particular group.”

This post contains sponsored advertising content. This content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be investing advice.

Photo by RODNAE Productions

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