How Cannabis Can Redefine Corporate Wellness

How Cannabis Can Redefine Corporate Wellness

By Tyneeha Rivers, Chief People Officer, Curaleaf CURLF

With National Wellness Month comes the opportunity to reflect on the importance of priortizing health and wellness in our everyday lives. Whether it’s incorporating a more nutritious diet or regular exercise into your daily routine, maintaining a healthy work life balance, or considering natural and holistic wellness practices, we must make the necessary changes in our lives to prioritize our overall well beings. This applies both personally and professionally.

According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, companies that prioritize employee wellness produce healthier, more-engaged and productive employees. A similar study conducted by MetLife revealed that more than half of holistically healthy employees were more likely to stay at their organization for at last 12 more months. 

As a corporate leader with more than two decades of experience in human resources for organizations such as Vanguard Group and The Philadelphia 76ers, I have seen firsthand the significant impact that a robust corporate wellness program can have, not only for individual team members, but for the health of the business at large. This is especially true in a wellness-focused industry like cannabis.

Curaleaf, a leading international cannabis operator, recently partnered with The Harris Poll to conduct a survey on individual’s attitudes and shifting perceptions towards holistic health alternatives, with key findings reporting that 75 percent of Americans would prefer holistic solutions over pharmaceuticals to treat a medical issue when possible. Furthermore, 62 percent of people would prefer to use cannabis rather than pharmaceuticals to treat a medical issue.

This is a stark difference from a few decades ago when the majority of Americans had an overwhelmingly negative attitude towards cannabis, largely due to the public narratives surrounding the War on Drugs and perceived negative impacts of the plant, among other factors. Since then, multiple studies and experiences have come to the forefront to show how cannabis can be a positive force in maintaining a healthy wellbeing. 

In my own life, I have experienced the benefits of cannabis firsthand. For years, I struggled with severe insomnia and anxiety to the point where I had to visit the emergency room for relief. I suffered in silence for so long, going nights on end without rest or the ability to relax. However, when I was introduced to cannabis, everything changed. I saw significant improvements in my symptoms and began sleeping seven hours peacefully through the night. I also found tremendous relief with my anxiety that I hadn’t experienced prior to becoming a medical patient. 

As a Black woman, I’m all too familiar with the deeply-rooted cannabis stigma that exists in the African-American community. Mass incarceration, death and violence as a result of the War on Drugs have left long-term scars on our neighborhoods, destroying lives and families, and creating an overall systematically-disadvantaged environment. I understand why many African-Americans, especially those that witnessed the horrific outcomes of the Drug War, are hesitant towards cannabis. However, I want to continue spreading information about the modern-day, legal industry that we all deserve to benefit from.

Recently, I expanded my cannabis journey from personal to professional, and I couldn’t be more proud to lead Curaleaf’s corporate human resources efforts as Chief People Officer. As one of the leading international providers of cannabis, our corporate office is extremely fast-paced and it can be easy to become consumed with the many things on our to-do lists. My team and I help keep our culture of balance and wellness at the forefront of everyone’s mind, no matter how busy we might be. At our core, we want to be an organization with healthy team members. 

Our new team member wellness program provides each of our 5,700+ team members with the tools and resources to improve and sustain mental, physical, and even financial health. We host health fairs and seminars on nutrition, mind and body synchronicity, and financial planning. In the near future, we are incorporating seminars on preventative health, mindfulness, and more. 

These efforts are communicated to employees through our monthly wellness newsletter, which embodies a specific theme each month. For example, during National Wellness Month, our focus is work-life harmony. We’re hosting two virtual workshops throughout August, one focused on avoiding burnout and the other on harmonizing work and life. We’re also conducting a virtual yoga session for employees to take some time to relax and manage stress. 

At the end of the day, wellness isn’t just a fancy buzzword – it’s a critical part of improving your health and wellbeing as an individual and at the corporate level. Take some time this month to consider how you’re prioritizing wellness in your personal and professional life. Intentionally set wellness goals and standards for yourself in both environments, and make the changes necessary to achieve them. Your future self will thank you. 

 


 

Posted In: contributorsCuraleafwellnessCannabisOpinionMarkets

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