As the cannabis industry matures, companies must begin incorporating formal corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs into their business models. Consumers and employees are looking to marijuana and hemp companies for action on issues such as sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and investors are increasingly seeking data on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts. Meanwhile, regulators are moving to require that non-financial ESG metrics be included in annual reporting to disclose material risks (and opportunities) to investors.
Companies that aggressively incorporate these principals into their core business practices gain market advantage and present better compared to the competition. They are better positioned for growth, attract and retain the best talent, and create evangelical customers and employees. They are also better insulated from negative externalities, such as shareholder resolutions and challenges, stakeholder criticism, community backlash, employee lawsuits, and are positioned to better weather crisis events.
The VS Impact and ESG practice is led by attorneys with deep experience in CSR, sustainability, and DEI, both within and outside the cannabis industry. We understand companies’ fundamental need to integrate these practices in strategic and authentic ways, and we have years of experience helping them do it.