Through marketing, meditation, social equity, education, and more, Sheena Roberson is changing the landscape of cannabis through Cannabis Noire.
Cannabis Noire is a Black-woman founded organization that eases the way for minorities and underserved communities to gain access to the cannabis industry and medical cannabis. Under Sheena’s direction, Cannabis Noire provides mental health, holistic wellness, mindfulness, and education initiatives such as their food sovereignty program and minority farming initiative.
Cannabis Noire also provides a portal for medical cannabis patients to get registered with their state, receive guidance on picking a provider, and finding the best dispensaries and products in their area.
On the marketing spectrum, Cannabis Noire provides consultation, networking, and business development opportunities to ensure more seats at the table for people of color. Cannabis Noire has chapters in over 30 states and counting.
Sheena, who has an upcoming book series related to her experiences as a canna-mom, connected with Candid Chronicle to fill us in on her journey. From ditching a position at a Christian corporation to enter cannabis, being a canna-mom, and living as an industry leader who creates the representation she wants to see in cannabis, dive in to learn more about Sheena.
How did you get involved in the cannabis industry?
I saw a need for more representation in cannabis of people who looked like me. I didn’t see enough measurable efforts being made, so I decided to take action.
Why did you create Cannabis Noire?
I created Cannabis Noire because of the lack of access for systematically overlooked demographics. I wanted to create spaces and opportunities for those people to safely and successfully access the cannabis industry and the medicinal community. Cannabis Noire creates shame free spaces actively destroying stigmas by offering experiences that connect cannabis to medicine.
What sets you apart in the cannabis industry?
Cannabis Noire works to create spaces and refortify communities from the inside out. We have unique access to a variety of demographics because of our ability to find creative solutions to obstacles.
What life changes occurred when you entered the cannabis industry?
I left corporate America as a sales and marketing director for Chick-fil-a, a very Christian based company, to be a cannabis consultant, advocate, and educator.
What about the cannabis industry and community do you love?
The connectivity, the ability to identify within our unique connections to the plant.
Do you have any frustrations, hopes, fears as cannabis changes?
I have constant frustrations with the obvious obstacles. So many others are willing to overlook the disparities, the pay for play, the poorly designed legislation and lackluster efforts to repair it. The entire idea that people are in jail for this plant frustrates me which is why we have a returning citizens program to directly support these communities.
What were some of your challenges getting started in cannabis?
Learning how to navigate the space, who to trust, share, and learn from/with, understanding the needs and obstacles in a tangible way, not being emotionally drained.
What does the future of cannabis look like to you?
Ideally a homegrown, legal, non-stipulated cannabis space. However, more likely we will see an influx in business as the House supports the More Act, but we will lose ground in the War on Drugs as it relates to our incarcerated and formerly incarcerated. POC and small businesses will find it even harder to gain access as the cost of entry will skyrocket in step with the regulations.
How do you plan to make a positive difference in the cannabis industry?
Continuing to grow Cannabis Noire so that we can educate, support, and offer real resources to those truly interested in a career or medicinal support.
What makes you proud to be a part of the “legal” cannabis industry?
The fact that so many of our ancestors fought racism under the guise of stigmas tirelessly and I get to continue on that work. The Harlem Renaissance was prolific for cannabis, and I’m proud to share that legacy.
Do you consume cannabis? If so, how do you prefer to consume?
I use a variety of methods, depends on the need.
What’s your favorite strain?
Lambs Breath Tropicana Cookies, and African Thai.