You’ll Never Guess What Rev. Al Sharpton Is Endorsing …
Although Rev. Al Sharpton doesn’t personally use marijuana, he is calling for more Black representation in the weed industry.
The civil rights activist and National Action Network founder is reportedly slated to be the keynote speaker at the Cannabis World Congress Business Exposition in NYC this Friday.
The engagement will mark the first time Sharpton will publicly address the decriminalization of marijuana use. He is expected to call for not just an increase in diversity but also more inclusion of people of color within the industry.
“Just because I don’t use marijuana as a minister, does not mean I have the right to impose my moral values on others,” Sharpton said in statement sent to Huffington Post. “However, I will challenge the cannabis industry and its distributors in states where it is legal to support civil rights movements and ensure that we are not disproportionately excluded from business opportunities.”
This year marks the expo’s fourth year. It is recognized as the leading trade show and conference for medical marijuana, legalized cannabis and industrial hemp industries.
Sharpton will be among a series of speakers and exhibits that will seek to highlight ways to open, invest in and grow marijuana-centered businesses.
“Decriminalization and diversity are hot buttons for this industry, and there is a low percentage of canna-businesses owned by people of color,” said Scott Giannotti, managing director of CWCB Expo Events, in an email. “To have one of the nation’s most prominent voices speak on this topic at CWCB Expo is an extreme honor. This is a turning point for the industry and we are proud to have Rev. Sharpton inspire real action forward.”