Shaleen Title is co-founder of THC Staffing Group, an inclusion-focused recruiting firm devoted to the marijuana industry. As an attorney specializing in marijuana regulations, she has helped draft marijuana laws and provided regulatory expertise for leading consulting firms including 4Front Advisors and Vicente Sederberg. In 2012, she helped make history by serving as a senior staffer for Amendment 64, Colorado’s historic initiative that made Colorado the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana. Shaleen has won several awards for her advocacy work and her efforts to bring more women and people of color into drug policy reform, including the Hunter S. Thompson Young Attorney Award and the High Times Freedom Fighter Award. She is a founding board member of both the Minority Cannabis Business Association and Marijuana Majority, and a trustee of Students for Sensible Drug Policy. In 2017, Shaleen was appointed to lead the regulatory agency tasked with implementing the Massachusetts legal marijuana law.
When building the cannabis industry from the ground up, why is gender parity (having at least 50% women) so important?
Equality is particularly important in the cannabis industry because we’ll never again have an opportunity to make this kind of social impact. Cannabis is the fastest-growest industry in the country; if we can commit to equality now, imagine how different the group of top-level owners and executives will look ten or twenty years down the road compared to all the other industries.
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly cannabis/marijuana?
I want the US to encourage economic justice alongside criminal justice. This means not only do we stop destroying communities through prohibition, we also allow those same communities a voice and a role in the new regulated market.
Why are environmentally sustainable business practices essential to the future of the cannabis industry?
Now that the cannabis industry is moving from underground to above-ground, environmentally sustainable practices are a top priority. They’re a good business practice; cannabis consumers tend to care about the environment and likely prefer to give their dollars to companies who share the same values.
How do you incorporate gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability into your work and the growth of your business/organization?
The founders of THC Staffing Group started the company because we are committed to making sure everyone feel welcome in the industry. We set an example through inclusive hiring practices and advocacy for policies that positively impact communities harmed by drug prohibition.