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Cresco Labs Diversifies Board With Michele Roberts Of NBA Players Union

The move comes as the NBA reportedly suspends drug testing

Cresco Labs has appointed longtime trial lawyer Michele Roberts to its board, the first woman and person of color to join the board of the Chicago-based cannabis firm.

Roberts is executive director of the National Basketball Players Association, the union representing professional basketball players. Cresco Labs, which owns seven Sunnyside-branded dispensaries in Illinois, has eight white men on its board.

The announcement Wednesday comes a few days after Cresco’s co-founder and former president, Joe Caltabiano, resigned from the board, cutting all executive ties with the company he helped found in 2013.

Roberts, 63, arrives at the company at a time when the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police, has prompted calls for companies to do more to diversify their organizations and support black communities.

The cannabis industry has lacked diversity since its inception. Illinois was the first state to introduce a social equity component when it legalized recreational marijuana last year to help communities hurt by the war on drugs get into the weed business. Several cannabis firms have counseled social equity applicants, but efforts to diversify the industry this year have been delayed by the coronavirus.

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