BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — In a first-time event, the Southern University Law Center is partnering with leaders in the cannabis industry to destigmatize the plant and open the doors to more opportunities.

With a goal of creating jobs and breaking barriers, the symposium focuses on all the different avenues into the fast-growing industry. 

“It’s always been about the terrorization of our neighborhoods through cannabis, which is important, but we have opportunities to be entrepreneurs,” said Green Enterprise Executive Producer Andrew Farrior.   “Marketing, law, accounting, all of those things are needed within cannabis.”  

Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center holds one of only two licenses to grow medical marijuana in Louisiana. Associate Vice Chancellor of Innovation Marla Dickerson said Friday’s event is just the tip of the iceberg. 

“They’re going to learn about multi-state operators, they’re going to learn about job opportunities, they’re going to learn about social justice initiatives that have occurred in various states. This is an industry just like any other industry,” said Dickerson.

The two-day event hopes to level the playing field for minorities seeking to break into the industry while changing the narrative around the use of cannabis as a whole. 

“I’ve been ashamed that people are going to stigmatize me as a weed head. Well, I can stand here proudly and say that I’m a weed head. I’m also a graduate of Harvard University. I’m also Senior Vice President of the largest cannabis company. I’m also a mother, a wife, and a grandmother,” said Khadijah Tribble.

The initiative’s official education partner Cresco Labs will present cannabis programming tailored to communities disproportionally impacted by the War on Drugs through its SEED™ initiative. These efforts are designed to help individuals develop the skills needed to strategically and successfully enter the cannabis industry. SEED™ builds collaborative relationships with colleges and universities to prepare students for careers in the growing cannabis industry.

The full symposium schedule is available at www.greenenterprisehbcu.live.