Cannabiz Collective honors people of color in the cannabis industry

Smiles: Leadership of the Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective poses with the night’s awardees at the first Trailblazers Awards ceremony on June 27.
Linda Lou

Three cheers for the Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective, which hosted the inaugural Trailblazers Awards on June 27 to honor people of color who are pioneering the cannabis industry.

Formed by Bedford-Stuyvesant native Al Florant in 2018, the Collective provides assistance to people of color looking to make it big in the marijuana business.

“I saw major investment opportunities in real estate and tech pass by many from my community, and I didn’t want to sit by and watch the same happen with the cannabis boom we’re seeing today,” said Florant.

The Collective held its inaugural award ceremony at Bedford Manor — located at 1177 Bedford Ave. between Putnam and Jefferson avenues — where more than 100 community members, cannabis-entrepreneurs, and elected leaders gathered to promote equality in the marijuana industry.

The award ceremony’s prize for education went to Brooklyn native Gia Morón, who serves as CEO of Women Grow — a for-profit entity that serves as “a catalyst for women to influence and succeed in the cannabis industry.”

Reverend Anthony Trufant of the historic Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill received the courage award in recognition of his staunch advocacy for social justice in relation to drug laws and the marijuana business.

The night’s honor for outstanding advocacy was bestowed to Sirita Wright, who co-founded Estrohaze — an organization that promotes the advancement of the cannabis industry.

During the event, Assemblywoman Tremaine Wright (D–Bedford-Stuyvesant) gave the gathered audience an update on the ongoing debate surrounding marijuana legislation up in Albany.

Advocates were optimistic that state legislators would make New York the 12th state to legalize recreational use of marijuana this year, but their ambitious plan fell through before the legislative session ended in June.

The Cannabiz Collective hopes to use its organizational resources to ensure that pioneers of color can capitalize on the potential financial windfall from the medical — and possibly recreational — marijuana industry.

Standing O salutes the Brooklyn Cannabiz Collective, and the night’s big winners, on the successful ceremony!

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577. Follow him at twitter.com/aidangraham95.
Collective: BBC Founder Al Florant, Henry Lanclos, Reverend Anthony Trufant, Robin Sarli, and Colleen Hughes pose at the ceremony at Bedford Manor.
Linda Lou

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