Steven Hawkins Out as CEO of the US Cannabis Council; Curaleaf’s Khadijah Tribble takes over

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional information on Steven Hawkins.

Steven Hawkins is no longer the CEO of the US Cannabis Council (USCC), a leading voice for ending federal cannabis prohibition.

In a 3:30 p.m. newscast on Friday, the organization announced that Khadijah Tribble, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at multistate cannabis operator Curaleaf, is now the new CEO of USCC. acting

Leaving USCC entirely, Hawkins pursues other opportunities, Cannabis time confirmed on August 19. Hawkins has led USCC as CEO since its founding in February 2021.

“We thank Steven Hawkins for his pivotal role in launching USCC, and we are delighted to welcome Khadijah Tribble as CEO at this critical juncture for the cannabis industry,” said Jessica Billingsley, President of the USCC. ‘USCC and CEO of Akerna. Press release.

At Curaleaf, Tribble serves as a subject matter expert and strategic advisor to internal team members, investors and external partners in the areas of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), equity social, environmental sustainability and strategic partnerships.

She previously founded Marijuana Matters, a cannabis education and advocacy incubator, and served as CEO of the Marijuana Policy Trust, which helps develop and run DEI programs in the cannabis industry.

“She is deeply respected for her leadership, expertise and vast experience and is well positioned to advance our mission to end prohibition and create a fair, values-based industry,” Billingsley said.

Tribble, who has advocated for fair and just policies on behalf of marginalized communities throughout his career, according to the USCC press release, is also among the 28 members of the USCC DEI working group and will help guide this work in the future. She holds a master’s degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

“The US Cannabis Council unites my deep commitment to the legalization of cannabis with my passion for fighting the harms of prohibition,” Tribble said in the USCC press release. “My priority is to advance meaningful cannabis reforms through Congress this year that will serve as the foundation for achieving our ultimate goal of federal descaling while fostering a fair and inclusive legal cannabis industry.”

The USCC’s appointment of Tribble as CEO follows the Association for Cannabis Health Equity and Medicine (ACHEM) sending an open letter on August 17 to Hawkins and other leaders of the organization. USCC announcing the resignation of its honorary member from the USCC.

RELATED: Association for Health Equity and Cannabis Medicine Resigns from US Cannabis Council

But Hawkins’ Aug. 19 departure is unrelated to the withdrawal of ACHEM members, according to the USCC.

In the letter, ACHEM President Ogadinma Obie, MD, informed USCC leadership that her association’s resignation comes after she and other ACHEM leaders “acknowledged the influence growing cannabis business priorities on the board that has continually eclipsed or siloed equity-focused recommendations.”

USCC membership includes some of the world’s largest cannabis operators and related companies in the industry, such as Curaleaf, Canopy Growth, Cronos Group, Cresco Labs, Columbia Care, Aurora Cannabis, Akerna, Ascend Wellness and others.

In addition, CCT learned this week that the USCC has been without director of social equity and inclusion since Tahir Johnson released this position in June.

“We are concerned that the organization has strayed from its founding principles,” Obie wrote. “ACHEM cannot in good conscience maintain our membership in the USCC when its current positions no longer align with efforts to make cannabis legalization foremost inclusive and equitable so that everyone in the United States , especially those most affected by the prohibition of cannabis, can benefit globally from the fledgling industry.

Since its launch last year, USCC leaders say they have established the organization as the leading voice for cannabis reform in Washington, DC. The organization brought cannabis industry CEOs to meet legislators in Congress, partnered with sponsors of major cannabis bills to advance reform, and launched a campaign to advance the passage of the Safe and Fair Banking (SAFE) Act.

Earlier this year, the USCC partnered with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (FCCS) to create an internship program for black students and recent graduates at major cannabis companies and organizations.