Trulieve Reveals True Colors of DEI

Florida-based medical cannabis company Trulieve has revealed the true colors of DEI, or “diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

DEI is a conceptual framework that claims to promote fair treatment by addressing individuals as members of a group. If said group has been historically oppressed or underrepresented, individuals belonging to the group are prioritized in terms of employment or access to resources.

The goal, claims its advocates, is to level the playing field so we’re all equal and our institutions are diverse and inclusive.

Critics say that DEI advocates are racist since they treat individuals by the color of their skin (or as a member of an ethnic group) rather than the content of their character.

And there may be something to this. Trulieve Cannabis wears its DEI badge with honor. But according to court records, the company just reached a settlement with a former black employee.

She claims she was paid lower than less-than-qualified white people in identical roles. Despite promoting DEI, the company allegedly paid black employees 50 cents less per hour than white employees.

What is DEI?

What is DEI

To its advocates, DEI is exactly what it sounds like. It promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion. But objective definitions are hard to come by. Especially in the realm of sociopolitical talk.

To its critics, DEI is anti-liberal racism. As a theory, it is fundamentally polylogist. That is, when different groups reason and experience reality in fundamentally different ways.

In that sense, DEI advocates are rubbing elbows with Nazis and communists. The former believed the “lived experiences” of white Germans mattered most. And the latter believed capitalism was mere bourgeois arithmetic they could successfully mimic or ignore.

DEI bends reality to fit an ideological mould. For example, America’s black population is 13.6%. The number of black American cannabis executives? Also, around 13%.

Yet, because this is down from 28%, DEI advocates cry racism. In reality, it’s the levelling off of a cannabis boom. The entire industry is suffering, not just self-identifying black executives.

The economic boom is over. So what about DEI at Trulieve?

Trulieve Reveals True Colors of DEI

Trulieve Reveals True Colors of DEI

Trulieve is the largest cannabis company in Florida and one of the largest in the United States. They’ve sunk more than $30 million into getting recreational legalization on the 2024 Florida ballot.

They’ve also won awards for their “diversity” efforts. A minority group honored Trulieve as its 2022 Diversity & Inclusion Corporate Champion of the Year.

So what’s going on here?

Do the white executives at Trulieve overcompensate with DEI because they are unconsciously racist?

Or maybe they’re consciously racist and see DEI as a means of promoting racist ideas under the guise of diversity and inclusion. Kind of like how the creepiest men self-identify as feminists and go to women’s marches.

Or perhaps Trulieve is genuine. Maybe they promote DEI because they genuinely believe this is the best way of supporting minorities and other marginalized groups.

After all, the black woman that filed the lawsuit against Trulieve was the third-highest-paid employee in her department.

She was mad about a raise disparity that, according to Trulieve, “was due to an adminstrative error and nothing more.”

What’s more likely? An admin error at one of the U.S.’ largest cannabis companies? Or systemic racism in a company that routinely wins awards for its diverse set of employee skin tones?

Trulieve & DEI? What About Toxic Feminity? 

Trulieve & DEI? What About Toxic Feminity?

Trulieve wasn’t the first cannabis company sued for alleged racial discrimination. And they won’t be the last. But there is a commonality to these cases. The plaintiff is almost always a woman.

What does this mean?

As Richard Hanania, writing on Substack, put it:

Society has been pretty good at recognizing the harms that come from the excesses of masculinity. We haven’t even begun to think carefully about equivalent pathologies stemming from traits of the other sex.

Or, as Barbara Kay wrote for the National Post:

Women are, in short, more woke than men, and the more there are of them in universities, the more woke our culture will become, and the more intellectual rigour will lose ground to feelings, “lived experience,” therapeutics and safetyism.

Male nature is aggressive. There’s a certain level of abrasiveness. Hurt feelings don’t matter in the pursuit of truth.

Female nature is emotional, agreeable, and compassionate. It’s about mental well-being. It’s sensitive.

There’s more nuance to this topic than I’m addressing here. Don’t take this to mean we’re a slave to our biology. A male teacher can (and should) bring a female nature to a kindergarten class. Likewise, a female executive should bring a male nature to the boardroom.

But to answer whether Truileve (or any other company) is racist, perhaps we should consider who is doing the accusing.

Defund the Police, Obviously

Trulieve DEI
(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

But what about actual racial discrimination? Not the allegations against Truileve or the racist implications of DEI.

I mean, actual racism in the cannabis world. Nowhere is that more clear than in law enforcement. As Dr. Carl Hart writes,

Here’s an example of how it goes down: entire specialty police units are deployed to poor, usually black or brown neighborhoods, making excessive drug arrests and subjecting targeted communities to dehumanizing treatment. The argument that these communities are exposed to “enhanced police presence” because residents ask for it is either naive or disingenuous; these are the same residents who have asked for, and in fact demanded repeatedly, better schools, more jobs, and an end to police brutality, as well as placed a long list of other reasonable requests.

The bottom line is simple: more drug arrests equate to more overtime, more “throwaway people” in prison, and bigger budgets. These practices ensure job security for a select few, including law-enforcement personnel and prison authorities. The war on drugs has been a financial boon for these individuals, as well as for certain regions that are dependent upon the prison economy.

Drug Use for Grown-Ups by Dr. Carl Hart

In that sense, “defund the police” was (and is) a perfectly valid goal. The problem was many of its advocates had no theory of civil society. To many, state and society are one of the same.

But neighborhoods, regardless of their racial makeup, can police themselves. The “social contract” we have with centralized institutions is about as valid as the “divine right of kings.”

That is to say: demand an actual contract from those claiming to provide services. Demand a contract and ask about their competition.

No competition? No contract? Not valid.

The D.C. Cabal keeps black and brown neighborhoods poor and oppressed. They do the same with poor white neighborhoods. It’s about money and power.

That’s why I’m not concerned about the racial makeup of cannabis companies. Nor do I (or others) care about someone’s “unconscious bias.”

The real issues are the former cops and politicians now cashing in and writing the rules for legalization while still profiting from the drug war.

Everything else is a distraction.