At Phylos, we are acutely aware of the disproportionate effects the war on drugs has waged on underrepresented communities–specifically, Black and Brown communities. The recent protests arising from the murder of George Floyd are a stark reminder of the structural racism that permeates our social, economic, and government systems. Phylos believes Black Lives Matter.
Criminalization of marijuana is woven into our history–it fuels racially biased arrests and predominately targets non-white people. Legalizing cannabis consumption is just one step towards reducing the ever-present fear of arrest, punishment, or death.
This racial divide is not new; it spans centuries and continues to be present today. And the socioeconomic divide created by incarceration spans industries. Farmers of color own less land and smaller farms. They have a harder time accessing capital. And are more likely to be laborers – a vital and incredibly vulnerable part of America’s food system.
We ask that you take a moment of silence for George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and the many more Black and Brown lives taken before their time.
Our Commitment in Action
- As a start, we are pledging to donate up to 1,000,000 hemp seeds to Black-, Brown-, and Indigenous-owned farms and organizations. We challenge other agriculture companies to support these farmers and organizations to help level a systemically unbalanced playing field.
- We are immediately providing our employees with resources to learn more about racial equity and justice.
- We are encouraging an open dialogue within our company on ways to stand up for these communities together.
- We also want to bring more people of color to the table, from both cannabis and agriculture, to identify ways to create a different system.
If you would like to have an open dialogue with us about race in cannabis and agriculture, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Ralph Risch, COO of Phylos