Wesley McWhite III, a project manager for the Hyacinth AIDS Foundation of New Jersey, will serve as director of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Friday.
Murphy’s appointment of McWhite follows the commission’s approval of new regulations prioritizing equity in the establishment of an adult-use cannabis marketplace in New Jersey.
“Since Day One, we have said that the legalization of recreational use cannabis for adults in New Jersey must include those that have historically suffered from over-policing and exclusion from business opportunities,” said Murphy. “The work of the Cannabis Regulatory Commission is just one example of how our Administration is striving to reverse decades of social and racial inequities and to fight for a stronger and fairer New Jersey.”
McWhite is a former deputy COO for the New Hope Baptist Church and a homeless outreach specialist with Volunteers of America.
According to the governor’s office, McWhite will focus on setting up unified practices and procedures that will promote participation in the personal use and medical cannabis industries by New Jerseyans from socially and economically disadvantaged communities.
“As a Black Gay man, whose family has roots in Trenton spanning generations, I am honored and excited to join the Cannabis Regulatory Commission,” McWhite said. “The War on Drugs has devastated poor, minority and LGBTQIA communities for too long and we have a responsibility to include those that have been most impacted in this process and industry from the start.”