Skip to content

Women's History Month Spotlight: Lindsay Robinson

Lindsay Robinson

Women's History Month Spotlight: Lindsay Robinson

Interview with Lindsay Robinson by Jocelyn Sheltraw

Women's History Month Spotlight: Lindsay Robinson

Interview with Lindsay Robinson by Jocelyn Sheltraw

Lindsay Robinson has been the guiding force behind the California Cannabis Industry Association for six years, first serving on the board of directors before becoming Executive Director in 2017. She has been working to end cannabis prohibition for nearly two decades. In her early days as a cultivator, she recognized the absurdity of war on drugs and dedicated her professional career to helping advance sensible cannabis reform, with a primary goal of keeping people out of prison. She has helped shape cannabis policy in more than 12 states across the country. She has also worked for community organizations like SF Marin Foodbank, La Raza Centro Legal and the Center for Justice and Accountability.

Lindsay, you’ve been a cannabis activist for 20 years, what is it that inspires you to do the work you do for CCIA?

I have loved and respected cannabis for many years but the draconian drug laws in this country were so abhorrent to me, I knew I wanted to help change that. So many lives have been damaged by the war on drugs, including my own and some of my loved ones. It was not an option for me to casually use cannabis and not work towards fixing that system. Now it’s time to balance those social justice issues with supporting cannabis businesses in a uniquely complicated regulatory system.

What is your average day like?

I balance a lot of moving pieces on an average day. I work directly with our members, staff and board to strategize and complete projects that are meaningful to our mission. I lobby on behalf of our members, help run committees, plan and execute PAC fundraisers, build relationships with stakeholders across the industry and so much more. We have a small staff so we all tend to pitch in and do what’s needed.

What is your proudest accomplishment during your time at CCIA?

I have so many things that I’m proud of but mostly the fact that I’m still here. Conflict outside and inside of the industry can be really intense, but we keep showing up on behalf of our members and that takes a lot of perseverance. I’m also really proud of our Social Equity work; CCIA was one of the few organizations who went to the mat for SB 1294, we fought extremely hard for that bill. We have worked with Legislative leaders like Senator Bradford to advance strategic bills, plus we launched a free Social Equity membership tier in partnership with the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association, and our DISE Committee produced a Social Equity Accountability report in 2021.

CCIA’s Board consists of a female majority, how has that impacted the association?

I rely on the board so much and they are such a wealth of information and expertise. One of the things I value most in a leader is their ability to stay calm and composed under pressure and continue to show up when no one else wants to. My board is driven by strong women who are elected by our members, and are super dedicated to the organization and our members. I’m truly grateful for their commitment to this organization.

What has been your biggest challenge in business and how do you overcome it?

Having been an activist for so many years, it was a challenging transition when I became Executive Director of a trade association. Going from working on medical and adult use legalization campaigns to advocating for legal cannabis businesses took some adjustments. I finally feel like I’ve been able to channel my activism into meaningful change for legal cannabis businesses and I’m really proud of that.

What are your personal goals for 2022?

We have fought some tough battles the past few years and I don’t think this year will be an exception. I want to stay focused on the prize. My word for the year is perseverance. Stay diligent and double down, I’m confident we’ll see meaningful policy change this year.

Powered By GrowthZone
Scroll To Top