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Impact & ESG

As the cannabis industry matures, companies must begin incorporating formal corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs into their business models. Consumers and employees are looking to marijuana and hemp companies for action on issues such as sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and investors are increasingly seeking data on their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts. Meanwhile, regulators are moving to require that non-financial ESG metrics be included in annual reporting to disclose material risks (and opportunities) to investors.

Companies that aggressively incorporate these principals into their core business practices gain market advantage and present better compared to the competition. They are better positioned for growth, attract and retain the best talent, and create evangelical customers and employees. They are also better insulated from negative externalities, such as shareholder resolutions and challenges, stakeholder criticism, community backlash, employee lawsuits, and are positioned to better weather crisis events.

We understand companies’ fundamental need to integrate these practices in strategic and authentic ways, and we have the knowledge and experience to help them do it.


  • ESG screening and identification of gaps, risks, and opportunities

  • Development of internal and external Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) policies

  • DEI supply chain, vendors, recruitment and employment

  • Preparation of community engagement plans, Positive Impact Plans, and Social Impact Plans (SIP)

  • Strategic philanthropy plans

  • Benefit corporation establishment and certification

  • Establishment of corporate nonprofit organizations and foundations

  • Employee engagement surveying and planning

  • General CSR, ESG, and DEI operations consulting

  • Sustainability consulting and environmental compliance


  • Helped obtain medical and adult-use cannabis business licenses in California, Missouri, and Utah by participating in and contributing to state license applications and interview processes

  • On behalf of a national MSO, directly engaged in community outreach efforts in multiple states, resulting in prospective partnerships with civic, political, community, and nonprofit leaders

  • Created formal Employee Volunteer Programs (EVP), including partnerships and volunteer opportunities with national and local civic and nonprofit organizations

  • Identified relevant metrics around community and employee engagement activities and philanthropy programs

  • Developed sustainability and community engagement programs 

  • Shepherded Vicente LLP through B-Corp certification process

  • Counseled several non-profit organizations with regard to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt applications


Founding Partner


Forming Psychedelic Companies: 10 Lessons from the Cannabis Industry

By Charles Alovisetti
Mar 22, 2023

A new industry is emerging in the United States, and entrepreneurs in the psychedelics space must make critical decisions at the onset of new ventures regarding how to set up and structure their new businesses. Luckily, we have access to another industry with a complex legal framework and a patchwork of different state laws: cannabis. And after forming hundreds of cannabis companies with clients over the past decade, Vicente LLP has lessons to be shared.

The ESG Threat by Shareholders and Proxy Challenges

By Marc Ross
Sep 7, 2022

Socially responsible investors and activist board members have been throwing their ESG weight around during the last few proxy seasons at annual shareholder meetings. They demand action on climate change, diverse boards and senior leadership, restrict campaign donations, divestment in specific industries, and request measurement, benchmarking, and reporting of comprehensive ESG impacts.

ABA Global Business of Cannabis Conference is Coming to Denver

Nov 9, 2021

The American Bar Association's International Law Section will host its first annual Global Business of Cannabis Conference in Denver, Colorado from November 10-12, 2021. Marc Ross is slated to join the panel "The Environmental Impact of Cannabis Cultivation: Does Legalization Make a Difference?"

[Webinar] Impact and ESG in the Cannabis Industry

Jun 15, 2021

Watch this recorded session to meet the new VS Impact & ESG team, learn more about this emerging business priority, and how to start planning and measuring your ESG practice – including Corporate Social Responsibility programs, meaningful Diversity, Equity & Inclusion efforts, environmental sustainability, and community and employee engagement.

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