VS Client Spotlight Series: Bryan Murray of Acreage Holdings
Feb 22, 2022
VS is excited to share a series of client stories with the purpose of inspiring the next generation of leaders in the cannabis industry. In honor of Black History Month, we're kicking off the series with Black leaders in cannabis.
Black History Month offers a chance to deepen our awareness of Black history in this country. It’s also an opportunity to illuminate the challenges that persist, specifically those facing Black-owned businesses. Despite some notable successes, only 7% of companies in the U.S. are Black-owned, even though Black people make up 14% of the total population. The reality of that ratio is even starker in the cannabis industry, where estimates of Black-ownership hovers around just 4% of all licenses. To support Black-owned businesses and leaders—and focus on this extreme disparity—VS is proud to share the first in a series of client stories with the purpose of inspiring the next generation of Black leaders in the cannabis industry.
Spotlight: Black Leaders in Cannabis – Bryan Murray
Bryan Murray serves as the Executive V.P. of Government Relations at Acreage Holdings and was recently elected Chair of the New York Medical Cannabis Industry Association. Before joining Acreage in 2021, he served in various roles at Pfizer in Government Relations and Public Affairs. At Pfizer, Bryan gained a wealth of regulatory and policy knowledge and significant experience driving regional and grassroots policy initiatives across the U.S. and Canada.
With an impressive background in the pharmaceutical industry, you might wonder what led Bryan to pivot to the cannabis industry. According to Bryan, he changed course to the cannabis industry after analyzing and challenging his reasons for not considering working in the industry.
“After a thorough examination of my own misconceptions, I realized there is not a better place I’d rather be than in this industry at this time, working to end decades of prohibition. If I could snap my fingers and change one thing related to the industry, I would remove the stigma and misinformation about cannabis.”
When asked if he would do anything differently while transitioning to the cannabis industry, Bryan stated that he would “add learning about the people, not just the laws, regulations and plant” into his initial learning plan. He added, “there’s so much more to cannabis than the plant—it’s also the culture of people who grow, manufacture, produce, sell, and use it.”
Since joining the cannabis industry, Bryan is captivated with a sense of responsibility to ensure that the focus on social justice and social equity is not a moment, but a movement.
“Acreage is a company that is passionate about cannabis, the industry, and its potential to impact the world for good. The best part of my job is knowing that I have one constant each day—the ability to shape the future of this industry.”
VS is proud to work with Bryan and Acreage in shaping the future of the cannabis industry. It’s an honor to share Bryan’s story.
About Acreage Holdings
With its principal address in New York City, Acreage is a multi-state operator of cannabis cultivation and retailing facilities in the U.S. Acreage’s wide range of national and regionally available cannabis products include the award-winning The Botanist brand, the highly recognizable Tweed brand, and Superflux premium brand. Acreage also owns Universal Hemp, LLC, a hemp subsidiary dedicated to the distribution, marketing, and sale of CBD products throughout the U.S. Since its founding in 2011, Acreage has focused on building and scaling operations to create a seamless, consumer-focused, branded experience. More information is available at www.acreageholdings.com.