This session will be led by Takisha Carter Cannabis Activist & industry trailblazer, and Ginne-Rae Clay, Executive Director of the Social Equity Council.
Takisha Carter brings extensive expertise and an unwavering dedication to the world of cannabis. With certifications spanning Cannabis Advocacy, Health Coaching, Education, and Culinary Arts, Takisha embodies a relentless passion for ongoing learning.
Engaged in cutting-edge programs like the "Ganjier" program and the Cannabis Science Master Class, Takisha remains committed to leading within the dynamic cannabis landscape. Her diverse skill set, ranging from patient care to business acumen, fuels her mission to elevate the cannabis experience for consumers and patients alike.
Beyond her educational pursuits, Takisha actively contributes to the industry's advancement. Her advisory role at Kingsborough Community College's Culinary Cannabis workforce development program and her involvement in fostering talent through initiatives like the CT Social Equity Cannabis Business Accelerator underscore her dedication to equity and talent cultivation in cannabis.
Takisha's groundbreaking achievements, including being Connecticut's first federally certified Cannabis Expert Witness and serving as the inaugural Hi Chef for HI BNB in the United States (based in Connecticut), highlight her pioneering spirit. She tirelessly champions cannabis advocacy to promote inclusivity and opportunities, particularly in underserved communities.
Ginne-Rae Clay is the Executive Director of the Social Equity Council. Appointed by Governor Ned Lamont in August 2021. Ginne-Rae is responsible for the day-to-day management of the Social Equity Council which is charged with promoting and encouraging full participation in the cannabis industry by people who have been disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition enforcement. Ginne-Rae is responsible for ensuring that the revenue from the adult-use cannabis sales taxes are reinvested in communities devastated by the war on drugs. The council’s current budget for operations and reinvestment totals over $42 million.
Ginne-Rae is an accomplished senior level executive with over 38 years of expertise in government, education, community action, and community engagement. Ms. Clay serves on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union CT (ACLU); City of Waterbury Diversity Committee, Economic Development/Housing Opportunity Subcommittee, and the Governance subcommittees. In addition, Ginne-Rae is a member of the Board of Directors of Capital for Change (C4C). C4C is the largest full-service Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in Connecticut. Ginne-Rae is co-chair of the C4C Racial Equity and Inclusion subcommittee and a member of the Nominating subcommittee. Ms. Clay is also a trained Legal Observer. In this role Ms. Clay observes and documents civil rights violations that may take place during rallies, demonstrations, and marches.
Ms. Clay is the immediate past president of the Greater Waterbury NAACP (2016-2022). Under her leadership the branch received the W.E.B. Dubois Civil Rights Advocacy Award given to a branch that display exemplary dedication and commitment to the mission and vision of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Ms. Clay received an Executive Master of Public Education from the Barney School of Business at the University of Hartford, West Harford CT, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication with a focus on media and marketing from the University of Connecticut, Storrs.
Ms. Clay is the first and only African American and the only female to serve as State Director of the Connecticut Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and was the first African American Female Deputy Director of the City of Bridgeport’s, Office of Planning and Economic Development.
Ginne-Rae is a life-long resident of Waterbury, and the proud mother of three and grandmother to 5.