Kimberly Marie Napoli

Cannabis Equity Expert Profile

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Kimberly Marie Napoli

In 2006 when I became The Hempest, a small business located in Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Harvard Square neighborhood. In doing so, I became the first female of color to own a cannabis-related business in the state of Massachusetts. The mission of the Hempest was to bring hemp and cannabis back to the regulated marketplace. In furtherance of that mission, I went to Suffolk University Law School in 2012 with the specific goal of legalizing cannabis to create equitable access and opportunity for everyone. I graduated in 2015 and in early 2016 I became the Director of Outreach for the Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Massachusetts. The campaign was a success and I was appointed by Governor Baker in 2017 to serve as his Expert in Minority Business Development on the Cannabis Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Now in my third term as a CAB member, I have participated in the following subcommittees: Cannabis Industry, Public Safety and Community Mitigation, and Market Participation where I am serving a second term as committee Chair.

I have been a registered Massachusetts medical marijuana patient since 2014. I am also a certified social equity program participant. I have been a homeowner in Boston's Nubian Square neighborhood since 2008 and am keenly aware of the negative, significant, and lasting impacts of the war on drugs, and also what social equity means to the people of Roxbury and communities like it.

As an attorney at Vicente Sederberg, LLP, I have represented local and national cannabis operators in matters ranging from equity and inclusion, and corporate social responsibility, to licensing with a focus on ensuring equal access to representation and advocacy for social equity, minority, and other diverse clients. I have worked with national organizations focusing on cannabis policy including the Cannabis Trade Federation, as a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force, on the Social Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee of the United States Cannabis Council, and the Minority Cannabis Business Association, where I have assisted in the ongoing development of the MCBA Model State Policy which served as the basis for the equity components of Massachusetts' adult-use cannabis law. I am recognized as a thought leader in the cannabis industry and have received the Champion in Corporate Social Responsibility award in 2021and the Champion in Diversity and Inclusion award in 2022 from NECANN.

Professional Background

Primary Job Title / Role
Counsel, Director of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
Primary Employer / Affiliation
Vicente Sederberg, LLP
Additional experiece, board & association memberships, volunteerism, and other affiliations
Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board

Massachusetts Black Lawyers Association

Rolling Stones Culture Counci

United States Cannabis Coalition - Co-chair or Social Equity and Inclusion Subcommittee

Massachusetts Social Equity Program Participant

Director of Outreach for the 2016 Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Massachusetts

Former appointed member of the Roxbury Strategic Masterplan Oversight Committee and Superintended Brad Cozier's Reopening Task Force
Relevant expertise, background & experience...
Economic development strategies for under-resourced communities, Minority business ownership, Minority business development, Business development or entrepreneurship, Women-owned business, Social welfare or social justice, Cannabis industry, Providing legal services to marijuana businesses
Appointed boards and agencies of interest
MA Cannabis Social Equity Advisory Board, MA Cannabis Advisory Board, MA Cannabis Control Commission, Boston Cannabis Board
Appointing authorities of interest
MA Governor, MA Attorney General, MA Treasurer, Boston Mayor
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