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Reflections on Being Black in Agriculture By Scheril Murray Powell, Esq.

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In February 2020, I spent time in Africa (The Motherland), in Jamaica (my MOTHER’s land), and at agricultural conferences and farms throughout the United States. At one point years ago, I had no interest in spending time outside, much less on a farm. However, when I became a part of the Cannabis industry, that all changed. Cannabis led me to Agriculture and encouraged

me to embrace my Agrarian past. I have now come to love my time spent on farms around the world. So as I reflect on another revolution around the sun, I step fully into my profession as a Cannabis and Agricultural Attorney. I have even come to refer to myself as an Agriculturalist.

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As a young child living in New York, I grew up enjoying my grandmother’s garden. She planted tomatoes, mint, roses, and corn annually. The cycle of planting season, harvest, and then the fall season was a part of my life, but I barely noticed it. Once we moved to Florida when I started high school, my parents started to plant fruit and vegetables that they’d longed for from their past life in Jamaica. We had bananas, numerous citrus fruits, varieties of mangoes, Ackee (the Jamaican National Fruit), coconuts, June Plum, yams, and sugar cane growing in the yard. Each month represented a season of harvest for different plants. Though my parents had lived in the United States for decades, they had not forgotten the “goodness” of freshly grown food on your plate, especially if grown by your own hands. In contrast, I could not tell one tree from another unless the identifying fruit was in season. When I visited my family in Jamaica, there were chickens in the yard and goats traveling up and down the streets. However, I did not associate those animals with livestock farming; they were just my entertainment.

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Later in life, I found unexpected links to these memories within my Cannabis journey. As soon as I