CannaPolicy: Cannabis Justice is Racial Justice

By Kyle Roland

NYU Wagner Review podcast series include’s NYU policy and law students that will analyze policy issues and solutions emerging in real-time around the country.

This podcast episode focuses on the role of CannaPolicy, a public policy and advocacy group working in the cannabis space. They discuss their mission to provide NYU  students with the tools, resources, and education necessary to responsibly advance cannabis legalization, rebuild communities harmed by prohibition, and positively impact the development of the nascent cannabis industry.

CannaPolicy is a part of NYU’s larger Cannabis Network, a first of its kind intersectional ecosystem of student groups committed to advancing cannabis justice and equity in the policy, business, legal, and healthcare fields. Together the group work’s to develop NYU students into thought leaders building a more responsible, equitable, and socially conscious cannabis industry for all.

This podcast is also featured on Spotify and Apple Music.


[00:00] Welcome and introduction from host Kyle Roland.

[01:23] Tosin Ajayi describes how she founded the CannaPolicy group,

[02:56] Michelle Smoler introduces herself and her mission for the CannaPolicy group, along with policy and racial justice issues,

[05:43] Christina Noland discuss the importance of legalizing cannabis.

Guest Speakers

Michelle Smoler is a second-year MPA student specializing in Policy. She works as a data analyst for the Strategic Planning and Policy Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where she supports efforts to increase institutional transparency and accountability. She is passionate about cannabis reform and seeking justice and reparations for those individuals and communities harmed by its long-standing criminalization. Michelle earned a Masters in Political Science from UNC-Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Arts from Middlebury College.

Christina Noland is a second-year MPA student specializing in Management and Leadership. She is a former Program Manager at Masa, where she supervised K-8 education programs for Mexican and Latino students in the South Bronx. Christina earned her BA in Politics and History at New York University

Tosin Ajayi is a MPA ’20 graduate from NYU Wagner specializing in Management and Leadership. Her passion for destigmatizing cannabis led her to create the first cannabis policy club at NYU, leveraging the support of over 200 NYU students to persevere through the rigorous application process. She impacts the cannabis industry with her influence as a minority business owner of CBD company, Holistic Remedies LLC. She also uses her expertise in management to build a more equitable industry by overseeing CannaPolicy’s activities and serving as an executive board member of the NYU Cannabis Network. Tosin earned her BS in Public Health from Rutgers University.


Kyle Roland is a second-year MPA student at NYU Wagner specializing in social impact, innovation, and investment. He has a professional background in start-up growth, operations, and product design, as well as migration related humanitarian aid. He enjoys travel, guitar, cooking, and positivity. He also serves as a managing editor for The Wagner Review and Co-Director of Events for Social Innovation and Investment Alliance.

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Featured Photo Credit: YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS

Music Credit: Be Sound