Cristina Nutzman didn’t realize how many cannabis users she knew until she started working for one of the largest cannabis chains in the world.
“Once I took the job, people were very open about their cannabis use that they had never disclosed before,” Nutzman says. “Everyone was very supportive and excited.”
As the vice president of legal-labor and employment for Curaleaf, Nutzman, an attorney by trade, handles a variety of labor and employment issues, including the day-to-day counsel and union activity, for the approximately 5,400 employees working at Curaleaf’s 111 dispensaries, 22 cultivation sites and 30 manufacturing facilities operating across 23 states.
“Anything and everything you can think of that falls under the employment law umbrella — wages, discrimination laws, all of it falls under my responsibility,” Nutzman says. “There are so many employment laws not just at the federal level, but at the state level and local level. It’s really a patchwork of employment laws across all of the states where we do business that you have to make sure that you know and that you can properly advise as to how to comply with those laws.”
In addition to her responsibilities with Curaleaf, Nutzman also serves as the chairperson for the Hispanic Lawyers Scholarship Fund of Illinois, an organization she has supported since 2007.
“Hispanic representation is important in any industry,” she says. “I’ve worked tirelessly for my entire career to support that belief through my own personal contributions in every organization where I’ve worked by choosing a field (law, and labor law in particular) where minorities have been historically underrepresented.”
— Patrick Wagner