Research in the Public Interest
Laura Herrera is a consultant from the border community of El Paso, Texas who has resided in the Bay Area for over a decade. She is a public interest researcher studying the administration of community reinvestment funds and reparations through cannabis social equity programs.
Laura started as a seasonal cannabis worker in fall harvest season of 2009 and continued to work with small scale cannabis growers through 2015. She has been deeply integrated in cannabis industry through cultivation, manufacturing, ethnographic research as well as exploring the therapeutic uses for cannabis and other plant-based medicines.
In 2016 she widened her scope to helping cannabis entrepreneurs understand the emerging laws & providing business consulting services to transition to the licensed market.
In 2019 Laura began working with Cannabis Social Equity programs in Oakland, then Sacramento, Los Angeles and most recently Long Beach, to facilitate the disbursement of financial support from the state directly to cannabis business entrepreneurs.
In 2020, she began a multi year appointment in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy & Management to support the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center as their Digital Communications Specialist.
Laura holds a Master in Public Administration from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College, City University of New York. Her dual undergraduate degrees are a Bachelor of Journalism, and a Bachelor of Science Public Relations from the College of Communication at the University of Texas at Austin.
Herrera is a seasoned Analyst and Organizational Manager with over 15 years of experience working with diverse organizations such as University of California Berkeley, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, American Museum of Natural History, New York State Health Foundation and Texas Commission on the Arts .
Laura Herrera presenting at the 2023 Berkeley Cannabis Research Briefing on the social impacts of cannabis equity programsin California.