Rosario Dawson joins board of Gwyneth Paltrow-backed pot firm

Actress Rosario Dawson will join the board of Cann, a Los-Angeles based maker of drinks with THC that's backed by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Rebel Wilson.

In a phone interview, Dawson revealed her involvement with Cann for the first time and said she was impressed by the company's investment in diversity. She said she plans to get involved in further diversity efforts.

"My joining this board is historic, given less than 3.5% of corporate board seats in general are held by women of color," Dawson said. The star, who is romantically involved with Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., added she has "a vested interest in federal change and local change happening." Booker helped to craft the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, the latest proposal to end the federal prohibition of marijuana.

Dawson said access to cannabis is a personal issue for her, noting that it has helped her father deal with pancreatic cancer. She also noticed early in life that when he was younger, her father, who is White, was able to get away with things that Black people weren't.

"He was growing weed off the fire escape," Dawson said. "He was blatant about his use in a way other people in my community knew not to be."

Dawson, who has appeared in Disney's "Mandalorian" series and the film "Men in Black II," said she was also drawn to Cann's business for its drinkable THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Women, who data show tend to prefer edibles and other forms of cannabis that don't involve smoking, aren't being adequately reached by the market, she said.

Cann is among a growing number of companies that make THC drinks. Earlier this year it partnered with multistate operator Green Thumb Industries for distribution in Illinois and elsewhere. Green Thumb's Chief Executive Officer Ben Kovler is also on the company's board.

Cann's investors include a long list of celebrities, among them Goop's Paltrow, Wilson, Australian model Ruby Rose, actor and songwriter Darren Criss, and former professional basketball player Baron Davis.