2021 will be a fascinating year in the cannabis industry for a myriad of reasons. With a new administration in the US, there will be a lot of changes at the federal level. More states will be legalizing both for medical and recreational marijuana. When the federal government removes the restrictions on pot, research will explode. The weed industry will grow by leaps. Pot will continue to enter into the mainstream and stigmas will begin to disappear. One of those stories will be social equity.

Minority Representation

Minorities have never been part of the pot industry except in arrests, which always were made in far greater numbers than white people. African-American, Hispanic and other populations of color don’t consume marijuana in any form in greater numbers than any other part of the overall population, but those populations have been subject to arrest rates at 10 times higher than the white population. It’s systemic racism and it’s a sad part of our society. Racism won’t go away, but we can see some glimmers of a more equitable society.

Minority Businesses

Minority representation in the cannabis industry is low. In California, there appears to be an effort to get more minorities involved in our evolving industry. That’s a good thing, but is the state doing enough to give access to minorities who don’t have big bankrolls? The jury is out on that. However, it’s still very early in the evolution of the cannabis industry. Will this will be a trend or an anomaly? Only time will tell.

wrote this article about 5 black-owned businesses that are trying to stand out from the crowd. Originally published in Leafly, it’s worth a visit to see what minority (in this case black) owners are doing to put themselves head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd in the Golden State. Will it apply to other states? Who knows?

And here’s another story about what what a company in Oakland, ECO is doing to help those who have been marginalized and oppressed. They employ many people who have been previously incarcerated for non-violent pot crimes as well as minorities. It originally appeared in Cannabis Business Times

And one more also from Cannabis Business Times. This story tells how the Illinois Senate is trying to improve minority equity in the pot business by opening licenses up to more minorities who frequently don’t have the funds to start a business let alone go through all the draconian licensing forms and then pay for them! It’s short, but you’ll be beginning to get the idea that we need to open up.

 

 

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