Black-owned businesses in the cannabis industry are low despite increased legalization.
What We Know:
- Medical marijuana, now legal in 33 states (approved for recreational use in 10) is worth billions. This number will grow as legalization efforts increase.
- Only 4.3% of marijuana business owners are African-American while White males have the highest ownership rates in the cannabis industry.
- High start-up costs, licensing fees, and operating expenses make it difficult to enter the cannabis industry.
- Drug-related offenses also affect licensing eligibility. African-Americans are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people. This puts African-Americans hoping to enter the industry at a major disadvantage.
- Oakland, California has a stipulation in place to ensure that a certain number of licenses are awarded to minority groups. This provides an opportunity to achieve equal representation in the marijuana industry.
- New York Assembly Majority Leader, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, has proposed a plan to invest in communities disenfranchised by the war on drugs, should marijuana become legalized.
While the marijuana industry has proven to be profitable, there are still many barriers to entry for minorities looking to go green.