top of page

...some of y’all only listened to Bob Marley because he smoked weed, and it shows…

BIPOCs have faced systemic obstacles trying to access legal cannabis industry, despite taking the brunt of marijuana arrests from the US’ war on drugs. According to a 2017 Marijuana Business Daily study, minorities are ridiculously underrepresented in the cannabis industry. More than 80% of cannabis businesses are owned by whites, while Blacks and Hispanics constitute barely...BARELY (meaning they rounded up) 10% of business ownership combined (as in together...while also rounded up). It is clear that there is a problem with minority participation in the cannabis industry, and there are numerous factors that contribute to this, like the exceptionally high cost for starting a cannabis business.

Starting a cannabis business requires going through expensive application and licensing processes without access to traditional funding sources. Federal prohibition has conveniently excluded cannabis-related businesses from accessing banks and small business loans, leaving only those with prior wealth, who can afford the startup costs and enter the marketplace. (Enter celebrities, former politicians, that one rich heiress etc) For instance, in Maryland, the cost for a two-year grower license is $250,000. I don’t have money like that just laying around (if I did I wouldn't have student loan debt, but I digress), many in America don’t but the likelihood that you do, could also indicate you are white. There's another BIG deterrent...actually HUGE deterrent... It’s the requirement by some states that participants in the cannabis industry have no criminal record. This typically applies to all employment levels, from owners to dispensary workers. In a country where 33% of adult black men have a felony conviction, this makes it impossible for many. (I’ll assume you are aware of all of the protest in support of Black Lives Matter as well as various facts surrounding systemic over-policing leading to that stat, so I won’t dive into all of that...but you can here if you want too)

The industry that we love, is a perfect example white systemic oppression that favors the rich, male and yes white entrepreneur...and hell yeah that should ABSOLUTELY change (not just because a black girl is typing this) but because it should. The benefits of cannabis both medicinally and recreationally are FOR EVERYBODY. While states just now grappling with legalization, have representatives and advocates and activist clearly (and way more articulately) making this point, making sure their states aren’t leaving behind BIPOC….I’m sitting here in the first legal state questioning how get the genie from the cannabis bottle into black and brown communities so that it can truly represent THE PEOPLE.

So like the late great Bob Marley (kinda) said, ‘ Diversify {Legalize} marijuana, So there'll be no more Police brutality, No more disrespect for humanity, It can build up a failing economy yeah, Eliminate the slavish mentality’...or you can keep being the person who just likes Bob because he smoked.

Clearly theres a lot to we'll keep talking about it...stay tuned!!

18 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page