US (OH): Dispensary owner, state lawmakers call for more diversity in the MMJ industry

Ohio is preparing to double the number of medical cannabis dispensaries in the state. The hope is to alleviate some of the problems with the relatively new industry, including travel distance, price, and supply.

But there are some concerns about who will receive these new licenses. Ariane Kirkpatrick is the owner of Ohio's first Black-owned dispensary. She says the accomplishment is bittersweet.

She owns Harvest of Ohio—with three locations in Athens, Beavercreek, and Columbus. “It’s like an oxymoron to be the first because this is 2021, so to be the first in this industry, an industry that has so many roots in the minority community, just doesn’t settle well with my stomach," Kirkpatrick said.

According to Ohio’s Board of Pharmacy, just eight of the state's 58 dispensaries are minority-owned.


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