US (NJ): BIPOC cannabis business owners questioning minority applications

The average prospects for Black ownership equity in America was 1 out of 20, and even 1 out of 50 in the cannabis industry, according to statistics. With New Jersey opening applications for cultivators, manufacturers, and testing labs, BIPOC cannabis business owners are questioning whether the Cannabis Regulatory Commission will live up to its mission to prioritize minority applications. 

Most minority license winners were white women. In the days following the giving out of licenses, applicants of color would go on to claim that they had not received accurate points for being 'minority' applicants in the scoring and award process.

Al Harrington was one of those Black-owned businesses. Harrington had just recently lost in the cannabis application process for the state he grew up in. Black and Hispanic demographics not being adequately represented in the most lucrative licenses did not come as a surprise to Harrington. “It’s been happening for 400 years, that’s the American way,” he said in an interview after his keynote. “We just have to figure out how to work within it or be disruptive and figure out a way to work without it.”

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