“There's not enough diversity. The cannabis industry looks a lot like tech,” says Tiffany McBride, Managing Director of Social Equity Ventures at The Parent Company. Last November, McBride was appointed to her position to help elevate diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within the cannabis sector.
The data backs her up. White men comprise 80 percent of the cannabis industry, while the number of minority business owners in cannabis consisted of 5.7 percent Latinos, 4.3 percent Blacks, and 2.4 percent Asians.
Although the cannabis industry is exploding and over 34 states have decriminalized the plant, the persistent inequalities prevent minorities from benefiting from the business and financial opportunities the space offers.
“Cannabis legalization alone will not erase the damage and lasting effect the War on Drugs has left in our minority communities,'' says Emery Morrison, co-founder of CampNova, a cannabis lifestyle tech company in Los Angeles. “Which is why we need programs to support minority cannabis businesses with resources from the local and federal government with tax incentives or tax reliefs to position our businesses for success."
He and other industry leaders like McBride are trying to change this paradigm in encouraging ways.
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