In the Unites States, cannabis drug laws have disproportionately affected Black and brown people, while newly-legal marijuana endeavors are predominantly owned by people who are white and male. This fall’s ballot wins for cannabis legalization give states and private businesses the opportunity to ameliorate racial disparity in an industry where about 17% of executive positions are held by Black, Indigenous and people of color according to research by MJ Biz Daily.
States are implementing legal and financial changes. Some are expunging or sealing convictions for low level drug offenses. Last year, New York State cleared marijuana convictions for 160,000 people from their records. More than a dozen other states are taking similar actions. The Restoration of Rights Project provides a chart comparing all 50 states actions in expungement and clemency.
Some states are ensuring a portion of licenses or funds go to historically harmed groups. New Jersey lawmakers are considering allowing private equity firms to hold up to a 40% stake in up to 10 dispensary licenses owned by women, minorities and disabled veterans, helping those groups gain access to capital.
Curio Wellness, a Maryland-based medical cannabis company, announced it would invest with up to 50 women, minority and disabled veteran entrepreneurs to help them open and operate a Curio Wellness franchise by minimizing the cash those entrepreneurs need to come up with. [Read More @ Forbes]