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Legal Cannabis Is Almost Entirely White. Here’s How To Buy Weed From Black And Brown People (And Why It Matters)

Like democracy, marijuana legalization is an ongoing social experiment. And like empowering citizens with rights to assemble, vote, and try to self-govern, ending the practice of imprisoning people for buying, selling, and cultivating cannabis is policy rooted in social justice.

And like democracy, legalization is imperfect and undone—and requires consumers to make deliberate choices, like choosing to buy legal weed from Black and brown people. Whether by design or by neglect, this is difficult to do, which means the project is further away from realization.

This is an unfortunate development. It’s wrong thing, and it also breaks the promise made to voters. Drug-policy reform—and, specifically, legalizing weed—is a critical tool for ending systemic racism.

But somehow, marijuana legalization has managed to perpetuate systemic racism—and, to at least some extent, the cannabis industry actually exacerbates white supremacy.

As journalist Amanda Chicago Lewis first reported, and as Marijuana Business Daily later confirmed, legal cannabis businesses are overwhelmingly white. There is no indication this has changed in any substantive way in the years since.

Though reformers like current California Gov. Gavin Newsom pitched legalization as a way to “right the wrongs of the drug war” and provide an economic boost for Black and brown communities wrecked by over-policing and incarceration, that simply has not happened. Most cannabis retail outlets and brands—particularly the

large, well-capitalized, and publicly traded multi-state operators—remain white-owned.

This sucks! What to do? Do your utmost to buy legal cannabis from the Black and brown entrepreneurs who were supposed to benefit from legalization.

This takes a little bit of research and effort—but, as usual, people of color have already invested some of the necessary labor from which the rest of us can benefit.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Chris Roberts on Forbes

Published: June 29, 2020

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