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Black women lead the responsibility for fairness in the cannabis industry

Cannabis advocate and entrepreneur Dasida Dawson has been fighting for years to legalize marijuana in New York. And on March 31, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana across the state, one of her goals when New York became the 15th state to legalize factories. The department was realized (Virginia and New Mexico soon afterwards aggregated weed legalization into 17 states, Washington DC and Guam). Historically, New York law includes the automatic erasure of previous marijuana convictions. And according to The New York Times, 40% of the tax revenue from selling marijuana goes to the black and brown communities. Many people in this community are subject to severe imprisonment. Under the new law, those convicted in the past will also be able to participate in the new law market. “As the greatest heritage [underground] In global markets, New York’s historic legalization will be a guide to emerging markets in other states, and ultimately to the federal level, “says Dawson. “I believe the domestic legal marijuana industry, rooted in racial and economic equity, is imminent. The New York bill is with individuals devastated by investment cuts and over-control during a failed war. Set a precedent for providing education, entrepreneurial access, and financial support to the community About drugs. It’s time for our people to use it. ”The green rush of the saying seems to be gaining momentum. Yes, black cannabis entrepreneurs will finally reach their deadline. But while the law is a step in a hopeful direction, there is still much work to be done to make the cannabis industry more accessible to black and brown people. And it is especially black women who are leading the responsibility to ensure that the industry serves the color community. Women like Kali Wilder, CEO of cannabis edutainment company EstroHaze, are one of many cannabis advocates hoping for what continuous legalization across the state means for the black and brown communities. But she is wary. Despite our commitment to diversity, black-owned cannabis businesses are still rare, and entering the cannabis industry is still very difficult and expensive, especially if you are actually growing cannabis. In addition, according to the 4th Annual Survey on Cannabis Use and Recognition among VICE and R29 Audiences of VICE Media Group, only 40% of black women will be of race, gender, ethnicity, by 2030. Anyone, regardless of social status, can safely manufacture and sell cannabis products. “We know many examples of plant-touching owners having all the’continue ducks’, tight and strong investment opportunities, and nevertheless systematic racism. And racism casts doubt on potential investors in their expertise and experience, resulting in success in the industry, “says Wilder. Among the various regulations in each state and obstacles within the banking system, it is a difficult competition for industry businessmen, especially women, especially those of color. “The color community has been blamed for racially biased enforcement of cannabis bans. Therefore, as the country continues to move towards full legalization, color cannabis entrepreneurs, especially black women. It makes sense that is leading the conversation on fairness and social justice opportunities, said Dawson, Cannabis Program Supervisor in the City of Portland and Founding Chairman of the Cannabis Regulatory Authority, from Brooklyn. Dawson said she recognizes that great efforts have been made to pass a stock-centric legalization bill and build a comprehensive and impartial framework for the New York cannabis industry. , New York and beyond spent years advocating legalization rooted in racial and economic justice, and last year she moved to the public sector as a cannabis regulator, blacks, indigenous peoples, We scrutinized the obstacles to building a fair industry with Latin ownership: “I learned that it starts with law and public participation,” Dawson adds. “We advocate that the state legalize the right way, with a focus on fairness and access, but colored women take advantage of the rapid growth of employment and entrepreneurial opportunities within the same market. You can also. “And in the last few years, they have. As Buzzfeed reported in 2016, and Marijuana Business Daily confirmed a year later, the legitimate cannabis business is almost white. In 2017, women accounted for 27% of executive-level positions in the cannabis industry (which actually reflects a 9% drop from two years ago). As Ebony Costane, founder and CEO of BDTNDR, a vocational training platform for cannabis workers, told the Fast Company that year, women have dominated the industry, but most of them Is also white. It seems that these numbers haven’t changed much since they were reported. This means that black women are still sitting at difficult crossroads of race, gender and financial disability. Still, in many respects, black women have been successful in the industry. Organizations such as the Minority Cannabis Business Association and the Medical Marijuana Minority have enabled blacks to thrive in the cannabis industry despite disabilities. Other women-led initiatives, such as Women Grow, have created opportunities for black female cannabis entrepreneurs to influence the industry. As Sirita Wright of EstroHaze CMO points out, “Black women are becoming more active and vocal participants in the cannabis industry because of the barriers they face.” “Black women are facing barriers. Because of this, it is becoming a more active and vocal participant in the cannabis industry. ”Buy Weed From Women founder Jasmine Mans of Sirita Wright agrees with the efforts of women in the cannabis space. Wanting to take advantage of the cannabis industry, but couldn’t afford a cannabis license ($ 20,000 in his hometown of New Jersey), Mann paved the way for himself through product design and branding. .. “If I don’t touch cannabis, I have the opportunity to unify all those who do,” says Mans, who founded Buy Weed From Women in 2019. Since then, she has hired a small team to work in a small facility. She has built her brand in New Jersey, and even through the COVID-19 pandemic. While many companies collapse under the dire weight of the coronavirus, Mann’s business thrives and her mission becomes clearer in the demands of those seeking justice and impartiality in communities left out of society. became. “I’m aware that the pandemic has changed people’s mindset,” she said of last summer’s social turmoil and widespread call to strengthen minority-led brands. “People didn’t just want to invest in convenience, but they wanted to invest in honesty. All of these protest moments create a space like” Is it a black-owned company? ” I created it. “Is that company run by women?” “Where are their money going?” Other black women entrepreneurs like Solonje Burnett, co-founder of Humble Bloom, a cannabis education and advocacy platform. The home addressed such concerns by providing visibility to women and black-owned brands in the cannabis space. education. And since the outbreak of the pandemic, the company has moved to a consulting model, providing guidance to brands that truly want to be more comprehensive. “We help the brand consciously blossom and incorporate all our learning and what we have done. The ideals and values ​​we present resonate. “Burnet says. “At George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, I think everyone was trying to understand’how to diversify.'” This is more than just performance marketing or minimal corporate social responsibility. How can we make it part of? ”So we are helping them come up with their mission, vision and pillars. We now feel like we are doing this transformative work in our business. This is really great because we don’t have enough capital to do it ourselves. For entrepreneurs like Malaika Jones, the founder of the plant-based beauty and wellness brand Brown Girl Jane, the job is to ensure that a business woman like her is seen and supported. At the same time, it also gives women of color access to alternative forms of wellness. “I always say I’m unlikely to be the founder of wellness, because my professional background was on Wall Street,” Jones says. “What I found through my professional and personal career was that I was supporting other people, but what I didn’t do was actually all sorts of wellness for myself. It was to develop a plan. ”Jones embarked on her personal health journey by studying ways to manage the pain caused by back injuries she suffered while giving birth to her youngest daughter. .. In the process, she discovered CBD and learned about its many uses and how to incorporate it internally and locally to relieve pain. But when she started talking to friends and women of color about it, she realized that no one had heard of it. “We weren’t talked about throughout the industry,” she says. This allowed her to find Brown Girl Jane with her sister Near Jones and wellness expert TIBOR Champ, giving colored women access to wellness products as a solution to their health problems. With the ever-growing green rush and nationwide legalization, black female entrepreneurs look forward to more profitable opportunities in the cannabis industry. “We need to talk more about the ancillary opportunities people have, more opportunities and their willingness to enter space,” says Mary Prior, founder of Cannaclusive. “It can take the form of a marketing agency. It can also be graphic design. It could be accounting. There are many other things.” But the key to success is proper research. She adds that doing so and working with support communities, whether within the industry or not. Because, like any other industry, expansion can mean, as Jones says, a smaller business, in this case a larger player with larger pockets trying to overwhelm a black-owned brand. Because there are many. Through first-hand experience, Mans understands the value of sisterhood within the cannabis space. “I’m literally learning how to make a business successful from other black women, and it’s working, and that’s what I’m proud of,” she shares. “The cannabis industry and law are very specific in each state, and women’s wealth is so different that we have to be smarter, and that ingenuity shines. The legalization is just the beginning. Ultimately, how black women work together will determine the future of the industry. So far, contrary to all possibilities, black women are winning. R29Unbothered’s High Impact rewrites the rules of health, wealth and weeds for black women in a realistic, dynamic conversation centered around the United States. Like what you see? Nine Black Owned Weed Products to Celebrate 4/20 I’m (almost) honest about my daughter and weeds Why don’t black women become stoners on the screen?