How The Color of Cannabis is Making a Difference in the Cannabis Industry

How The Color of Cannabis is Making a Difference in the Cannabis Industry

Published on 8/31/22

It's fair to say that the legal cannabis industry has a significant diversity problem. Despite the legal cannabis market globally being projected to be worth as much as $70.6 billion by only 2028, a disproportionately small ownership base are POC. As of 2017, cannabis businesses were only 5.7 percent Hispanic-owned, 4.3 percent Black-owned, and 2.4 percent Asian-owned. Ironically enough, this lack of POC ownership is not a result of certain races using drugs more frequently than others since research suggests that cannabis use is consistent across races, but instead as a holdover from the racist Nixon-era War on Drugs policy.

While we're sure it comes as no surprise to POC readers, since black and brown folks are statistically more likely to be arrested, searched, and jailed on possession charges despite nearly identical usage rates, it's still an issue we think is very much worth highlighting!

That's where The Color of Cannabis comes into play! The Color of Cannabis is an organization in the cannabis industry that is fighting for more representation of minorities in cannabis and removing the stigma revolving around cannabis. They're a great option and resource for the much-needed changes that still need to happen in the legal cannabis industry.

The Color of Cannabis

The TCC team attacks the stigma and inequity that still exists within the legal industry in two core ways; action and education.

They are actively calling out and fighting against the long-held and still existing stigmas regarding drug policy, despite legal cannabis sales figures tripling between 2014 and 2020. Despite public perception and the law shifting in favor of cannabis legality and mainstream acceptance, with widespread legality being overwhelmingly popular and 1/3 of American citizens having access to legal weed, people are still going to jail for drug-related crimes. The Color of Cannabis wants to change all of that. Due to the historic trauma attached to the unregulated sales of cannabis decades ago, TCC intends to encourage people of color to get into ownership positions along with the rise of the regulated sector. It's as much about breaking the stigma held by the POC communities they serve as it is about the stigmas associated with them. That's the action part of their plan.

The second leg is education. TCC believes they can spur the folks they serve into action via education, collaborating with pillars of the POC community like church, community, and medical leadership. TCC believes that the best way to get more POC folks involved is for leaders to ease discomfort and facilitate a smooth transition into leadership roles in the new, upstart legal cannabis world. After all, the best way to get involved is to do so in a way that not only enriches yourself, but the community you're a part of as well!

With these two formative legs in mind, The Color of Cannabis moves forward with its mission of building a more equitable, reflective legal cannabis industry, one that leaves behind the outdated stigmas and scars of the past. What a great concept, right?

How Do I Get Involved?

Now that we've broken down the mission and building a better, more equitable face of the ever-expanding legal cannabis industry, it's time to take action and get involved. TCC offers several vital ways to do just that!

Join a Workshop or Event

Offering monthly events and workshops full of curated panels, distinguished guest speakers, and cross-industry networking events, these classes and events are a great way to learn and get up to speed with the latest issues facing the industry and ways to help. These classes are great opportunities for personal and professional growth in a legal cannabis industry that's constantly shifting and changing, perfect for those looking to participate in the cannabis industry overall.

Join One of their Classes

If a once-a-month affair isn't enough for you, how about a ten-week intensive course on starting a cannabis business? These types of resources provide a top-notch curriculum full of dramatic dos and don't to help self-evaluate trauma and overcome obstacles. Each class takes 2-3 weeks and is taught by cannabis industry pros, giving you the expertise you'll need to break into the legal cannabis industry or assist others in doing so!

Become a Member

The final way to support the TCC cause is via becoming a member. That financial commitment is perfect for those just getting started in the industry and looking to get a foothold, those who broke in but are looking to grow, and those ready to take the next steps to become a great part of the legal cannabis industry. Think of this as the first possible step you can take into the ever-expanding legal cannabis industry.

The Bottom Line

Building up the legal cannabis industry to promote equity and inclusion isn't always going to be easy work, but it's essential for the future. The cannabis industry has long shown fantastic potential, but if that potential is drawn along racial lines, it's a serious problem. The Color of Cannabis is an organization dedicated to driving things in the right direction, with a mission and backing to accomplish its goals.

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Olivia Castaldy
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