This isn’t the first time that the issue of diversity in the industry has been addressed. In fact, I wrote an article about it right before the 2014 election. At the time, I was the only woman of color running to be a marijuana commissioner in California, so I felt it was important to highlight the lack of diversity in the industry. Last month, the Dispensary Owners Association of California wrote a letter to the state’s marijuana regulators requesting that they take diversity into account when creating regulations for the industry.
Over the past few years, many states have legalized medical marijuana. But there is still very little racial diversity in this industry. The majority of the industry is comprised of Caucasian males, with African Americans and Latinos far behind. The industry is dominated by men, but there are few women in leadership roles.
The next time you are watching your favorite TV series, read an episode recap, or listen to the latest podcast, think about what it would be like to be a TV producer. You’d be imagining the characters and imagining how they would interact, and then you’d go and create that script. That’s how things happen in Hollywood.
The state of Ohio is planning to increase the number of medicinal marijuana shops. The goal is to solve some of the industry’s issues, such as travel distance, pricing, and supply.
However, there are significant reservations regarding who will be granted these new licenses.
Ariane Kirkpatrick is the first Black woman to own a dispensary in Ohio. She describes her achievement as “bittersweet.”
Harvest of Ohio is her company, which has three sites in Athens, Beavercreek, and Columbus.
“Being the first in this business, an industry with so many roots in the minority community, is almost an oxymoron,” Kirkpatrick remarked.
Only eight of Ohio’s 58 dispensaries are minority-owned, according to the state’s Board of Pharmacy.
When medicinal marijuana was initially authorized, the state mandated that minorities get 15% of all dispensary licenses. The Madison County Court of Common Pleas, however, overturned the quota in 2019, citing a lack of evidence of discrimination or bias in the cannabis sector.
“Some kind of systematic and structural racism has occurred, which we must identify and rectify so that we can be a part of it,” Kirkpatrick said. “We must ensure that diversity, equality, and inclusion are present in this industry.”
That was the purpose of today’s press conference by State Representative Juanita Brent.
Some legislators are asking for a disparities study as the state prepares to grant 73 new dispensary licenses, citing what Brent and her colleagues call an apparent systemic problem.
“It’s been two years. There isn’t any research to back this up. There isn’t a disparity study available. “This is something we could have done, but we didn’t,” said State Representative Thomas West.
Many minorities are prevented from operating dispensaries due to costs, the requirement for money, and general knowledge, according to lawmakers. They’re hopeful the state will address such restrictions.
“We are asking to be let into the game because African Americans and people of color have shown time and time again that when given the chance, we can compete with anyone,” Herb Washington stated.
Where will the new dispensaries be located? Cuyahoga County will get seven more licenses. Summit County will get two, with Lake, Geauga, and Portage Counties receiving three each.
The state of Washington legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, but many remain skeptical that the market will be successful. In a year that has seen a lot of attention around the product, the reasons for the lack of interest in Washington remain unclear. Whether it is a lack of education on the subject, a lack of familiarity with the product, or a lack of concern for the social implications of the industry, there is a lack of trust in the marijuana industry.. Read more about florida medical marijuana’s law 2021 and let us know what you think.
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