Why Aren’t Equity Programs for Cannabis Licenses Working?


Across the country, so-called “equity programs” are commonplace in weed-legal states. As explained in a post on Observer, these programs are designed to give preference in commercial cannabis licensing to those who suffered most from the war on drugs. However, there is evidence equity programs are not working.

Cannabis Equity Programs Not Working

For example, just six of the 200 licensed cannabis dispensaries in the city of Los Angeles are owned by African Americans. The article states that in cities where equity programs are in place, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago, the only way for many black and brown people to participate in the cannabis industry is to partner with rich, white businesspeople.

The article claims that equity programs have been greatly oversold across the board and are failing to do what they promised: make up for “generations of impoverishment, imprisonment and disenfranchisement.”


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