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The Minority Cannabis Industry Association Is Overdue


minority cannabis industry associationMarijuana prohibition is a very racist public policy. Many minorities in the marijuana activist movement have referred to marijuana prohibition as part of ‘the new Jim Crow.’ Marijuana enforcement disproportionately targets minorities, and has for decades. Anyone who has researched the origins of marijuana prohibition in America knows that marijuana prohibition was started due to racist motivations. I’m happy to say that there have been many marijuana reform victories lately, but unfortunately, most of the marijuana industry is still made up of white males. This is something that Ngaio Bealum talked about in a recent article for Marijuana Politics:

The “Green Rush” is booming.  As marijuana prohibition falls by the wayside, many “legitimate” entrepreneurs are looking to get into the cannabis industry. The funny thing is, most of them are white.  That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but let’s remember that 61 percent of the people in jail or prison for non-violent drug offenses are Black or Hispanic. So while it is great that this industry is booming, it’s not so great that many of the people most affected by cannabis prohibition are not getting a chance to take advantage of the opportunities of cannabis legalization.

To help fix the issue of a lack of representation in the marijuana industry by minorities, a trade organization has been launched called the Minority Cannabis Industry Association. This is overdue, but definitely better late than never. Below is more information about the organization, via their website:

The Minority Cannabis Industry Association is the first non-profit organization created to service the specific needs and interests of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, investors and patients. By developing a strong nationwide network of cannabis business owners within a variety of disciplines (including ancillary businesses), advocating for creation and fair enforcement of sensible policies, and serving as a voice for the minority population, we provide unmatched value to this industry and our membership. Please browse our site to see our focused programs, events and services. If you want to know more or join the MCIA, sign up for our mailing list and/or become a member of the MCIA. The movement needs you!

Below is a video of Ngaio Bealum interviewing Jesce Horton of the Minority Cannabis Industry Association at the Oregon Medical Marijuana Business Conference in Eugene earlier this year:

marijuana business daily conference expo


About Author

Johnny Green


  1. This organization isn’t calling out who is black white etc as a focus however it does acknowledge that historical issues have impacted lives in the present tense. The org is supportive of membership of people of all nationalities and takes issue with not only the legacy of racist policy reguarding marijuana but also seeks to ensure the middle class and women are empowered supported and have access to the industry as much as the wealthiest Americans. Whether you care for the orgs title, it’s fighting for you too. I wouldn’t get caught up in nuance or conversations external to the orgs actual aim. People often argue about peripheral race based convo and that’s not the intention here. The org is about inclusion vs exclusion.

  2. Chris from Portland on

    Racism = bias + power
    The reason people of color can’t be racist is because they have no institutionalized power over whites. They can be prejudiced or biased, but they don’t have the power to be racist.
    There’s no Caucasian Cannabis Association because there’s no need for one – no epidemic of whites being excluded from either the newly emerging, or old underground, cannabis industry. Whiteness is not barring people from the Green Rush the way non-Whiteness is. So
    So racism exists, yet addressing it makes one a ‘riot starter;’ do you think we should ignore the issue then? Just leave everything in place, as it is right now? That means leaving racism in place, not examining it, and not taking any actions to eliminate it. Do you feel that the locked-in advantage of white privilege will right itself, so long as we never address it?

  3. Lastrealindian on

    Jimmy boy, By the way, I happen to be half American Indian and half White. So, don’t “CRY” to me you whinny bitch!

  4. Marijuana users should move into one state for political protection. A marijuana user majority state. Make it legal in that state and not have to worry about people like Kevin Sabet and Patrick Kennedy taking it away making the state a safe haven. Just cause the polls say 50% percent of the public supports legalization doesnt mean they wont be persuaded by Kevin Sabet and betray you like Jimmy Carter did. The way things are now, you cant change anything at the ballot box cause marijuana users are in the single digits percentage wise and would be outvoted by everyone else. You never know if “those other people” could one day vote to repeal marijuana legalization like Alaska did in 1990. If that happens, marijuana users wouldnt have a big enough voting bloc to stop it. All this talk about everything being great and theres no chance of things getting worse was said in the 1970s.

  5. Idaho Hippy Coalition on

    I think that we will have a much better country when everyone quit bringing up who’s black, who’s white or whatever color and just concentrate on being Americans. We are all in this together, and we do not need dissension and internal bickering when it comes to fighting to change the laws on cannabis. its not only minorities who are being profiled. don’t believe me? Go buy a Volkswagen bus and paint a marijuana leaf on it and wear a red yellow and orange hat with dreadlocks, and let’s see how fast you get pulled over

  6. agree 100% Lastrealindian.
    looks like J. Sunderland is the real racist here. I just got moderated for responding to his “minorities cant be racist” bullshit. Hopefully its a software thing and not a censorship thing, but I cant be sure given the subject matter.
    I DO know that REVERSE RACISM such as the tripe Sunderland spouts is not the answer, and given where we are in time, dumbasses like that should know better, and BEEN over it.

  7. “black people cant be racist”
    Thanx for proving my point,dickhead.
    Next time you call someone a racist fuck, look in the mirror
    People like you, WHATEVER the fuck color you are, ARE the problem, fucking riot starter.
    Nobodys feelings got hurt, either. Probably shouldnt be suprised a REAL racist idiot like you spoke up, I kind of was more suprised to see an intelligent response to my admittedly inflammatory comment, faster than I saw yours. YOU’RE just the type of (is it even have the intellectual capacity for racism?) racist idiot whose panties I knew would get bunched up by a little truth, and finish proving my point for me. Thanx again, dunce!

    and no, racism and white supremacy are NOT synonyms.

  8. James Sunderland on

    Oh yes, poor poor white people. I’m sure when Ferguson happened, you were spouting #AllLivesMatter (BTW is just code for WhiteLivesMatter). The oppressed CANNOT be racist because the oppressed do not have hundreds of years of history of opressing other people. Black people can’t be racist. Mexicans can’t be racist. Minorities in general can’t be racist. Can they be discriminatory? Sure, but racism is a different and very charged word with hundreds of years of white supremacy behind it. Just because your feelings got hurt doesn’t mean this minority protection group should not exist.

  9. James Sunderland on

    Spoken like a true white guy who has never faced discrimination and persecution as a minority marijuana user or a minority in general. You may have your fucking opinions, but you don’t have jack shit on life experience of being constantly profiled and hated for being not white. Simply put, fuck you, you will NEVER understand the plight so many have had to face. Also, I’m sure you, mr. White Male are TOTALLY the authority on whether Jim Crow still affects minorities or not. Even IF Jim Crow specificly was gone, minorities are STILL FUCKING BEING ATTACKED, PROFILED AND KILLED BECAUSE OF RACIST SHITS. You have no fucking authority to erase our history, our lives and our struggles. Fuck you. #Blacklivesmatter

  10. actually, Sarijuana, thats just bullshit. The truthful answer to your question would be “what demographic are the teller and manager?” Truth is, when every time the cops commit a crime against a black man, its all over the news, Al Sharpton is speaking out, etc., but the cops are commiting crimes against ALL races, not just the “minorities”. And in this day and age, EVERY race, whites definitely included deserve to have the right to have an organization that advances their interests and have that organization’s name bear the group, race, or whatever. Dark or light. Im not sure who exists in the greatest numbers, but the word “minority” in and of itself is misleading, as if the MAJORITY of people are white, and I just dont think thats true.
    And its a powerful BLACK man at the top of the command chain in Washington, not that its made much of a difference to the cannabis issue.(still schedule 1) I voted for him tho.
    Thank you for seeing my point. I really don’t like exclusive things, be it something like this, or how businesses in the deep south are apt to treat somebody with dark skin. Both are fucked up. I just think if we were TRULY equal you’d see alot less of this type thing, as people would think about what it would look like if the “other side” does something similar.

  11. Lastrealindian on

    Number One: Jim Crowe is dead. So, now it is time for you to enter the new millennium and just get over it because it NEVER happened to you! Money is the constant motivator of marijuana entrepeneurs as it should be…”free enterprise”. I do believe it is called Small Businesses. Race was used to HELP make cannabis illegal. So was the idea of Dow Chemicals making products from other than the hemp which had always been legal until a major newspaper empire owner in San Francisco. Race can and should be included in all these conversations. Got to say that most of the so called minorities, not, always believe it is their skin color…dumbasses. Whites go down on the very same charges as any other color. The “over-abundance” of minorities NOT doing their business “privately” is the fing reason they keep on getting busted!!! In you face folks ruin a lot of things….

  12. ĐΣFΣCŦΣĐ on

    My best friend is black. We grew up together from age 5. JJ parents like family. One thing I notice how cops treated JJ. They him busted with Cannabis without a warning. Same cops, I got off with a warning. When we smoked cannabis, it was me who paid for it and drove to the house. Seemed safer.

  13. ALL marijuana users are part of a highly oppressed minority. What we need now more than anything, is UNITY. We are already divided up by medical, recreational, and profit motives. We all need the same thing, an end to prohibition. We must come together as one group with a common goal.

  14. I do see your point, reefer, but consider this scenario – A woman, a black man, and a white man all walk into a bank. They all want a loan to start up a new business. They all have a great business plan and just need to supplement their start up money, but the bank will only take a chance on one new business. Who do you think will get the loan? Not the woman. Not the black man. Because that’s the way it is, and I don’t believe that this new group in the above post is any different than “Woman Grow” who promote women gangapreneurs in the cannabis industry. Is that a bad thing too? I am constantly amazed when white men have such a hard time seeing the trials of everyday life that befall many people who aren’t white men. Hell, we are all suffering this mess because of the powerful white men who run this country. You see, we don’t need a Caucasian Cannabis Association, because Caucasians already have a head start on most anything in the business world. As a woman who had a career in a male dominated industry, I know first hand about those trials and tribulations, and they are real. Until everyone gets the respect they deserve as a human being, no matter what color or sex, or sexual orientation, or age, or disability, these self-promoting groups will be necessary for the advancement of everyone. Ok – let it rain.

  15. anyone with me on starting a Caucasian Cannabis Association?? I’m sorry, i just think the race card is WAY overplayed, especially in THIS industry. Here in SF, we have Rastas, Asian, Black, maybe even a token white guy who all own MMJ dispensaries. Im seriously considering starting an “all white” something or other just to prove a point that in TODAYS society, as long as you’re something other than white, you are immune to the “racist” label, where as you can have an organization to advance “minorities” or whatever, try to have anything that is for Caucasian business owners, or “white” anything, and you’re suddenly an evil worse than the KKK. Sorry, but racism is racism. Seems like its okay today as long as whites are the victims, not the perpetrators.
    PS I DO NOT believe in the genetic superiority of ANY race, family, or whatever. Not racist, not even prejudice for most other reasons, but I see ALOT of that shit in a supposedly “liberal” city.

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