How can we support it?

By Rebecca Olmos | Correspondent

In 2020 cannabis thrived and is expected to continue to do so. The projected legal sales of Mary Jane by 2022 are over 22 billion dollars.

Despite the uptick in acceptance for cannabis, the money made from it, those who sell it and those who use it, people of color are still predominantly negatively affected by the ripple effects of the War on Drugs. 37 states have legalized medical cannabis, and 19 have legalized adult usage, resulting in fewer arrests across the country. However, Black people are still 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people, according to a 2020 ACLU report.

On the business end, the inequality and underrepresentation of people of color are also prevalent. While 70% of CEOs in the top 14 cannabis companies in the country are white men, only 7% identify as Black according to an insider report.

So what is social equity?

The definition of social equity varies.

Put simply, social equity is the idea and practice of “justice and fairness in public policy.” Multiple cities and states have equity programs to support people and companies in their quest to break into the legal market. Especially concerning those who the War on Drugs has impacted.

Each jurisdiction has its requirements for equity applicants. In San Francisco, an applicant must meet three of six conditions that range from household income, previous cannabis arrests to where you’ve lived.

Equity programs help to reduce some of the barriers equity applicants might face as they enter the industry. This assistance includes but isn’t limited to waving application fees, help with rent, and support with tech for their business.

How can you support equity brands?

The first step is to check the dispensary. Sometimes dispensaries will tag equity, black-owned, Latinx-owned, etc, items for you. Other times, you may have to ask your budtender. If you don’t see equity brands on the menu, ask how you can request them.

The second way to support equity in cannabis is with your voice. Word of mouth, personal recommendations, reviews, and even social media shoutouts greatly support these brands.

There are so many great equity brands out there to support. Here you can find a few to start with.