Denver, CO – Diversity among cannabis business owners is extremely low. A study shows that 75% of all Denver Cannabis business owners are white while 5% are African American.
Ashley Kilroy, executive director of the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses had this to say:
“This study sadly confirmed what was widely suspected. Just like what has been seen across the state and in other legalized markets across the U.S., Denver does not have a diverse marijuana industry.”
One of the largest issues comes from the licenses awarded by the city. The majority of these registrations have been awarded to white business owners while black or minority owners are left to wait.
One of the biggest hurdles for new owners is the up-front cost that many must dish -out before obtaining a license. Social equity licenses are being given to too few minority-based cannabis businesses. Unfortunately, these measures have not been enough to allow POC cannabis owners the right to operate a business.
“If Colorado wanted to undo the wrongs of this, they would be giving delivery licenses out to people of color,” he added. “It’s almost too little, too late.”
Throughout the United States, legalization has been a tough topic. From the harm that many still believe goes along with use, to the imbalance of POC business owners.
Other issues stem from the financial upstart cost. The cost lends itself in favor of the wealthy. Where many businesses are able to start up with a far less cost, the cannabis industry caters to bankers and the rich.
Colorado isn’t the only state to have such a divided gap between business owners. Almost every other state that has legalized continues to face the same issues. High start-up cost has led to a concrete block for the black community or the POC community to pursue their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.