LA Changing the Cannabis Industry for Minorities


The City of Los Angeles is taking steps forward to help ensure minority inclusiveness in the emerging local cannabis industry with a vote to introduce a social equity program intended to serve individuals and communities that were disproportionally harmed by cannabis prohibition during the war on drugs that unfairly incarcerated millions of African Americans, destroying countless families and futures. Council President Herb Wesson has pledged his support to chioning adoption of this program aimed at a pathway to minority ownership participation of commercial cannabis businesses through access to training programs and technical assistance, among other offerings.

The key provisions of LA’s social equity program should provide more opportunities for people of color to succeed as entrepreneurs in the burgeoning cannabis industry.

“We applaud the actions of the Los Angeles City Council and Council President Herb J. Wesson to advance LA’s legal licensing in encouraging racial diversity among cannabis businesses,” said Donnie Anderson, California Minority Alliance – Chairperson. The cannabis industry will create more jobs than any preceding industry of the past 30 years. It is time for cities everywhere to change policy from their prior marijuana law enforcement attacks on minorities to foster equity, economic empowerment, and restorative justice for those most impacted by the failed war on drugs.”

Quick Facts within the Los Angeles Minority Cannabis Community.

  • Los Angeles has more dispensaries than the entire state of Colorado.
  • L.A.’s population is nearly three-fourths minority.
  • The Drug Policy Alliance estimates that only about 1 percent of weed business owners are African American and people of color. 
  • 70 to 80 percent of marijuana-related arrests nationwide happen “in communities of color,” according to the Drug Policy Alliance.


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