With hemp-derived CBD legal on the federal level, and many states updating their laws to allow for more access, CBD is now legal (albeit with some restrictions) in more than than 90% of the US.
And the market has responded. More and more, we’re seeing CBD gummies, oils, and other products not only in dispensaries, but in drug stores, gas stations, cafes, and boutiques. US sales of cannabis are projected to reach $80 billion by 2030, and lots of entrepreneurs are looking to get into the CBD business.
The vast majority of those entrepreneurs are white. That’s not surprising, given that CBD businesses--like any other business venture--need capital, and that, as of 2018, only 3 percent of venture capital firms were Black. On top of that, there’s the legacy of America’s decades-long War on Weed, which targeted and harshly punished Black marijuana users and communities. If you’ve got a prior conviction for a drug-related felony, even if it’s something as innocuous as possession of a single joint, you’re barred from working in weed. The fact that Blacks are 3.43 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than whites is one of the reasons that less than 5 percent of all cannabis businesses are owned or founded by Black people. And that doesn’t even take into account that there are still huge numbers of Black people behind bars for selling pot, doing time for something that wouldn’t even get them arrested today.
That’s why a growing number of social justice-minded business founders, funders, and activists are working to make the green rush a little Blacker from the top down. You can do your part too, supporting racial equity from the bottom up, by buying your CBD and cannabis-adjacent products from Black retailers.
Here’s a list of Black-owned cannabis accessory and CBD sellers, so you can do a good thing and get high on Black folks’ supply.