The first expo for Black cannabis entrepreneurs is coming to New Orleans, Louisiana November 18th through 20th. The idea first came to event organizer Kristi Price, who publishes Black CannaBusiness magazine, after an enthusiastic online cannabis gathering she held left attendees wanting to continue the conversation. A long-time marketing executive for some of the world’s largest brands like Nike, Red Bull, and Guinness, Price started her media company to address some of the inequalities she saw developing in the cannabis space.
“There are no business-to-business media or conferences that target people of color in this space and people of color have a very different experience with the plant, both in terms of the criminal justice system and from the diversity and inclusion perspective.” — Price via Times-Picayune
“Cannabis as medicine is huge in the Black community,” Price remarked, but acknowledged more education needs to be done around conditions like sickle cell anemia and high blood pressure. “It used to be that if you tell grandma that you’re in the cannabis business she’d be getting your bail money together, so that is some of the work we have to do.”
The Times notes that despite the enormous growth in the cannabis industry in the past decade, a Marijuana Business Daily report found only 4.3% of cannabusiness owners are African American. Furthermore, an American Civil Liberties Union study published last year found that not only did cannabis arrests increase between 2010 and 2018, but racial disparities remained at a high level. The study found that although Black people use cannabis at similar rates as their white counterparts, they are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis.
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