diversity_graphic

Top Minority Cannabis Business Communities

Black entrepreneurs make up less than 2 percent of the legal cannabis industry. The foundation of this growing industry was built on mass incarceration of black people during the days of cannabis prohibition and the war on drugs. Black entrepreneurs are starting to support each other in order to create a path of opportunity for other black cannabis business owners. Let’s  dive into some of the top organizations that provide a community space for black businesses.

Challenges For Black Entrepreneurs 

The black community was impacted by the war on drugs and cannabis prohibition more than any group of people in America. Our communities were crippled by mass incarceration and gang violence that was perpetuated with unjust laws. Now fast forward to 2023 anyone has the opportunity to start a legal cannabis business in states that have legalized the plant either medically or recreationally. Black people have to overcome specific challenges that compound from the many years of illegal cannabis operations:

  • Lack of Resources: To start a business entrepreneurs need resources like real estate and capital. The black community has not had equal opportunity in the past when it comes to acquiring resources that would relieve some of the pressure involved with  starting a cannabis business. Finding partners and investors who are willing to take a risk in the cannabis space is essential for aspiring black cannabis business owners. 
  • Past Criminal Records: A handful of cannabis programs forbid people with past  cannabis convictions to obtain a legal cannabis license. States with legal adult-use programs but without social equity programs include Montana, South Dakota, Maine, Nevada, Oregon and Alaska. 
  • Poor Financial Education: The main ingredient for a successful business venture is education. The type of education that is passed down by the wealthy, not the subjects those under budget public schools teach poor communities. Fortunately today technology bridges the gap for everyone to obtain the knowledge they need to start and run a successful business. Applying that knowledge can be difficult, so connecting with a community that is experiencing similar challenges can be beneficial to growth. 
  • Lifestyle Trauma: Black people are impacted on multiple levels by the war on drugs. The burdens of losing family members to violence or incarceration can lead to negative mental illnesses and mental roadblocks. It is important that black cannabis  entrepreneurs have a strong mindset to push through these barriers. We have to channel the negativity into a source of power that leads us to victory. This is easier said than done for many who are directly affected. 

 Importance of Community

In reality the black community cannot depend on state governments or any other entity to help us overcome the additional challenges that come with being black while trying to build a cannabis empire. We must help ourselves and that are a handful of leaders in our space that have established platforms to help us take our cannabis dreams to the next level. 

The 3 major areas that cannabis minority communities must focus on are: 

  • Funding Support 
  • Legal Support 
  • Education Support 

Bipocann

Ernest Toney, founder of Bipocann, created a community that is making an impact in the cannabis space. Bipocann supports black cannabis business by targeting education, business development, and marketing. Bipicann is based in Denver, Colorado but its roots expand all over the country.

Bipocann’s mission is to increase BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) visibility to advance representation and economic equity in the legal cannabis industries of the Americas. 

BIPOCANN makes it easier for members to access cannabis education, networking, and business resources.

We accomplish this through programs, projects, and strategic partnerships that:

  • Educate about the opportunities to participate in the legal cannabis industry
  • Create amplification platforms for members and clients to be seen and heard in the industry (e.g. media, speaking, events)
  • Provide mentorship and technical assistance to licensed cannabis businesses and early-stage entrepreneurs
  • Enhance cannabis workforce, vendor, and supplier diversity
  • Drive valuable business to business (B2B) referrals through BIPOCANN’s membership network.

Minorities4 Medical Marijuana

Minorities for Medical Marijuana, Inc. (M4MM) is organized as a non profit organization with corporate offices based in Orlando Florida. The organization is structured as a 501c3 with a full Executive Team and Board of Directors who support the organization’s overall goals and strategic direction. The organization was established in May 2016 and currently has 27 state directors throughout the country including a Northern California chapter based in Oakland. M4MM’s mission is focused on providing advocacy, outreach, research, and training as it relates to the business, social reform, public policy, and health /wellness in the cannabis industry.

M4MM is committed to cultivating a culturally inclusive environment where diversity of thought, experience and opportunities are valued, respected, appreciated and celebrated. M4MM will serve as a resource to our community by providing information, referrals, advocacy, coordination and education regarding cannabis legislation, events, activities, initiatives and discussions.

Education and legal support is the the core of of what they bring to the table, but they offer a variety of national programs: 

  • Let’s Talk Cannabis: Community Education Forums

Minority Cannabis Business Association

If you’re looking for ways to give back to the communities that were impacted by the war on drugs then Minority Cannabis Business Association may be the best community for you. MCBA’s mission and strategic vision is carried out by a 15-member, diverse, board of directors made up of industry leaders representing various industry disciplines.

The MCBA’s mission is to create equal access for cannabis businesses and economically empower communities of color through policy, programming, and outreach initiatives to achieve equity for the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. 

Some of the biggest players in the industry are members of this group. MCBA fulfills its mission with a variety of services: 

Policy: Building an equitable and responsible cannabis industry through sensible policy.

  • Work directly with local representatives to support fair implementation and enforcement of sensible cannabis policies. 
  • Provide resources for governments and citizens to design and advocate for better policies. 

Empowerment: Education, resources, educational and economic opportunities for minority entrepreneurs and our communities.

  • Webinars, bootcamps, and other in-person educational events
  • Online business and policy tools and resources
  • Cannabis conviction expungement clinics and resources
  • Community education on safe, effective, and responsible cannabis use

Connection: Provide access to MCBA’s network to connect industry, activists, and our communities.

  • Connect with MCBA’s network through events, business spotlights, and speaking opportunities.
  • Connect with lawmakers and regulators through ongoing advocacy and engagement opportunities and events
  • Connect with consumers, patients, and cannabis business owners with shared values and objectives

Grow and Scale Black Owned Cannabis Companies

These are the top 3 cannabis communities that black cannabis business owners should join for professional support. Growing and scaling any business can be challenging. Every cannabis business owner wants their company to become an industry leader. In order to achieve success in the cannabis space businesses must establish market authority. Brand optimization will help your cannabis brand reach new heights and help you achieve your cannabis dreams. 

Dagga Digital Marketing is a majority black owned cannabis brand optimization platform that helps cannabis brands grow and scale their business by: 

  • Generating additional revenue streams
  • Forging exclusive partnerships 
  • Implement strategies that help brands stay ahead of the competition 
  • Helping cannabis brands dominate and command the markets

Learn more about Dagga’s proven digital cultivation method, an omni-channel digital marketing strategy that is helping cannabis brands in the midwest grow an online powerhouse.    

    

Final Thoughts 

These 4 minority lead resources are great for any black entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or expand a cannabis business. There are many challenges that black leaders will have to overcome to achieve success. It is critical that we support each other and build communities like BIPOCANN, Minorities4 Medical Marijuana, and Minority Cannabis Business Association. We have to take matters into our own hands because no policy is going to save us or eradicate our problems. It is up to us to take initiative and level the playing field. 

Today technology allows us to connect with other like minded people more than ever before. Take action today and get involved with one of these robust communities that will offer instant value to your cannabis business.