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Legal cannabis is mostly white, so consider backing these Black California businesses this holiday

Brianna Taylor, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in Fashion Daily News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nationwide, Black people were 3.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession in 2018, despite similar usage rates, according to a 2020 American Civil Liberty Union report.

At the same time, the U.S. cannabis industry was and still is exploding with only 10% of cannabis business owners identifying as Latino or African American.

So not only are people of color more likely to get in trouble for having weed, those criminal convictions could mean they are being shut out of a $61 billion industry.

While overall marijuana arrests have decreased at the national level since 2010, cannabis arrests make up 43% of all drug arrests — which is more than any other drug — and the majority of the arrests are for possession, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

According to the report, police often target people based on their perceived race rather than reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. As a result, people of color and particularly young people of color, often face implications of minor offenses like marijuana possession.

And while California is among the states with the lowest racial disparities — partly because it's a decriminalized state — Sacramento ranks one of the highest counties for racial disparities in marijuana arrests.


Black people in Sacramento County were 4.1 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white people in 2018.

And this is all while California accounts for almost a third of annual U.S. retail cannabis sales with minority owners having a significant impact on the overall percentage within the industry, according to MJ Biz Daily, a cannabis business information network.

So with Christmas time usually seeing a 15% to 20% week-over-week growth and the festive holiday generating $427 million in cannabis sales last year, according to the Green Market Report — there's money to be made.

With that being said, here are five Black-owned California-based canna-businesses to help start your holiday gift search.


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(c)2021 The Sacramento Bee (Sacramento, Calif.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.