Cannabis industry assets for minority business opportunities, social equity
Published June 3, 2020 MJBizDaily 

Like protesters around the U.S. who seek to address issues raised by the death of George Floyd and other instances of police violence, the cannabis industry has taken action to promote social equity and business opportunities in the sector.Below, Marijuana Business Daily offers a sampling of organizations and efforts that support, foster and enhance social equity in the cannabis industry, opportunities for minorities, overall diversity and racial justice – as well as other issues facing marijuana businesses.We welcome suggestions in the comment section of other organizations that might belong on this list:

C.E. Hutton C.E. Hutton, a minority-focused business development and management firm, provides a variety of tools, including capital-raise support to cannabis entrepreneurs and companies.

Drug Policy Alliance: The DPA aims for a "just society in which the use and regulation of drugs are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights." The organization’s website includes information on "race and the drug war."

Human Rights WatchWhile the Human Rights Watch covers many issues, racial disparity in drug arrests and convictions is one platform.

Last Prisoner ProjectThe Last Prisoner Project’s "core social justice focus is to release incarcerated cannabis prisoners."A recent statement from the group notes "suspected cannabis possession has been used to justify some of the most egregious examples of police violence and murder of Black Americans."

Marijuana Policy ProjectThe MPP lobbies for cannabis legislative reform across the U.S. The organization’s website includes information and resources related to race, justice and cannabis.

Minorities for Medical MarijuanaM4MM 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." Programs include cannabis industry apprenticeships and expungement of possession charges.

Minority Cannabis Business AssociationThe MCBA’s mission is "to create equal access for cannabis businesses and promote economic empowerment for communities of color by creating policy considerations, social programming, and outreach initiatives to achieve equity for the communities most affected by the war on drugs."MCBA has teamed with Merida Capital Partners to fund minority-owned cannabis businesses and institutions.

National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis AllianceThe NDICA was founded "to create social equity, social justice and diversity for those affected by the war on drugs." The organization offers events and programs and is a qualified vendor for Los Angeles’ Social Equity Business Development Program. The L.A. program assists entrepreneurs and companies with business licensing applications and more.

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws NORML seeks to "reform state and federal marijuana laws, whether by voter initiative or through the elected legislatures."

NuLeaf Project The NuLeaf Project aims "to address the capital, education, and connection hurdles that people of color face when entering the cannabis industry."The organization, according to its website, "invests cannabis tax and corporate revenue into Portland, Oregon-based businesses owned by people of color and Portland professionals of color." (additional note from BW editor: This group has been directly and indirectly associated with Akerna/ MJ Freeway and funding trails are harder to follow than some other sources but does not attack the general intent of the group.)

The Sentencing Project The Sentencing Project provides research and analysis meant to shape campaign priorities around criminal-justice reform, including disparities based on race.

Students for Sensible Drug Policy: SSDP calls itself "the largest global youth-led network dedicated to ending the war on drugs." A zip code-based finder on the group’s directs users to local ways to advocate.