By Damon Williams
How would it feel to know that as a person of color you are 3 times more likely to be arrested than your white counterparts for weed? Or how about the fact that people of color only make up less than 5% of the entire U.S cannabis industry. Sounds fucked up right? Well, it is! To have your whole life ruined by an off tilted justice system over an incredible flower and to see those now legally profiting from it. It’s mind-blowing! Something has to change and we at Black Cannabis want to do our part to change the narrative!
Here’s a short background of Black Cannabis. Black Cannabis is an organization that was created by three individuals with like-minded thoughts on the cannabis industry. Philippe Dume (Haitian), a former U.S. Army veteran turned cannabis advocate. Philmore Charles (Antiguan) a longtime New Jersey activist and media producer. Finally Damon Williams (African-American) a new cannabis entrepreneur and activist. Together we formed like Voltron and created Black Cannabis. Sorry for the old head reference. But seriously after going to countless events, conferences, and expos — we just kept seeing the same old stuff. Truly a lack of diversity in many of those rooms, also a lack of our voice on media platforms as well. We agreed it is time to create a platform for the voice of the new generation in the cannabis industry. There is a lot of diversity in the industry that is not getting the shine it deserves. Also, there is an audience that is being ignored that wants to learn about this industry.
We want to provide a platform for people of color, women, veterans, and the LGBTQ community to have a voice and to learn of what’s happening in the cannabis industry. And to know there is a space for all in this industry! Just because you don’t have the money to own a dispensary or a grow house doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of this amazing industry. If you’re good at social media there are companies that need this. If you’re good at accounting there are plenty of companies that need it. Anything you believe you are good at just take that skill and repurpose it to the cannabis industry. You just need the drive to go out and do it! DO NOT accept no as the answer. Carve out your own path in this industry.
Another way we have provided an opportunity for marginalized communities is through our partnership with a hemp company by the name of Cola Hemp Co.— this partnership has given these communities access into the cannabis industry. Together we launched a program based in New Jersey called the Social Equity & Economic Diversity Cooperative or the S.E.E.D Co-Op. This program gives BIPOC/ , women, and veteran’s access to 500,000 square feet dedicated to growing premium cannabis CBD. Our program provides groups who sign up with the product and education needed to launch their own CBD brand from seed to sale. The program has courses on cultivation, marketing, and branding. Also, it provides access to a CBD distribution network. If this is something that may interest you please visit our site at black-cannabis.com/s-e-e-d/.
We believe this is a budding young industry and it is still up for grabs. Think in these terms, if you got a chance to jump into a developing industry that is projected to make 30 billion dollars by 2025 would you miss out? Like we said earlier there is plenty of space for all. You just have to be willing to put in the work. Also, you must be willing to be an advocate for the cannabis culture. You just can’t have it any other way. We are still fighting for legalization in the U.S. The fight continues and we all have to be willing to do our part. Black Cannabis will be here for the long run. Are you trying to come for the ride?