Amidst the legalisation of marijuana businesses in Missouri, the state’s government has come under fire for a perceived lack of diversity in the industry. In response, Missouri officials are conducting a demographic survey to assess the progress of inclusion in the industry. This survey serves as an acknowledgment of the disparities in the inclusion of African-Americans in the marijuana business, and aims to establish a level playing field for all Missouri cannabis entrepreneurs.
1. Missouri Pioneers Marijuana Business Survey
The state of Missouri has recently released an online survey to gauge the potential interest in the cannabis industry within the state. The survey is designed to help the state gauge the number and types of businesses interested in operating within the cannabis industry in Missouri.
The survey covers a wide range of topics, including:
- Business models, such as cultivation, dispensary, manufacturing, and service providers
- Revenue streams, such as sales, equities, investments, and grants
- Financial considerations, such as capital investments, operational costs, licenses and taxes
- Regulatory requirements related to federal and state regulations
By participating in the survey, business owners can have their say in shaping the future of cannabis in Missouri. The survey is open to all potential participants, not just those already established in the industry. It’s an important step in the process of creating a viable cannabis business market in the state.
2. Taking Steps To Counter Marijuana Industry Critics
Engage with critics
The marijuana industry is still in its infancy and faces a lot of criticism. Whether it’s on the internet, in the press or other channels, take steps to reach out to the critics and understand their objections. Take any accusations seriously and seek to understand solutions to them. It might even be beneficial to reach out to them for their opinion or advice in order to create better products and services.
Take control and be proactive in countering the industry’s critics. Establishing a set of dedicated and passionate advocates is a great start. These are people that make it their mission to influence public opinion in a positive manner. Take on the task of making the critics feel heard and their views respected. This kind of strategy has been used by other organizations and is highly beneficial to the growth of the marijuana industry.
3. Inclusion and Representation in the Cannabis Industry
A core concern in the cannabis industry is inclusion and representation. The presence of these issues both within companies and in the communities they impact are essential to ensure a successful and equitable industry. Here are a few ways to approach this:
- Develop Policies and Programs for Inclusion – Fostering an environment in the cannabis industry where diverse employees and entrepreneurs feel included depends on having strong policies and programs for inclusion at every level. Establish policies that protect people from discrimination, harassment, and make sure everyone has equitable access to resources.
- Bring About Representation on Boards and in Leadership – Make sure the ownership, boards, and leadership in cannabis businesses reflect the population. Positive representation in the company and in the communities they serve is essential for the industry growth and success.
Unconscious bias is a factor in every corporate decision, either in its presence or in its absence. Eliminating or minimizing bias from business decisions in the cannabis industry must be a priority in order to create a safe workplace and environment that celebrates diversity.
4. Examining The Impact of Racial Equity in Cannabis Businesses
Cannabis use is becoming increasingly normalized, with changing regulation allowing the industry to explode into a billion-dollar enterprise. And yet, despite the potential for tremendous revenue, racism still plays a major role in who can access it, impacting the livelihood of communities around the globe.
To ensure racial equity is present in the cannabis industry, it is important to examine its vast scope. Doing so starts with recognizing the disproportionate impact unequal drug policies have had on African American and Latino/a communities, communities disproportionately affected by both the war on drugs and cannabis arrests. It is also critical to look at pathways for those historically impacted to benefit from the current green rush, or lack thereof. Research indicates that despite the growing acceptance of cannabis use and its legalization, criminal justice barriers such as expungement and predatory licensing practices still prevent many minority cannabis entrepreneurs from gaining access to the industry.
- Examine the scale of unequal drug policies and how this has impacted African American and Latino/a communities
- Look at pathways for those historically impacted to benefit from the current green rush
- Address barriers such as expungement and predatory licensing preventing minority cannabis entrepreneurs from gaining access to the industry
With both praise and criticism continuing to surround the decision, Missouri’s marijuana business demographic survey brings the prospect of increased inclusion of people of color in the growing cannabis industry. We can only hope that this survey will assist Missouri in ensuring equity and accessibility to all those who desire to invest and benefit from the emerging cannabis landscape.