social equity

The Cannabis Industry: A Beginner's Guide to Social Equity

March 3, 2024
credit card cannabis social equity dispensary

With the increasing legalization of cannabis, advocates and legal professionals are urging the cannabis industry to prioritize social equality.

The cannabis industry has been unfair to certain groups, causing them to suffer from inequity concerns and receive severe criminal punishments.

Here's a brief overview of the past and how you can help make the current cannabis market more equal.

Racism has a long history in the United States.

Cannabis has been used in the United States since 3000 B.C., but it wasn't stigmatized until the early 1900s.

The Mexican Revolution at the time resulted in a significant influx of refugees to the United States.

Then, "marijuana" replaced "cannabis" as the preferred term. Politicians and the public mixed anti-immigrant racism with anti-drug propaganda. They used a Spanish word to link cannabis with Spanish speakers and made it seem bad.

On our blog, you can learn more about the history of cannabis.

From Woodstock to the War on Drugs, there has been much change.

Hippie culture blossomed in the 1960s and 1970s, and cannabis use followed suit. The Beatles and Willie Nelson, for example, have made their marijuana use public. You'll see joint after joint if you look at images from Woodstock.

Former President Ronald Reagan initiated his now-famous War on Drugs not long after. Although white cannabis users receive most media attention, his War on Drugs predominantly targeted black and brown populations.

After the Civil Rights Movement and anti-war rallies, drug prohibition became stricter and law enforcement increased.

At that time, there were many more arrests for marijuana and the sentences for drug-related crimes were among the longest in the world.

In today's cannabis market, social fairness is essential.

Today, activists are voicing their frustration due to the ongoing sanctions. Black Americans are arrested for marijuana possession about four times more often than white Americans, even though their rates of marijuana use are the same.

Indeed, 40,000 people were still in prison or imprisoned for cannabis-related charges in 2020, with some serving life sentences. Despite efforts to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in its different forms, little is being done to assist those currently incarcerated.

What you can do to help

Some people can benefit from cannabis based on their looks, place of birth, and available resources.

New Mexico, for example, requires new dispensaries to create social justice plans before they may be legalized. Even if your state does not have this requirement, you should establish an equivalent program.

Listen to the voices of your communities for new ideas, especially those who have been personally affected by marijuana prohibition. You should follow industry leaders like Sprout Processing, who are committed to promoting social equity in the cannabis sector.

Dashboard reviewing compliant credit card processing for dispensaries.

Ready to take your dispensary to the next level?

Book a demo to see our solution in real-time!
Book a Demo

You Might Also Like