Newer Cannabis Markets Embrace Social Equity Programs, To Equal $12.7B by 2022


MNI Media

Release Date

Tuesday, August 6, 2019


MNI Media has received a report on Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry. The Report shows that States that legalized medical and/or adult-use cannabis since 2016 and included social equity provisions, are projected to have total annual sales of $12.7 billion in 2022, compared with $4.1 billion combined for those without a social equity programme. 

“Of the 18 states that legalized medical or recreational cannabis sales since 2016, six have taken considerable measures to boost diversity in their marijuana programs,” say Eli McVey, Research Editor at MJBizDaily. “While that doesn’t represent a majority of markets, those that have implemented significant social equity programs are projected to grow much larger than those without.”
Download a copy of the new report here: Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry
Also featured in new Women & Minorities in The Cannabis Industry Reportwomen account for more than one third (37%) of cannabis executives, compared that to the national average of 21%.
In the rapidly developing and expanding cannabis industry, there is a growing awareness around the lack of both gender and racial diversity in the business. Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry report serves as a credible reality check on the latest topics, trends and overall state of diversity in the cannabis industry.
Since the first edition of this report was published in 2017, the cannabis industry has changed significantly—and with it the diversity landscape.

Consider the following, notes McVey:

--Preventing individuals with a prior drug conviction from working in or owning a marijuana business—which disproportionately affects people of color—was common practice in most early legal marijuana markets. Now, newly legalized states such as Massachusetts and Illinois are actively encouraging people with previous drug charges to enter the industry.
--Instead of providing opportunities specifically to women or racial minorities, several states now use their social equity programs to target opportunities to people who live in communities that are economically disadvantaged and/or experienced excessive enforcement of drug laws.
--In 2017, major recreational markets, including Colorado and Washington state, were no longer in their infancy and had become highly competitive. This may have been harder on businesses, forcing some companies to close and some executives to exit the industry.
-- Since the previous survey, recreational sales launched in California, Massachusetts and Nevada, while major medical markets such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland got off the ground.
This complimentary report is the only report of its kind to look at diversity in the cannabis industry and includes numerous charts exploring and analyzing women and minorities’ roles in the cannabis marketplace, including:

  • Percentages of women and minority-owned businesses

  • Breakdown of license applications (Massachusetts)

  • Comparison of women executives in industry year by year

  • Multiple Factors that drive low participation in industry

  • Exploration of criteria for retail licenses (Illinois)

  • Status of Social Equity Provisions by state & market

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