In the fight for racial equity, here’s why cannabis matters.

Darius Kemp
Feb 21, 2020

The stunning debut episode of HBO’s The Watchmen series, portrayed the massacre of Black Wall Street, a real-life wave of white-on-black violence and murder that destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous Black community in 1921. Before the massacre, a dollar would circulate between 36 to 100 times between Black-owned businesses. And in a state with only two airports, six Black families owned private planes.

What does this have to do with Black History Month and cannabis? Over the course of American history, economic justice has been a key component of every Black liberation movement — from the Underground Railroad to the Black Panthers Movement to Black Lives Matter. These movements were not just about the abolition of slavery or segregation or discrimination — they were also about economic justice and creating institutional resources for Black people.

As Dr. King observed, “America is reaping the harvest of hate and shame planted through generations of educational denial, political disenfranchisement, and economic exploitation of its Black population.” This oppression has been present throughout American history, from slavery to Tulsa to today’s cannabis industry.

This is why we hear, over and over in the cannabis community, the vital importance of social equity. The War on Drugs was systemic and enforced the racially-based oppression of Black and brown people; so it is only right and just that the “green rush” helps these communities recover.

Black Americans are only 12% of the U.S. population but are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis. And, today, 80% of all businesses are owned by white men. Why? Probably the biggest barrier is a lack of access to capital, which creates a choke point for capable equity cannabis entrepreneurs who otherwise have the talent and desire to engage in the legal marketplace. In other words, the old power dynamics are still very much present post-prohibition. In California, it was only recently that legislators have taken serious measures to expunge the records of people who were charged with marijuana-related crimes.

Social Equity at Eaze

This is why we’ve worked very hard on programs like Momentum and our partnership with Code For America in an effort to place equity and corrective justice on the table. As California’s largest marketplace for legal cannabis, Eaze is uniquely positioned to make a huge impact on the lives and livelihoods of equity entrepreneurs — and we take that responsibility and privilege very seriously.

But as a community & with policy makers, we have to do more to ensure this industry is built in a fair and equitable way. Some work has been done, but there is more to do to ensure this industry is built in a fair and equitable way. For instance, local, state and federal regulators have the power to: prioritize equity applicants, keep the process for approval short, and minimize undue financial burdens.

Working together, we can make these things a reality. But it will take time, and persistence, to undo the damage history has done.

Share this post

Related Articles

Win movie tickets to see The Gentlemen for you and all your friends

How to Survive a Mercury Retrograde in the Already Chaotic 2020

Shop the article

product image
$35
Forbidden Fruit
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$10
OG Kush 1.3g Preroll
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Gelato
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Legend OG
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Mimosa
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Capstone
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Jedi Night OG Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$10
Mochi Cake 1.3g Preroll
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$10
Durban Poison 1.3g Preroll
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Sundae Driver Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Incense Haze Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
True Ryder Kush Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
Durban Poison Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
KGB Kush Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
True Ryder Kush Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Durban Poison Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Solo OG
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
KGB Kush Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
product image
$35
Ice Cream Man
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Double Dream
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$10
Sherbert OG 1.3g Preroll
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
African Queen Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
African Queen Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
product image
$20
KGB Indica Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
KGB Hybrid Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
KGB Hybrid Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$35
Super Lemon Haze
Cloud 9
Out Of Stock
product image
$38
Red Congolese Cookie Crumble
Oakland Extracts
Out Of Stock
product image
$38
Heat Wave Cookie Crumble
Oakland Extracts
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
Wedding Cake Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
product image
$12
Lemon Haze Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Lemon Haze Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Wedding Cake Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$95
Sugar Shake Buddy Bags - 28g
Cloud 9
product image
$30
30-night sleep tincture
Dreamt
product image
$40
45-night sleep pen
Dreamt
product image
$12
Ice Cream Cake Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Ice Cream Cake Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
KGB Indica Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$16
Sherbert Infused 1.3g Preroll
SF Roots
product image
$20
Pineapple Lemon Wreck Infused 2-Pack Preroll
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$36
Focus - Coast 2:1
James Henry
Out Of Stock
product image
$36
True Ryder
James Henry
Out Of Stock
product image
$36
Social - Tropical Slice
James Henry
Out Of Stock
product image
$36
Retreat - WaterMelon Chill
James Henry
product image
$36
Banana Pow Wow
James Henry
Out Of Stock
product image
$36
Donnie B
James Henry
Out Of Stock
product image
$38
Golden Tangie
SF Roots
product image
$38
Peanut Butter Breath
SF Roots
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Spy Rock Sour Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
product image
$12
Spy Rock Sour Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$12
C Land Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
product image
$20
C Land Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$38
Golden Wave
SF Roots
product image
$50
Al Ajo OG
SF Roots
High potencyHigh Potency
product image
$12
Mata Leon Bambino Infused 0.5g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$20
Mata Leon Torpedo Infused 1.3g Preroll
KGB Reserve
Out Of Stock
product image
$38
Lemon Gumiez Cookie Crumble - 1 Gram
Oakland Extracts
Out Of Stock
product image
$25
Gar-Lato Sugar - 0.5 Gram
Oakland Extracts
SparkleCreated with Sketch.new
product image
$25
Heatwave Sugar - 0.5 Gram
Oakland Extracts
SparkleCreated with Sketch.new