Diversifying the Canna-Business
In 2012, Colorado and Washington were the first states to legalize recreational use of cannabis. Now in 2020, recreational cannabis use is legal in 11 states for adults, 21 years of age and older. Cannabis is also legal for medical use in 33 states across the country. It is undeniably a booming industry and according to New Frontier Data, the industry is expected to reach 30 billion in revenue sales by 2025.
For many years, the use of cannabis has been hovered by a stigma. With more and more states decriminalizing and/or legalizing marijuana; The plant, and the industry, has become more socially acceptable. An increase in market research and case studies has allowed for people to understand the health benefits of cannabis use. Combined with scientific evidence and the undeniable lucrative performance of this industry people are changing the narrative around cannabis consumption and respect it.
Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Many professionals are taking the leap of faith to switch industries and join the “Green Rush”. However, there is a lingering concern when it comes to who has access to the industry. There have been several conversations regarding cannabis reform. States are looking not only at medical and recreational legalization and decriminalization, but also the necessary reform when it comes to incarceration. Black and Brown people are still disproportionately incarcerated for cannabis related offenses. Meanwhile, we now have a legal industry that is making billions of dollars in a regulated market. Furthermore, when looking at the demographics of people who are working in the industry, we are discovering that minorities and women are highly underrepresented.
In response to our current social climate, like many other corporations, cannabis companies are showing their support for social justice, equality, and reform. It is imperative that we do not let these historic moments of unity and togetherness pass us by. With so many people watching the cannabis industry and seeking new employment opportunities, I believe this industry has a unique opportunity to be a leader when it comes to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The time to re-evaluate hiring practices and foster an inclusive work culture is now. Let us not miss this opportunity to spark real change and lead by setting an example.