On August 13, 2016, The Minority Cannabis Business Association will join with local activists, business owners and community members at the Detroit MCBA Cannabis Diversity Summit to discuss the local and national cannabis market, how people of color can access it and how to ensure it works to heal the communities harmed by prohibition most: communities of color.
“The MCBA Cannabis Diversity Summit is an opportunity for us to grow the network of people, companies and activists who support and live the cannabis reform mission each day,” MCBA Chairman Jesce Horton said.
The cannabis industry has been blooming across North America and has been recognized as the fastest growing industry in the US, recently overtaking the smartphone category. However, experts estimate the number of minorities that benefit by way of business ownership, employment and community relief is minuscule in comparison. This in spite of the fact that the vast majority of those arrested for cannabis are people of color, predominantly African American men, even with usage rates being nearly identical of their white counterparts.
MCBA believes that this can be changed through education and action.
“It’s no secret that marijuana policies and enforcement are rooted in racism,” MCBA board member and event emcee Charlo Greene said. “It’s on us, as cannabis advocates, business owners and consumers, to ensure that we use the opportunies marijuana reform presents to go back and undo the damage done by prohibtion. That begins with outreach and education, which is what the Cannabis Diversity Summit series is all about.”
Through economic empowerment, social justice and patient awareness, MCBA’s platform exists as a means to ensure that the industry as a whole has the ability to right some of the injustices cause by cannabis prohibition. The orgazation plans to do this by developing a catalogue of resources, advocating for fair policies and fostering a network of cannabis businesses who believe in their mission.
This will be the fourth Cannabis Diversity Summit that the group has put on, the first few taking place in Denver, CO, Portland, OR and Oakland, CA. Speakers have included U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer, Drug Policy Alliance Coordinator Amanda Reiman, Dr. Rachel Knox of CannaMDs. and Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health, to name a few.
Charlo says the focus of the event is to gain insight from the local community and discuss important topics that can help people of color to get more out of the industry. These include business ownership/employment, advocacy and medicating all with a focus on the needs of communities of color specifically.
Some of the featured guests for the upcoming event in Detroit include Richard Cushingberry, President Pro-Tempore Detroit City Council, Jesce Horton Chairman of MCBA, Dr. Rachel Knox of CannaMDs, Neill Franklin of Law Enforcement Against Prohibtion and more.
If you are interested in tickets, visit www.minoritycannabis.org or email info@minoritycannabis to learn how to obtain free tickets.