Marijuana Facts

Terrell Davis champions minority advancement in cannabis industry

Colorado’s cannabis industry so white — but not for much longer.

Diversity is coming to the state’s marijuana industry, business leaders and social justice crusaders vowed at the Minority Cannabis Business Association’s first-ever Opportunity Summit held Friday and Saturday at the University of Denver. The new organization is determined that people of color — which currently account for only 1 percent of the thousands of licensed business owners in Colorado — will be left behind no longer.

“The reason we got involved (in cannabis legalization efforts) was because there were 11,000 people going to jail in Colorado, 800,000 people nationwide,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, MCBA chairman. “This was a social justice issue.”

But four years after adult-use cannabis sales started in Colorado, plenty of social concerns remain, he said.

Opportunities have been squandered to address social and racial equity issues within the cannabis industry and the community as a whole, he said.

“We’re not talking about how we reinvest in those communities,” he said.

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