Despite No Black-Owned Marijuana Dispensaries, Lightfoot Says Minorities Can Still Benefit From The Cannabis Industry

Craig Dellimore
December 14, 2019 - 4:03 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Mayor Lightfoot isn't happy that none of the marijuana dispensaries set to open in January are owned by Black or Latinos, but there are still opportunities for minorities to benefit from the cannabis industry, she said.

While she calls the lack of ownership inclusivity a problem with the legalization law, she said the city should start a cannabis growing coop and enlist Black and brown communities on the retail, transport and financial side of the booming industry. 

"That's the most lucrative part of the business," Lightfoot said about the community coop, which she suggested to 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin, the chairman of the ity Council Black Caucus who is fighting to delay recreational sales because of the lack of ownership diversity. 

She said there are lots of ways in which the city can bring diversity into the business but there needs to be proper planning and joint efforts by alderman, community groups and businesses to make it happen.

"There are lots of ways in which we can bring Black and brown folks into this market but what we need is a strategic vision for that and not just tactical manuevers to say no," she said.

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