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Social equity in marijuana industry still largely pipe dream

Michael Diaz-Rivera sees his future in a pot delivery business made possible by Colorado's...
Michael Diaz-Rivera sees his future in a pot delivery business made possible by Colorado's marijuana social equity program.(Thomas Peipert | AP)
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 10:46 AM EDT
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DENVER (AP) - As marijuana legalization proliferates in the U.S., social equity has been a selling point.

The goal is to have more Black people and other minorities in ownership positions to make up for decades of drug laws that disproportionately punished them. But so far the desire for equity has far outstripped realities. The limited statistics available indicate business owners and investors at the top of the booming legal industry remain overwhelmingly white. One reason is that aspiring minority owners with little or no business experience are overmatched in a cutthroat market dominated by large international companies.

Colorado rolled out its equity program earlier this year. It includes a provision allowing new license holders to partner and learn from an existing marijuana business owner.

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