BIPOC marijuana entrepreneurs share tips on getting into the industry

Ranks of women, minority cannabis execs rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest data from the MJBiz Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Report. Get your copy here.

Ancillary marijuana businesses offer disadvantaged entrepreneurs a way into the industry without having to compete for a cannabis license or start with enormous liquid assets, according to industry leaders.

At the “Achieving Equity in Cannabis” networking event at MJBizCon, entrepreneurs of color advised their colleagues not to count on political promises that states and cities will do better to ensure communities damaged by the drug war are included in the new industry.

“Stop calling it ‘social equity,'” said Christine De La Rosa, CEO of The People’s Ecosystem, a business accelerator and group of California cannabis brands.

“None of you can point to any state that has a successful social equity program. … They made it into ‘Hunger Games’ for people of color.”

But ancillary businesses such as lighting and heating-and-ventilation companies offer lower barriers to entry because owners don’t need to compete for a limited number of licenses or pay steep cannabis taxes.

Business leaders need reliable industry data and in-depth analysis to make smart investments and informed decisions in these uncertain economic times.

Get your 2023 MJBiz Factbook now!

Featured Inside:
  • 200+ pages and 50 charts with key data points
  • State-by-state guide to regulations, taxes & opportunities
  • Segmented research reports for the marijuana + hemp industries
  • Accurate financial forecasts + investment trends


Stay ahead of the curve and avoid costly missteps in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry.

“Look at what else you can do to get into this business,” said Hope Wiseman, CEO of Mary and Main, a dispensary in Maryland.

MJBizCon continues through Friday in Las Vegas.

Read more about equity in the cannabis industry in this free report, “Women & Minorities in the Cannabis Industry.”

– Kristen Nichols